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Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream

27 Dec

I’ll have a bourbon on the rocks, please.

Wait, I mean a bourbon ice cream on the rocks.

I’m on a bourbon kick. Remember a few weeks ago when I made Tracy’s Maple Bourbon Cider? And just last week I was raving about Steve’s Ice Cream in Bourbon Vanilla flavor? I decided to re-create the bourbon vanilla ice cream at home.

Take 1 cup of bourbon and reduce it with some sugar by about one fourth. Then just make vanilla ice cream base as usual. Most of the alcohol gets cooked out, leaving a nice bourbon flavor and a smooth creamy texture when frozen. Talk about a winter-wake-me-up.


Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream

adapted from EzraPoundCake

makes slightly more than 1 quart of ice cream

1 cup bourbon

1/2 cup (100g) sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream, divided

1 cup milk (I used 1%)

4 yolks

Before starting, have your 4 yolks ready in a bowl. Also have a large bowl sitting in an ice water bath with a fine mesh strainer over the top. Pour 1 cup of your cream into that large bowl. It is important to have everything ready to go and measured out.

Heat the bourbon in a smallish pot or saucepan over medium high heat until it boils. Add the sugar and salt and stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the bourbon reduces by about a quarter, about 6 minutes.

Add the vanilla bean and extract (or if you do not have a bean, use 1 tablespoon of extract), 1 cup of the heavy cream, and the milk and heat over medium heat until steaming aka scalded.

Once steaming, whisk your egg yolks while pouring about 1/3 to 2/3 of your cream mix into the yolks. Keep stirring. Keep the remaining 1/3 of the cream in the pot over the heat. Then pour your yolk mix into the hot cream and heat everything together until slightly thickened. Stir constantly and switch to a rubber spatula. Once thickened and the foam disappears slightly, turn the heat off and pour the mix through the strainer into your bowl of cold cream.

Keep on an ice bath until chilled, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight and churn in you ice cream maker.


Dinner Party For Rosh Hashanah

3 Oct

An excuse to have friends over for dinner and to cook a hearty Jewish meal… The menu:

  • Round Challah Bread, Roasted Garlic
  • Apples Dipped in Honey (Catskill Provision Honey)
  • Chicken with Figs
  • Israeli Couscous with Pomegranate Seeds, Feta, Chickpeas, Cucumber, Radishes, and more
  • Quick Asparagus and Green Bean Saute
  • Wine
  • Root

A small glimpse of the meal:

Pretty Pretty Blue Hydrangeas

Round Challah Bread; Apple Walnut Cake

Couscous Salad in the Making…(pre-couscous)

Flowers, Apples & Honey, Couscous Salad

Kosher Chicken #1 in the Pyrex, Before Baking

Kosher Chicken #2 in Cast-Iron, After Baking

Quick Green Bean Saute

Dinner is Served, Come & Get It

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For…Honey Ice Cream!

Rugelach, Homemade Jewish Cookies…you can’t just eat one

And there you have it. Just a small taste of the lovely meal that was enjoyed by many.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream

21 Sep

Living in New York City.

In the past 2 weeks a bird pooped on me exactly 2 times, once on my arm, the other time on…my EYE LID. GROSS. I was extremely mortified and disgusted. If you don’t see me in the next few weeks, it is probably because I contracted some awful disease carried by a New York pigeon.

When all of the uptown subways stop running except for the “1” train, beware. Moms holding their babies will start yelling at old men with talk of “snuffing” them. Young folk will start harassing other young folk about who needs to give up their seat on the train. People will push and shove you and yell and push you. You might not make it on your first train, so you wait 6 minutes for the next train, only to be pushed and shoved again.

Living in New York City.

Now I would like to introduce you to this Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream. I made it using Skippy Crunchy Peanut Butter. The crunch of the peanuts are divine in the ice cream. I put pretzels into a ziplock bag and smashed the heck out of them and then folded them into the ice cream. So with every bite of peanut butter ice cream, you get that salty crunch of peanut and pretzel. Gotta love some texture in all that silky smoothness.

P.S. Have you ever had those chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s? They are so good I refuse to buy them because I can’t contain myself when they are around.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream

adapted from alanabread; Check out her homemade chocolate covered pretzels, too!

1 cup of milk (I used nonfat milk)

100 g of sugar (about 1/2 cup?)

2 egg yolks

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (I used Skippy)

1 1/2 cups half and half

3/4 cup crushed salted pretzels (I put my pretzels in a ziplock bag and then smashed them with the bottom of my balsamic vinegar bottle)

1. Have your half and half sitting in a bowl over an ice bath.

2. Heat the milk with half of the sugar until it starts to steam a little. Once steaming, whisk your egg yolks with the other half of the sugar in a bowl. Once warmed, slowly pour some of the hot milk over the yolk/sugar mixture whilst stirring constantly. This is to temper your eggs. Then pour everything back into the pot and continue stirring. Immediately put your peanut butter in and whisk until smooth. Continue to heat and whisk until the mixture becomes thick like custard.

3. Remove from heat and pour into the cold cream and stir. Once everything is cool, place in refrigerator to cool overnight, or at least for 6 hours.

4. Churn in the ice cream maker as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The last 30 seconds of  churning, add your crushed pretzels.



