Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ice cream fever

Ever since we discovered that there was an ice cream machine at home. I just knew (and I was right!) that there was going to be tubs of homemade ice cream(s) in the house, anytime, anyday.

In fact, since the Sis is sort of on an ice cream craze, she's been putting it to full use (making up for the lost time perhaps?) by churning out flavours every few days or so.Yes, I'm talking about an ice cream kingdom here baby. Well, she does make half the quantity of whatever recipe she has on hand, so she gets to experiment with more flavours (and thus explaining the tubs of ice cream residing in our freezer...).

In fact, I can't remember preparing any ice creams myself anymore since she's taken over, and the last two flavours that I remember making are these - honey lavender and pear caramel.

Honey lavender ice cream fizz
Plopping a scoop of Honey lavender ice cream into a glass of 7-Up...

Sis has a penchant for lavender scented goodies. So, with that pack of lavender she bought for me in mind, I made a Honey lavender ice cream for her. On a hot weekend afternoon after lunch, with the ice cream in the freezer, she suddenly exclaimed, "I'm craving for a lavender ice cream fizz now" and she proceeded to concoct her own ice cream soda float using cold 7-Up and homemade ice cream. After allowing me to take the photos for all of like one minute, she snatched up the glass and happily proceeded to slurp down the cold drink. Satisfied girl indeed.

Bartlett pears for making Pear caramel ice cream

The last time I made salted caramel ice cream, I wanted to do a pear caramel flavour. Alas, there were no pears in the house (when we had all other manner of fruits - apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, strawberries etc, and just no bloody pears!). Thus, sadly, I had to make do with a batch of plain salted caramel ice cream.

Now. When I was making the honey lavender ice cream, and contemplating on another potential flavour combination for using up the remaining leftover cream, I spotted in the fridge some pears lying in the fruit basket. Eyes lighting up, I immediately knew I was making the pear caramel ice cream. Cheers.

Pear caramel ice cream sandwiches
Going once, going twice. Gone.

We tested some new cookies we bought from the supermart - Julie's butter waffle cookies and sandwiched a scoop of pear caramel ice cream between the crisp buttery waffle cookies. Omg. Perfection. The butter waffle cookies tasted really good, a cheaper alternative to the branded Belgian waffle cookies on the same cookie shelf in the supermart. Can't wait to get more of the buttery waffle cookies again in future...just for snacking. ;)

Both recipes are from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop (yay to me finally getting my hands on a copy!). I found the recipes by google reader earlier on before I bought the book, but I can't find the webpages for it now. However, he seems to be very popular among food bloggers (I can see (or rather taste) why!) and there are many of his ice cream recipes floating around out there on the net.

Pear caramel ice cream (adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop)
3 medium-sized pears, peeled, cored and chopped small pieces
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp (180g) sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Spread the sugar out in a large, non-reactive, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-heat, monitoring it closely. Once it begins to liquefy and darken at the edges, stir gently with a heatproof spatula to help the melted sugar from the edges melts the crystals in the center.
Once the sugar darkens to a deep amber color, mix in the chopped pear pieces. The mixture will likely seize and harden, but continue cooking and stirring, the mixture will smooth out again and any hard bits of caramel will have melted, and the pears are cooked through  for about 10 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in ½ cup cream. Then mix in the remaining cream, as well as the salt and lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture has cooled, transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator overnight. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Honey Lavender ice cream (adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dried lavender buds
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks

Combine the honey and 2 tbsp lavender and heat till warm. Remove from heat and let steep for one hour.
Warm milk, sugar, salt. Strain the lavender infused honey, making sure to press all of the liquid possible out of the lavender buds, into the heavy cream in a bowl and prepare a fine mesh strainer on top. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until light. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks to temper. Do this slowly while whisking quickly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan and to the stove.
Heat the egg yolk and milk mixture while stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Slowly cook the mixture until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain custard into the cream and add remaining lavender buds and stir till cool in a ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly overnight in the refrigerator and churn in your ice cream maker before storing in the freezer.

6 comments:

  1. ohh lavender & sounds really interesting, i think its a nice pairing. btw did u change yr cam/lens? yr pics look different in this entry!

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  2. evan: no i didn't! used the same cam/lens. why/how does it look different?

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  3. seriously, they DO look different! 1st thing, they're not so blue-ish/reddish like yr usual ones hehe and secondly, the bokeh looks really smooth, abit like mine. tot u switched to a f/1.2 or 1.4 lens lol

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  4. ohh lavender & sounds really interesting, i think its a nice pairing. btw did u change yr cam/lens? yr pics look different in this entry!

    ReplyDelete