Lemon Ricotta Ice Cream (#55-E)

29 03 2013

Thank you Vancouver for promising me a week of sunshine!!!

Vancouver sunshine

Sunshine, sunshine, nothing but sunshine!

What better way to embrace spring sunshine than with a bright, citrus-y ice cream flavour?  Lemon Ricotta Ice Cream has been on my to-make list for months now, but the dark, dreary days of winter called for richer flavours.  Now that spring is in the air, it’s time to re-introduce lighter, fruitier flavours to the 52 Scoops repertoire.

This ice cream recipe is egg-free and super simple.  No cooking required!  Just pour the ingredients into a blender, give it a whirl, and you’re pretty much good to go.

The ice cream turned out light and fresh, sweet and tangy — absolutely delicious!  Texture wise, the ricotta cheese makes the ice cream a little more crumbly / flaky compared to other 52 Scoops recipes, so let it warm up ever so slightly before scooping and serving.  Enjoy it on its own or try serving it with a couple of shortbread cookies on the side.

Lemon Ricotta Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

3/4 to 1 cup white sugar
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I used 10% M.F.)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (3 to 4 lemons)
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups half-and-half cream Read the rest of this entry »





Backcountry Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (#53-E)

17 03 2013

Admit it.  Some of you didn’t think I’d be posting more ice cream recipes after finishing 52 Scoops.  But as promised, here’s another!

A few weeks ago, prior to this HUGE deluge of Vancouver rain, the Official Taster and I, along with our friend Jason, thought it’d be fun to head up one of the local mountains and build an igloo.  Yes, an igloo.

I hadn’t grown up camping, let alone snow camping.  The Official Taster introduced me to this activity just a few years ago, and let’s just say my first snow camping experience was rather… epic.  New Years Eve, 2009/10.  Mount Seymour.  22 hours of rain and sleet.  Two people who were sent down around midnight because they wouldn’t have lasted the night.  Huddling under a tarp in the morning hoping for a break in the weather so we could pack up and haul all our gear, plus the evacuees’ abandoned gear, down the mountain.  I think my body needed three days to recover after that!

But I’ve since grown to love snow camping.  Because when you can fall asleep to something like this…

winter camping

Mount Seymour. Photo courtesy of Peter G.

… Or wake up to something like this…

Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park

Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park

… It’s pretty amazing.

And when you introduce a snow saw to your arsenal of winter gear, it gets even more fun.  Because you can play around and cut out sleeping platforms like this:

Sleeping platform cut into a huge snow bank.  Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver.  (Photo courtesy of Dave F.)

Sleeping platform cut into a huge snow bank. Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of Dave F.)

Even better, you can cut blocks to build igloos, as the O.T., Jason, and I did recently:

building igloo

The Official Taster laying igloo blocks. Black Mountain, Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver

igloo, winter camping

The finished igloo!

Knowing we were going to be building a warm, cozy snow shelter, Jason had suggested we might as well get fancy with food – why not churn a batch of ice cream up on the mountain?

A half-pint jar of custard and my half-pint Baby Donvier wouldn’t add that much weight to my backpack, and since I had some leftover blackberry puree from my blackberry escapades last summer and a block of cream cheese in the fridge, an egg-free Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream it was then!

Donvier half pint ice cream maker, blackberry cheesecake ice cream, blackberry ice cream

Churning out a mini batch of ice cream in the backcountry.

As expected, the ice cream did not firm up as much as it usually does when I churn it at home, since the inner frozen cylinder — though packed in the snow while we were busy igloo building — was not at its optimal ultra-cold temperature.  But after two and a half hours of cutting, hauling, shaping, and stacking blocks, we were hungry and happy to have a treat to enjoy, even if it was a bit on the soft side.

Backcountry Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 cups of strained blackberry puree (about 4 cups of fresh or frozen berries)
250 g cream cheese, softened
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup white sugar (adjust to taste; depends on the sweetness of your berries)
2 cups half-and-half cream

  1. Puree the blackberries at low speed in a blender.  Strain the puree through a sieve to remove all the seeds.  You should have about 2 cups of puree.
  2. Place the cream cheese in the (now empty) blender.  Add half of the blackberry puree and blend at medium speed.  Scrape down the sides.  Add the remaining blackberry puree and blend some more.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and give everything a good whirl, until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
inside igloo with ice cream

Jason, the Igloo Builder and Guest Taster, says: “This tastes pretty good!”





