Tag Archives: Ice Cream

Chocolate Valentino Cake with Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the morning unfolds on this the day of the February Daring Baker’s reveal, I’m proud to say I finished my challenge a few weeks ago, which could imply that this post was written and ready to auto publish at midnight.  But no.  I guess that with respect to me, it is possible to be too organized.  Best laid plans, right?

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Peachiest Peach Ice Cream with Attitude

"peach halves"

I know there’s been quite the brouhaha recently over food bloggers’ use of recipes found here and there in the creation of their own recipes, and the credit given to those sources when they post their results. It’s old news now, but it’s been bothering me for many reasons that are either directly related, or no where near being on topic somewhat related because of threads of discussion I’ve been caught up in since it all happened. I normally use my non-food blog to voice my opinions to spare the foodie world of my sometimes cutting attitude, but since this issue is food related, I decided to get a few things off my chest.  If you’re not sure about what I’m referring to, then Google Melissa & Cook’s Illustrated and you’ll have your choice of where to begin.  Or, hop on over to Serious Eats, grab a seven course dinner and hunker down for the macro hair-splitting session over this issue continuing there.
Yes, there’s a recipe today, too, but it won’t be cheese-based to go with my rant whine…

Indulge me, please.

When I cook, it is most often because I’ve seen a recipe somewhere. What a concept.  Or, my fridge is so stuffed with food we must eat or it becomes yet another science experiment on a list of others I’ve perfected over the years from having eyeballs bigger than my stomach.  I cook about six days a week with the seventh being take-out, or dinner somewhere nearby, and no, not necessarily on Sunday.  Sure we have tacos the way my family has made them for decades, and once in a while throw some pasta on the stove with sauce that comes from a jar — good sauce.  But not very often.  And rarely do I decide to make something just by experimenting, that is unless you count the fact that I almost never follow any recipe exactly the way it was written as experimenting.  But who’s going to split that hair?

No, wait!  I nearly forgot that everyone is splitting that hair right now.  Okay, well, maybe not everyone, but still.

Now, why would I go out of my way to choose a recipe and then not follow it?  Or, why not?  My mother would say it’s because I’m just plain ornery, but she’s contrary by nature, so that doesn’t count.  I, on the other hand, actually know that it’s because it’s hard not to practice what has been learned from years and years of cooking. Let’s face it — often, recipes aren’t all that different from one another unless you’re planning on whipping up Thomas Keller’s Bellwether Farm Baby Lamb — Five Cuts Served with Provencal Vegetables, Braised Cipollini Onions, and Thyme Oil.  Like that would happen here.  Well, maybe.  You never know.  Just not today.

For the most part, the recipe is only the inspiration (some more than others), unless I’m baking. Then I’m far more attentive. And of course, I have to alter recipes because I’m lacking a particular ingredient — or five!– which is challenging for me to fathom considering the number of times I find myself in grocery stores each week.

Because of my particular cooking habits, I always credit my sources. Always. Even when I’ve altered a recipe beyond all recognition, I feel that I would not have ended up with what I cooked had I not seen the original recipe.  And because I most often use magazine recipes or recipes available on their affiliated websites, then it’s an easy link, so why not?  I suppose that there’s the outside chance that someone could email me and say, “We don’t want to be connected to you,” but pigs would fly first.  Besides, my food is good.  Period.  Okay, so most of the time.

Let’s use an ice cream recipe as an platform for my nonsense today. Or, if you’re so inclined, let’s not, and say we did.

Call this the evolution of MY Peach Ice Cream Recipe…with “my” being very subjective.

Step One: I was visiting foodblogs about a week ago because a group of us had just posted our Cassatas, and I stopped by Ivonne’s of Cream Puffs in Venice to check hers out.  I found that she had posted an absolutely beautiful peach and almond tart that made me realize I hadn’t had peaches or nectarines once this season yet.  The horror of it all!  So on my grocery list they went (yes, I actually have a list even though this is difficult to imagine…) and I planned to actually make Ivonne’s tart.  Really.  I did.  Peach cobbler is a family favorite and although Ivonne’s tart isn’t a cobbler, I was craving warm peaches with a crust and some cream.  Oh.  My.