Biking Adventures, NYC + Concord Grape Sorbet

19 Sep

Yesterday I went on a bike ride to the tip top of Manhattan along the West Side Highway bike path. With the Hudson River at my side and the beautiful greenery protecting me from the raging NYC traffic, everything should have been perfect…but alas, I am a first class WIMP.

Why is it that if I have not ridden a bike in just 2 months that I start getting the shakes and the shivers at the thought of going up and down a hill, switching gears, stopping. Oh, stopping on my bike. It should be so easy. I like to think that I am a graceful lady, but on a bicycle I seem to lose all my balance and dignity. And there I was, walking my bike down the tiniest hill because I am too afraid to take the plunge.

I only fell once, and for that I am proud, and I got right back up and continued biking after my minor fall. I did not even realize that I scratched my hand until I saw the blood marks on the handle bars. Eh, no big deal.

In the end, it was a nice ride and I became more confident as the ride continued. Eventually, I was even able to stop and slowly hop off the bike in a graceful way. My reward for making it up to the top of Manhattan was eating at the taco stand inside one of the parks there. Seriously good homemade flour tortillas.

Hopefully come next week, I’ll be a biking pro.

There was no better way to quench my thirst after that bike ride than to have a spoon of homemade concord grape sorbet, right out of the container.

Concord grapes are all over the place right now. I also love the variety called “Jupiter” because they have no seeds. These grapes taste like they were made for wine, for jam, for sodas, for SORBET.

I cooked my grapes down with a touch of water until they started to pop and release their juices.

The grapes got pureed in my blender. I added a little bit of homemade simple syrup to them. Chilled everything and then spun it in my ice cream maker.

I usually think of myself as an ice cream person rather than a sorbet person. But this summer I have realized how refreshing sorbet can be when you have really flavorful fruit. Plus sorbet is SO much easier to make than ice cream because it is literally fruit and simple syrup or sugar. And the colors that your sorbet can be–bright orange (mango, melon…), lipstick red (strawberry, cherry…), deep fuchsia (raspberry, blackberry, concord grape…)…oh so fabulous!

Concord Grape Sorbet

from The Kitchen Sink

1 1/2 pounds Concord grapes (about 1 quart container)
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup Simple Syrup

Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Combine grapes and the water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid begins to bubble and grapes start releasing liquid, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat, and simmer until juices are dark purple and grapes begin to break apart, about 3 minutes.

Puree the mixture with a food mill, an immersion blender, a blender, or a food processor (I used a blender). Then pass it through a fine sieve into a large bowl set in the ice bath; stir frequently until completely cool. Stir in simple syrup.

Transfer mixture to an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Rosemary Caramel Swirl

8 Sep

Greetings everyone.

I have ice cream for you. It has brown sugar in it, and rosemary infused caramel sauce. It is smooth and rich and keeps me coming back for more. The caramel sauce helps keep this ice cream nice and soft, which I LOVE.

Unfortunately I have trouble taking nice photos of ice cream. I just want to eat and lick up all of the dripping goodness. So sue me.

Alright. Now let’s get down to business and make some ice cream.

Rosemary Infused Caramel Sauce

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. water + 1/2 c. water

2 T. butter

1-2 large branches rosemary

1. Heat the sugar and 1/4 c. water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. It will eventually bubble and turn amber in color. Try to do minimal or no stirring. Once the bubbling turns vigorous and there is some smoke starting to form, then you can take a whisk and stir.

2. Remove from heat and slowly pour in a little bit of your 1/2 c. of water and STAND BACK. Stir, add a little more water, stand back. Repeat until your entire 1/2 c. is used. Keep stirring to make sure your caramel is smooth.

3. Add the butter and rosemary. Let the caramel sit with the rosemary in it for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove your rosemary and let the caramel cool.

Brown Sugar Ice Cream + Rosemary Caramel Swirl

adapted from Food + Words

6 ounces egg yolks (4 yolks)
8 ounces (either light or dark) brown sugar (1 cup)
16 ounces whole or reduced fat milk (2 cups)
8 ounces heavy cream (1 cup)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (I used Maldon)

Set your heavy cream aside in a large bowl with a mesh strainer over it.

Whisk your yolks and brown sugar together in a medium bowl for about 2 minutes, until well combined and light-ish in color.

In small pot, heat your milk until scaled (just about to boil but does not boil). Slowly whisk a small amount of the scalded milk into the sugar and egg mixture. Keep whisking constantly. Pour that back into the rest of the milk and keep heating. Now start stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Keep stirring the egg, sugar, milk mixture over the stove until thickened slightly. This could take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, so just watch closely. You will know when your custard is thickened when it coats the back of a spoon completely.**You do not want scrambled eggs, though, so keep the heat to medium.

Pour your thickened custard through the strainer into the cream. Add the vanilla and fleur de sel and set the mixture over an ice bath until cool. Once cool, place in the fridge to chill completely (at least one hour or overnight).

Churn the ice cream in the ice cream maker. In the last 30 seconds of churning, add as much caramel sauce to the ice cream as you want. Or, alternatively, once your ice cream is churned, pour some of it into your container, then pour over it a layer of caramel sauce, then more ice cream, then more caramel, then more ice cream.

Freeze in the freezer and enjoy!