Avocado Ice Cream (#47-E)

2 02 2013

Organic avocados were on sale this week for $1 each.  While I typically pounce on sales, I’ve always been a bit cautious with sale avocados.  Will they be a perfect creamy green inside or a brown icky mess?  It’s always been a bit of a gamble for me… until I recently stumbled upon this neat little tip from The Kitchn on how to tell if an avocado is perfectly ripe inside.  Pop off the dry button on the stem end of the fruit.  If it’s green underneath, the avocado is ripe.  If it’s brown, it’s past its prime and most likely brown and stringy inside.

Avocado

Score.  That little trick from The Kitchn worked!  Perfectly ripe inside!

So, what to do with three perfectly ripe avocados?  Ice cream of course!

Avocado Ice Cream might sound rather bizarre, but in Southeast Asia, avocados are typically used for sweet rather than savoury dishes.  When I was travelling in Vietnam, when I wasn’t sipping an iced Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk (cà phê sữa đá), I had an avocado milkshake (sinh tố bơ) in hand.  Avocado milkshakes are rich and buttery in taste and ultra smooth in texture.  Surely avocados would work well in ice cream.

This egg-free ice cream recipe is super simple: blitz four ingredients in a blender, chill, churn, done.  I would suggest that you churn the avocado mixture as soon as it is thoroughly chilled (about four hours), otherwise the mixture will start to discolour and darken from contact with air.

Results?  An amazingly smooth, creamy, and pillowy soft ice cream with the rich taste of avocado and just a hint of caramel from the condensed milk.  Be careful with this one, it might be hard to stop yourself from eating the whole batch in one sitting!!

Avocado Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

2.5 cups half-and-half cream
3 avocados
Juice of half a lemon
225 mL (3/4 can) sweetened condensed milk (save the rest for cà phê sữa đá)
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)

Read the rest of this entry »





Pomegranate Ice Cream (#46-E)

27 01 2013

Pomegranates are a fascinating fruit.  Crack one of these guys open and there are hundreds of red, jewel-toned seeds (AKA arils) inside.  Beautiful.

pomegranate, pomegranate seeds

Pomegranates have hundreds of gorgeous red seeds inside.

Pomegranates are typically available during the fall and winter.  They are considered a superfood and loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.  If I can get my superfoods in ice cream format, all the better!!

I thought the simplest way of making Pomegranate Ice Cream would be to go Philly-style, simply whirling pomegranate syrup into some cream and adding a handful of pomegranate seeds at the end of the churning process for some texture.  I used Alton Brown’s recipe for pomegranate syrup, which involves cooking pomegranate juice, sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice into a thick syrup.  Pomegranate juice can be found at higher end grocery stores.  I used a bottle of POM 100% pure pomegranate juice for this recipe.  If you are inclined to juice your own pomegranates, the POM council lists three methods on its FAQ page.  Make sure you’re not wearing any white clothing!  You will need at least eight pomegranates for 1 litre of juice.

Be sure to let the pomegranate syrup cool completely before you whisk in the cream.  If you add cold cream to hot syrup, the mixture will curdle and there will be no way to rescue it.

This egg-free ice cream has a very concentrated, rich, fruity taste, with a hint of tannins during the first few bites.  The frozen pomegranate seeds add a delightful pop in the mouth.  Overall, Pomegranate Ice Cream is a winner in my books!

Pomegranate Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

4 cups of 100% pure pomegranate juice
1/2 cup white sugar
Juice of half a lime (I love the combination of pomegranate and lime; feel free to use lemon as Alton suggests)
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup of pomegranate seeds
Read the rest of this entry »





Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Ice Cream (#33-E)

25 10 2012

Recently, a 52 Scoops reader requested some ideas for kid-friendly ice cream recipes.  For a moment, I thought: All ice cream is kid friendly!  But then, after scanning my Recipes page, I realized that unusual ice cream flavours like Mint and Peas, Maple Chocolate Bacon, and Black Sesame probably wouldn’t rank very highly in many kids’ books.

Kids like simple, basic flavours, so I figured peanut butter + banana + chocolate would be a pretty safe bet (except for those with nut allergies — sorry!!!).