Step Two: Days went by while I was baking and cooking other recipes because that’s all I do.  Ever.  I play with food.  The peaches I ended up purchasing were nearly used to make Fresh Peach and Ginger-Cream Shortcakes featured in the August 2008 issue of Bon Appetit to take to a family get together, but because I gave my husband a choice, he went with the Chocolate S’mores Cake featured in the August 2008 issue of Food & Wine.  I haven’t posted that yet because I’m working on my own rendition and have plans to compare the two in a future post in which I will document my sources up one side and down the other, but only if my photos turn out.  You just never know.

Step Three: The poor peaches were beginning to look a bit tired in their unused state, and so I became desperate for something to create.  It’s summer, and everyone’s complaining about the heat everywhere (but here), and so I decided ice cream would be the way to go.  No oven.  I also had some yogurt, ricotta, and mascarpone in the fridge, so included those ingredients in my search for an ice cream recipe because I could love me some ice cream with any or all of those luscious ingredients.

Step Four: I happened onto “No-Cook Peach Ice Cream” at My Recipes which ironically credits the recipe to Southern Living and I wondered if there’s an affiliation.  The recipe called for the use of canned condensed milk, and I wasn’t too thrilled with that idea since my cat would hate my guts if I used her milk and she’s grouchy enough as it is over the organic flea spray I’ve been using on her.  It also called for only a small amount of sugar which is always nice, and canned peach nectar which sounded very interesting.  I bookmarked it because not having to turn on a burner is always a nice option, right?

Step Five:  Then I found a Banana Peach Frozen Yogurt recipe at CD Kitchen which I thought I could adjust since I didn’t have bananas, but noticed that there was no sugar added (the bananas were providing the sweetness) and that I’d have to play around with sugar amounts. No thanks. And I didn’t bookmark it because I already have some great frozen yogurt recipes.

Step Six: I continued to search until I found a Peach Ice Cream recipe at epicurious that looked simple until I noticed it was connected to another recipe and I didn’t want to have to surf back and forth between the two since my printer wasn’t hooked up.  I did notice that this recipe called for leaving the peelings on the peaches.  Um, yum?

Step Seven: What a lovely surprise to  come across Helene’s recipe for Georgia Peach Ice Cream at Tartelette while I was searching.  I almost stopped right there, because how could I go wrong?  Helene + Peaches + Ice Cream?  I rest my case.  I did notice that Helene decided to puree some of the peaches and leave the rest in chunk form.  Nice.

Step Eight: Then I saw a recipe for Brown Sugar Peach Ice Cream in the side bar back at CD Kitchen, and oh my goodness.  How could I not want to try that?  I had all the ingredients, sort of.  I had six peaches instead of the four called for, and not quite as much brown sugar, but did have some turbinado. I had an orange instead of a lemon for the citrus…and a lot of heavy cream.  I was ready to go.

It’s the peachiest peach ice cream around.

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Brown Butter Ice Cream with Salted Almond Brittle & Pound Cake

I’m convinced there’s nothing quite like being under the weather for four whole days to put myself behind in all the expectations I had of posting a series of savory recipes in a logical and timely manner.  So much for best laid plans.  But I’m raring to go now, and taking pity on you for having to look at carne asada for days and days.  I decided a treat was in order instead.

I apologize that it’s not low in calories.

But I saw a few recipes that I just couldn’t resist putting my own little touch on.  You understand.  I know you do.

And then, there is that salt I purchased not too long ago…Img_7200

It all started with the January 2008 issue of bon appetit, Best of the Year.  It was their Flavor of the Year choice that many other cooking publications soon followed: brown butter.  If there is anything that could be as heavenly as butter, it would be brown butter.  Oh my.  One of my very favorite dishes is pasta with brown butter and mizithra.  Wait.  Make that sage and brown butter on pasta.  But that wouldn’t be the treat I mentioned above.  No.

Days went by.  Maybe weeks.  Or was it that the days just felt like weeks?  Whatever.  But one day as I was lurking around David Lebowitz’ website I nearly swooned when I saw his recipe for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream.

I wondered whether I’d actually read salt and caramel, and butter in the same phrase.  With ice cream?  Oh.  My.  The only possible thing that could make this better is…

…you guessed it.

Brown Butter.  In fact, Brown Butter Ice Cream.

With pound cake.  And not just any pound cake.  It’s buttery, and light.  It’s so moist and has the finest crumb.

