vanilla

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.

Cardamom Vanilla Brown Butter Spread

Cardamom Vanilla Brown Butter Spread

200g butter, room temperature - divided in half

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

3 Tbsp sugar (I used Just Us! Organic Cane Sugar - the crystals add a nice crunch)

2 tsp ground cardamom

- Place 100g of butter in a TALL heatproof microwaveable dish - microwave butter, in one minute intervals, until deep caramel in colour with a nice nutty smell - mine took 4 minutes - if you have some sort of screen or cover for the dish GREAT because during minute 3 my butter splattered to high heaven - set aside to cool

- In a large bowl, mix un-browned 100g butter, seeds from vanilla bean, sugar and cardamom (I added my cardamom in 1/2 tsp amounts until I was happy with the taste - 2 tsp was a nice balance) - when brown butter is cool mix in with other ingredients until thoroughly combined - use on toast/bagels, on top of French toast or pancakes, or anywhere else you would use cinnamon sugar spread

 

The butter will splatter quite a bit during minute 2 so if you have a heatproof screen or cover - use it. It's also important to use a TALL vessel for browning butter in the microwave because around minute 3 it will become quite foamy. 

 

After minute 4, I poured my butter into a fresh ceramic dish to cool faster. I didn't remove the milk solids (white bubbly bits floating on top), I just added everything to my spread once cool.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

My friends gave me huge bottle of Mexican Vanilla last year - it's almost gone which makes me a little sad.

The smell and taste of good vanilla is pretty hard to beat, unless, I've read, you make your own.

2 Vanilla Beans, cut and scraped + 1/2 C warm/hottish vodka + a jar/container with a lid. Let vanilla cool then screw lid on tightly.

Keep in a dark place until strong alcohol smell is gone - shake every few days.

Find out more here and here.

Fruit Tarts

I baked these today for my dear friend Susan. Because they looked so pretty, I couldn't help but post a photo but I've decided not to include a recipe.

They weren't quite right.

I mean, they were GOOD, but they weren't quite what I was hoping for when I started.

The crust wasn't quite sweet enough, the custard was a little too thick and I think I can get more fruit on top of these little suckers.

Better luck next time.

They are pretty though aren't they?