This recipe involves churning chocolate covered banana pieces into an egg-free peanut butter ice cream.  (Since peanut butter is already quite rich, I thought I could easily eliminate eggs from the recipe without compromising the creaminess of the ice cream.)

chocolate covered banana

Chocolate covered banana pieces, ready to be churned into peanut butter ice cream.

For the best tasting ice cream, choose an all-natural peanut butter for this recipe, one that doesn’t contain any extra ingredients such as hydrogenated oils.  Smooth or crunchy?  That is a topic of great debate, and I will leave that up to you.  If you have a peanut allergy, substituting another nut butter for this recipe would work just fine.

Results?  A delectable treat that can be enjoyed by little kids and big kids alike.  The ice cream looked and smelled so enticing that the Official Taster, who was banned from tasting this week due to a mild peanut allergy, decided to taste anyway!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

For the Peanut Butter Ice Cream:

1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter (or substitute your favourite nut butter)
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Covered Bananas:

1 cup of diced, ripe banana (about one large banana)
70 g of premium dark chocolate Read the rest of this entry »





Egg-Free Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (#5-E)

1 08 2012

My Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream recipe from Week #5 is one of my favourites, and I’ve discovered a super simple way to make the recipe egg-free: mashed banana.  The addition of gooey, ripe banana adds that little extra depth and scoopability to the ice cream, compared to some other egg-free chocolate ice cream recipes that use only chocolate, sugar, and milk or cream.  And since this recipe uses a relatively large amount of cocoa, you don’t even notice the taste of the banana!

Use ripe and speckly bananas for this recipe (ones that look like this).  Be sure the bananas aren’t over-ripe (i.e. very high percentage of brown patches), as this will introduce a slightly boozy overtone to the ice cream.  But hey, you might enjoy that too!

Egg -Free Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 0.75 L)

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

Read the rest of this entry »





Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (#19-E)

19 07 2012

Since I come from a family that LOVES food and cooking, I started playing around in the kitchen at quite an early age.  One of my earliest memories of “baking” was mixing together random amounts of butter, flour, milk, and baking powder, forming a few crude biscuits, popping them in the oven (a REAL oven, not an Easy Bake), and excitedly offering them to my dad when he came home from work.  And yes, he ate them (thanks Dad!)… even though I’m sure they were dense little pucks with a flakiness rating of zero.  Luckily, with some guidance from my parents, my baking skills steadily progressed and by grade 6, I could make some pretty mean cheesecakes — double chocolate, pumpkin, citrus, rocky road, and raspberry to name a few.  Raspberry cheesecake was probably my favourite.  With raspberry season in full swing, I thought it’d be the perfect time to reinvent one of my favourite childhood desserts into an egg-free ice cream recipe.

fresh raspberries

Fresh raspberries at Granville Island Market

Raspberries might look sweet and delicate, but they have surprisingly bitter seeds.  For this recipe, be sure to strain out the seeds from the raspberry puree.  I admit I had a moment of laziness in the test kitchen.  I neglected this step and used 2 cups of raspberry puree that included seeds.  The resultant ice cream was okay but it seemed to lack berry flavour and had somewhat of a bitter aftertaste.  I was more diligent during Round #2 of testing, whirling the berries in a blender at low speed to break them up, and then pressing the puree through a sieve to remove all the seeds.  I realized I needed almost twice as many berries than I had previously used in order to get two cups of seedless puree — half the volume of the berry puree was, in fact, those pesky bitter seeds!  This explained the lacklustre, tannic flavour of the first batch of ice cream.  So I will emphasize again: strain out the seeds for ultra berry-liciousness!

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream is absolutely perfect for summer — sweet, tangy, refreshing, and PINK!  Enjoy and eat often!

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 cups of strained raspberry puree (about 4 cups of fresh or frozen berries)
250 g cream cheese, softened
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup white sugar (adjust to taste; depends on the sweetness of your berries)
2 cups half-and-half cream
Graham cracker crumbs for garnish (optional)

  1. Puree the raspberries at low speed in a blender.  Strain the puree through a sieve to remove all the seeds.  You should have about 2 cups of puree.
  2. Place the cream cheese in the (now empty) blender.  Add half of the raspberry puree and blend at medium speed.  Scrape down the sides.  Add the remaining raspberry puree and blend some more.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and give everything a good whirl, until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. If desired, garnish with graham cracker crumbs.
bowl of raspberry cheesecake ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Should I say something cheesy?”








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