I’m really sorry about the calories.  Truly I am.  But I couldn’t resist.  And do you know what’s worse?  Now that I’ve tried it, I can think of so many ways to make it even better.

Party on.  With food, of course.

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Brown Butter Ice Cream with Salted Almond Brittle with Sherry Yard’s Pound Cake

Make the pound cake first:

1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. + 2 T granulated sugar
4 lg. eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1-3/4 c. cake flour sifted 3 x
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and make sure your baking rack is centered in your oven.  Prepare a loaf pan (9x5x3-inch) by spraying with oil and lining the bottom with parchment.  Spray the parchment as well.

Pre-measure all ingredients ahead of time.  Sift the cake flour with the baking powder and salt so they are well mixed.

In the bowl of a standing mixer using a paddle attachment, beat butter on high speed until creamy — at least a minute. While the mixer is running, slowly pour the sugar into the bowl over a 5 minute period of time.  You will notice that the mixture becomes very light and fluffy-looking during this process.  Scrape down the bowl when you are finished. 

Add eggs one at a time making sure to run the mixer each time until the egg is completely incorporated.  Scrape down the bowl each time you finish.

Then, slowly add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer running on low.  Add the salt and mix well.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes keeping an eye on the top so that it won’t brown too deeply.

Remove from oven when a wooden pick inserted is removed clean.  Cool briefly in the pan on a baking rack before turning out to cool completely on the rack.

Notes:  This is the Master Pound Cake from Yard’s The Secrets of Baking book.  I’ve made two pound cake recipes now, and can say that it’s worth it to whip the sugar into the butter on high as directed.  The resulting bread is so light and airy, it cuts and toasts beautifully.  If you have trouble with the idea of adding the sugar over the expected period of time, set a timer.  Be warned if you don’t have a shield on your mixer, though.  The sugar does blow around!

This recipe comes together extremely quickly, so is perfect to put into the oven while busying yourself with other things.

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Make the Salted Almond Brittle next:

1/2 c. extra fine sugar (caster sugar, baker’s sugar)
3/4 tsp. Fleur de Sel
1/4 c. coarsely chopped almonds

It is extremely important to have everything ready for this recipe.  Prepare a baking pan by lining it with a silicone mat or by lightly oiling it.  Make sure the pan and salt are right next to the pan you’ll be cooking the sugar in.

Spread sugar in a pan evenly over medium heat.  As the edges begin to melt, use a silicone spatula to lightly push the unmelted sugar toward the melted parts to make sure all is dissolved.  Stay with the pan, watching it closely until the sugar is a rich caramel color, just barely, slightly beginning to smoke and getting ready to burn. 

Immediately, sprinkle the salt over the surface without stirring, then quickly pour onto the prepared baking pan.  Pick up the baking pan and move around to allow the caramel to run and spread as much as possible.  Quickly sprinkle the chopped almonds over the brittle before it hardens.  Set aside to cool.

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Now, make the ice cream:

6 T unsalted butter
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
6 lg. egg yolks
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. vanilla
crushed salted almond brittle

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Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat, cooking until the butter turns a dark amber color, making sure to stir once in a while.  Make sure it doesn’t burn.  Pour it through a very fine strainer to remove the dark brown residue.  Set aside.

Prepare a bowl with an ice bath.  You’ll pour the heated custard into this.  (See notes)

Whisk egg yolks, sugars, and salt in a large bowl until it is thick and well blended.  Meanwhile, heat milk and heavy cream over a medium heat in a large sauce pan until simmering.

Add the brown butter to the egg yolk mixture.  Then pour a small amount of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring quickly.  Pour the egg mixture into the hot milk, again stirring quickly as you pour.  Using either a candy thermometer you can attach to the pan or an instant-read thermometer, heat mixture until it reaches 178 degrees F, about 5 minutes or less.

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Strain the custard into a large bowl before setting into the prepared ice bath and stirring frequently until cold.  Stir in vanilla.

Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. 

Crush the salted almond brittle using a rolling pin, making sure large pieces are reserved for serving if you wish.

Add the crushed brittle to the ice cream mixer slowly during the very last few seconds of mixing.  Scrape into a container that can be sealed well and placed in a freezer for at least one hour before serving.

To serve:

Slice the pound cake and dollop ice cream over.  If you reserved and pieces of salted almond brittle, sprinkle over the top.

