ice cream

Lemon Curdsicles

When the idea for Lemon Curdsicles first popped into my head, I Googled it right away. I mean, COME ON, surely SOMEONE has already thought of them before and posted them SOMEWHERE on the web?

But no - nobody has

(NO Google, I did NOT mean Lemon curd cyclesAnd what the hell is a beef tallow curdsicle anyway?!?)

Anyhoo, these are one of the BEST things I've made since I first started my blog in 2010. A bold statement yes but so so true!

I've made homemade ice cream in the past that's been pretty darn good however, it always seems to freeze just a little too hard. I've mentioned my love of David Lebovitz before here and here and am absolutely enthralled with his latest book 'My Paris Kitchen' published by Random House. Seriously - it's lovely. David wrote another book in 2007 called 'The Perfect Scoop', so trust me when I say this man knows his ice cream. For the Lemon Curdsicles I used David's recipe for Apricot Kernel Ice Cream (without Apricot Kernels) found in 'My Paris Kitchen'. You can find basically the same recipe on David's website if you click here. His recipe calls for 5 yolks - the recipe I usually use only has three. I think the extra yolks in David's recipe lend extra creaminess to the ice cream and prevent it from freezing hard as a rock - it's the perfect compliment to the tart brightness of the lemon curd. You could also make the 6-Minute Microwave Lemon Curd and layer it in popsicle molds with softened store-bought vanilla ice cream.

SO GOOD.

Lemon Curdsicles

1 batch of David Lebovitz's Vanilla Ice Cream (recipe from www.davidlebovitz.com):

For a richer custard, you can add up to 3 more egg yolks. For a less-rich custard, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream, realizing that the final texture won’t be as rich or as smooth as if using cream.

  • 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.

- To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

- In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

- Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

- Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: Used vanilla beans can be rinsed and dried, then stored in a bin of sugar. That sugar can be used for baking and, of course, for future ice cream making.

 

1 batch of 6-Minute Microwave Lemon Curd (original recipe from Out Of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale):

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/4 C butter
  • pinch of salt (optional - not included in the recipe, but I usually add a pinch to any curd I make)

- In a large microwaveable bowl, ***whisk eggs + sugar until smooth*** - zest all 3 lemons into the eggs and sugar and then juice them right into the bowl - break butter into small pieces with your hands and throw into bowl - whisk everything together

- Microwave, one minute at a time, for 5-6 minutes, whisking between each minute 'until it is as thick as honey' (Out Of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens, p 171) - mine took 6 minutes - pour into a jar - refrigerate

***IMPORTANT*** - IF YOU DO NOT WHISK YOUR EGGS AND BUTTER SILKY SMOOTH FIRST you will end up with cooked scrambled egg bits. That's fine but IF THIS HAPPENS - pour your curd through a sieve BEFORE you jar it. It will pretty much run right through - you may have to press the last bit with the back of a spoon. The sieve will catch all of the scrambled bits.

***ANOTHER NOTE*** - Wednesday January 29, 2014 - I made this recipe again, with 3/4 C of sugar instead of a full cup - it was really nice - more tart, less sweet - BUT IT COOKED FASTER - 4.5 minutes

 

- After churning ice cream batter, layer it in popsicle molds with dollops of chilled lemon curd - freeze overnight

 YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Lemon Polenta Cake with Lemon Ice Cream

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. It's Thanksgiving weekend and pumpkin is EVERYWHERE

Well, I'm bucking the trend.

This weekend it's going to be lemon all the way at our house.

You see, when Sean takes a bite of something, looks me square in the eye and says, 'This is my favourite thing yet - EVER', I know it's a keeper (mostly because he's never said that to me, not once in five years, until today).

I used Nigella Lawson's recipe for Lemon Polenta Cake and followed it exactly. I used the recipe for Lemon Ice Cream from Epicurious and also followed it exactly. I don't know what's gotten into me - following recipes without making modifications really isn't my style.

If you love lemon as much as I do, just try even ONE of the recipes - your lemon lust will be sated I promise. Nigella refers to her recipe as 'what lemon curd would taste like in cake form'. Personally, I'm partial to the ice cream but Sean loved both.

I find recipes in magazines, books and online use too many filler words - why can't they just get to the point? It's amazing how, when you remove all of the useless lingo, a recipe can be whittled down into the most simple sounding instructions. Below, I've done just that to make your life easier.

Lemon Ice Cream

Zest of half a lemon

1/2 C lemon juice (about 1.5 lemons)

1 C sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 C 35% heavy cream

1 C milk

  • In a pot, over medium heat, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, vanilla and heavy cream.
  • When it starts to simmer, strain twice into a bowl, cover and chill (I always strain twice to catch all the little bits of cooked egg).
  • Whisk in milk then process in your ice cream maker.

Lemon Polenta Cake

200g butter, soft

200g sugar

200g ground almonds

100g polenta

1.5 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

2 medium lemons, zested (for cake) and juiced (for syrup)

125g icing sugar (for syrup - also called confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar)

  • Preheat 350 - butter an 8-inch cake tin and line with parchment
  • Beat butter and sugar until whipped and fluffy
  • In a separate bowl, mix ground almonds, polenta and baking powder
  • Add 1/3 of polenta mix to butter - mix thoroughly - add an egg - mix thoroughly - do this two more times - add zest
  • bake 35-40 min - leave in pan on rack to cool

Lemon Syrup for Cake

  • Boil juice from your two lemons with icing sugar until suagr dissolves
  • Poke holes over top of cake (I used a long needle because cake is quite moist and delicate), pour syrup over cake, cool in pan then turn out onto plate

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Ode to Baskin Robbins

As teenagers, my sister Cindy and I loved going to Mic Mac Mall - but not for the reasons you may think. Yes the mall was a haven of clothing, make-up and boys, but what we truly went for was Baskin Robbins' Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. Decadent chocolate ice cream laden with ribbons of smooth, creamy REAL peanut butter - it was SO DELICIOUS!! However, they say all good things must come to an end - the shop closed suddenly and our favourite ice cream was gone.

Over the last 15 years, if you were to ask Cindy or I what we thought was the best ice cream flavour of all time, I KNOW we both would have given the same answer even though it had been years since that pure bliss had passed our lips. Enter the glorious hunk of grey metal sitting next to our tree this past Christmas, otherwise known as the Kitchenaid 600 series Professional Mixer.

Somewhat intimidated by the Kitchenaid, Sean and I didn't really start to use it until a couple of weeks ago. Our love affair began with the 3-pack of pasta roller attachments. Next came the food grinder, and finally, the crowning glory - the ice cream maker attachment!! When I brought it home last week and set it on the kitchen table Sean and I spent a few moments staring at it with quiet reverence.

The main jist of this recipe came from the Dinner and Dessert blog - they have credited David Lebovitz's book 'The Perfect Scoop' for their version.

It begins so simply, as most good things do. Cream, sugar, cocoa and salt.

Baskin Robbin's-Style Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

2 Cups Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Cocoa

pinch of Salt

1/2 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter

1-2 Tbsp Icing Sugar

~ Whisk cream, coca, sugar and salt in a saucepan to a full roiling boil (should be foamy) - chill

~ mix PB and icing sugar together (adjust amount of icing sugar to taste - I used 2 Tbsp)

~ Churn chocolate batter in an ice cream maker

~ In a container, layer churned batter with dollops of PB - freeze

~ Eat!!

Baskin Robbins has officially made a comeback - well, in MY house anyway. I think I had better tell my sister...