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Notes: To prepare an ice bath my way, fill your sink with cold water and add either ice cubes or those refreezable lunch packs and place the bowl you’ll pour the custard in into the sink, weighted down with anything that’s clean until you’re ready to pour.  Classically, an ice bath is a large bowl filled with ice and water, fitted with a smaller bowl.  In my experience, the ice melts, and has to be replaced, so I like the sink idea better.  Plus, you can multi-task (read prepare dinner) while the custard is cooling in the sink, stirring it occasionally…Trust me.  It works.

The crushed brittle in this ice cream is beyond amazing.  It sort of melts in the ice cream and you get this caramelly effect with an occasional crunch from still hard brittle or an almond. 

And the salt?  Ohhhhhh….

The salt.

You have to try this.

How to make it better?  Well, I was dying for sauce.  I know that’s horribly decadent, but still.  I wanted it.  I didn’t get it, of course, because I’m still thinking. 

And why oh why didn’t I make David Lebowitz’ Salted Butte Caramel Ice Cream?  Uh.  Because it required an extensive amount of refrigeration (8 hours).  Now, that isn’t bad unless you’re me, and didn’t plan properly.  I completely plan to make his luscious ice cream and have every sense that I will find what was missing in mine.  Well, except for the brown butter.  Jeez.

As far as my planning goes, just to convince you I’m entirely crazy, I came home from the grocery store at just past noon on a Saturday and made this before putting together a lasagna with a homemade bolognese (I’d made the sauce earlier) and clams in white wine and lemon for starters.  Guests arrived at 6:30.

Fun was had by all.

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Spanish Churros & Cinnamon Ice Cream

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I think I’m actually going to make my entry for Sugar High Friday # 34. The Sugar High Fridays event was created by Jennifer of the Domestic Goddess and is the "oldest and most revered virtual food blogging event" ever.  Goodness.  Am I worthy?  It will be the very first time I manage to enter (because my Raspberry Creme Brulee was a day late last month), although by my Pacific Coast time, it is a bit after 10 PM, so I’d better write quickly.

The event is being hosted this month by thepassionatecook who has asked us all to consider local food with tradition, if possible, and a story to accompany it as well.  Hmmm…so this one takes me back to 1964 when I was about 8 years old and my family had moved to the south of Spain.  My father was in the Navy, and the five of us packed up and left the United States for a stay that ended up lasting for four years — one of the only families in my grade school who had stayed that long.  Lucky me.  They were the best years of my childhood.

When we first arrived, we lived in a small town called Chipiona.  We lived not too far from the town market that I loved to visit.  One of my favorite places in the outdoor market was the place where churros were made.  Ahh…churros.  The lovely combination of crunch on the outside and warm softness on the inside.  Perfect.  The smell wafted through the marketplace, and athough I couldn’t have one each time we went, I’d still long for some.  When I was fortunate enough to have churros, I’d watch the man pipe spiraling tubes of dough into the large tub of very hot fat, frying it until golden brown, flipping it once, and then dousing it with a dose of granulated sugar before breaking it into sticks, and wrapping it in a newspaper cone.  Fried dough heaven if there ever was one.

When I was much older, and purchased an electric wok, the first thing I wondered about wasn’t Asian cuisine.  It was whether I could make churros.  At that time, I was able to purchase a box mix and attempt to form the lovely strips of fried loveliness with a cookie press.  A bit awkward, but tasty, just the same.  The only part of it all that bothered me was heating oil to such a high temperature with small children in the house, and I had two at the time.  Unfortunately, I did not try to make churros more than once, and have gotten by on those sold in local shops that sometimes have to heat them before serving because they aren’t fresh.  How sad is that?

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Churros, which are long narrow Spanish fritters, are not difficult to make, nor is the recipe complicated.  If you search for recipes on the Internet, you will find all kinds of interesting ingredients and claims of "authenticity."  In reality, churros are made of flour, water, a bit of oil, and a pinch of salt.  That’s all.  No butter, no cream, no eggs, and no… no cinnamon.  Just a liberal sprinkling of sugar when they’re fresh out of the hot oil.  Simple — if you can get past the heated oil, which still makes me nervous.

A friend of mine gave me a cookbook for my birthday last year called, La Cocina de Mama:  The Great Home Cooking of Spain by Penelope Casas.  This recipe is published in her book, and is one taken from Rufino Lopez, owner of Solera in New York City.  It is the closest version to the marketplace churros of my childhood that I have found.

Churros de Rufino Lopez

1-1/2 tsp mild olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 cup unbleached flour

oil for frying
granulated sugar for dusting

To make the churros, bring 1 cup water, the oil, and the salt to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a  wooden spoon until a smooth ball forms.  Lower the heat and cook, flattening and turning the dough for 2 minutes.  Cool and transfer to a pastry bag equipped with a 3/8-inch star tip (the fluted edge is essential).

Pour the oil to a depth of at least 1 inch in a skillet (or better still, use a deep-fryer heated to 360 degrees) and heat until the oil quickly browns a cube f bread.  Squeeze 5-inch lengths of dough through the pastry tube into the oil — as many as will comfortably fit. 

Reduce the heat to medium-hot and fry until the churros puff and have barely begun to turn golden, about 20 seconds.  Do not overcook — the churros should be crunchy outside and still soft within. 

Drain on paper towels. Dredge them in sugar while they’re warm.

If it wasn’t August and very warm, I’d have served my churros with hot chocolate, which is traditional.  And Rufino Lopez provides such a recipe.  But I made Donna Hay’s "Cinnamon and Mascarpone Ice Cream" from flavours for a dinner party last night, so knew it would be the perfect accompaniment to the churros tonight.  And it was.  And my son was right there, doing his mom the courtesy of listening to my churros story, and watching the action.  Nice kid!
 

Cinnamon and Mascarpone Ice Cream

1-1/2 c. sugar
1-3/4 c. water
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
14 oz. mascarpone
1/2 c. cream

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat, add the cinnamon and leave the syrup until cool.

Mix the syrup with the mascarpone and cream.  Place in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions until the ice cream is thick and scoopable.  Alternatively, place the mixture in a metal container and freeze, beating well at 1-hour intervals, until the ice cream is scoopable.

Serve in scoops with fruit and crisp biscuits (or churros!).  Serves 6.  Note:  If mascarpone is not available, combine equal quantities of cream cheese and thick (double) cream.

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All these many years later, I still hesitate to heat up an inch of oil in any pan.  But in this case, it was very much worth it.  The end product was excellent, not only because of the taste, but of the many memories I enjoyed while thinking about and making my own churros after so many years.

Recipe Notes:  The churros dough is very thick, so has to be scooped and placed into the piping bag.  Because of the thickness, you have to really press hard to pipe it.  I used vegetable oil and a cooking thermometer to gauge the the temperature.  Twenty seconds is not enough and with extra time, they never really begin to brown.  They are, however, very crispy on the outside.  One batch makes about 6 "looped" churros.  When I do this again (and I certainly will since it’s so easy…) I will double the batch.  No, I don’t need the calories, but my goodness, they’re delicious!

With respect to the ice cream recipe, it is by far, the least complicated ice cream recipe I’ve made.  There’s no bother with making custard, and when you eat the ice cream, your mouth isn’t coated with the fat of the heavy cream.  It’s quite refreshing.  Also, I only had 1 tsp. of cinnamon in the house, so I used that, added a 2" piece of cinnamon stick, and added a 1/2 tsp. of ground cardamom for good measure.  YUM.  Lovely.
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Trio of Tropical Sorbets

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My Cuisinart ice cream maker has gotten a fairly good workout since I purchased it last year.  I thankfully have two bowls, and keep them well-wrapped in the freezer in our garage for those times when I want to add that little extra effort when people come to dinner.  It’s that whole, "You made it yourself?" cry of disbelief that makes me smile while I watch them licking their bowls at the end of a nice evening. 

The funny thing is, I’ve never made anything but ice cream with my Cuisinart.  How perfect that Laura from Eat Drink Live, the hostess of HHDD #13 has challenged all of us to make sorbet.  Sure, I think I know what that is.  Or is it gelato I’m thinking of?  Regardless, it couldn’t possibly be that difficult, right?  Sheesh!

I’ll skip past the whole educational aspect of this post.  Not yours, of course.  Mine.  Do I really know what the difference between ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, and gelato is?  Nope.  I know more than when I started this escapade, but if asked, I’m not sure what my response would be other than that ice cream has a much higher fat content than any of the others.  Sorbet is more fruity than sherbet.  Gelato?  I’ll save that one for another day.

In my quest to learn as much as I could before choosing the perfect sorbet to make,  I looked at many recipes found in cookbooks I own, magazines that feature sorbet recipes in the summertime, and on line, of course.  Oh…and the trusty little booklet I got when I purchased the Cuisinart.  Why not?

But what flavor might I choose?  I was distracted for a while by a champagne sorbet, but kept eyeing my fruit bowl that had a gorgeous mango sitting in it.  And bananas.  And a pineapple.

Did I make it easy and find a straight forward recipe to get this done.  Of course not.  I chose three.  Yes.  Call it over kill.  Call it having eyeballs that are completely and always too big for my own good.  Call it whatever you want.  I’m sure I’ll never change my ways because in the end, I always benefit from what I’ve tackled.  Yes, even with something as basic as a sorbet.  Besides, I have these very cute little aluminum molds I wanted to play with.  I imagined cute little stars of sorbet to celebrate the 4th of July.  Someone would surely deem me worthy of being Martha-ized, wouldn’t they?Img_2622

All I needed to do to pull this off was to freeze a bit of each sorbet in the star molds, encasing each in its own baggie  to keep it from  drying out.  Let’s see, how many  people were supposed to be attending that dinner party I’d volunteered my dessert for?  Hmmmm….well, maybe only a few stars just for decoration. 

Up first:  Fresh Mango Sorbet

Okay, so I forgot that Laura had already posted a completely lovely sorbet to announce the event.  How completely lame can I be?  Obviously, extremely.  But remember, I had mangos on the brain — er, ah, on my counter.  Plus the recipe in the Cuisinart booklet sounded perfect.  Well, except the corn syrup.

4 ripe but firm mangoes, about 12 ounces each, peeled, pitted, and cubed
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
6 T fresh lemon or lime juice

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Combine the mango cubes, sugar, corn syrup and citrus juice in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse to chop, then process until thick and smooth, scraping jar or work bowl as needed with a spatula.  The mango puree may be made up to one day ahead; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Turn the machine ON, pour mango puree into freezer b owl through ingredient spout and mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes.

This recipe was extremely easy.  I used two very large mangos instead of four, and sliced off the pieces instead of cutting cubes, as the ripeness would have caused quite a mess.  Plus, I’ve tried that cubing business a few times with mangoes, and am quite lousy at it.  Avocados?  I’ve got that down.  Avocado sorbet?  Ugh!  Never mind…  The consistency of the mango sorbet was truly perfect.  The color intense, and the flavor excellent.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t too sweet.  It was perfect!

I scraped the sorbet from the freezer bowl into a container to pop into the freezer and retrieved the second freezer bowl for my next flavor.

Up second:  Banana Pineapple Tropical Sorbet

I was truly excited about this recipe.  I found it at cdkitchen.  The recipe calls for a rather elaborate treatment of the pineapple so the sorbet may be served in it, but the directions sent my brain into convulsions almost instantly.  You might want to take a peek, but proceed with caution. Img_2538

This recipe seemed more healthy than the last, lacking the corn syrup, and the addition of yogurt sounded very good.  With only 3 tablespoons of added sugar, this would be interesting compared to the mango sorbet.

1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
2 bananas, chopped
2 T sugar
1 c. plain nonfat yogurt
1 T honey

Puree pineapple flesh and juice (left over from chopping) in food processor, gradually adding the sugar, yogurt and honey.  Transfer to ice cream maker and process according to directions (about 25-30 min).  Scoop sorbet into container and place in freezer until ready to use.

Hmmm…this was not very sweet.  And the consistency after the mango sorbet was not as elegant.  The texture was grainy, almost reminding me of a snow cone — especially after being in the freezer for a while.  I was surprised to find that neither the pineapple or the banana flavor stood out.

Last, but not least:  Quick Coconut Sorbet

Since I was already headed down the tropical path, I decided that coconut would be a perfect way to finish off my trio of sorbets.  This recipe comes from the on-line version of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  I quickly understood why this sorbet was tagged "quick."

1 c. coconut cream, such as Coco Lopez
1 c. cold water
few drops of almond extract

Warm opened can of coconut cream in pan of hot water.  Pour into bowl and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in water.  Add extract.  Process in an ice cream maker the freeze until firm.

You do know that if you are a coconut lover, the flavor of this is divine simply because of the  coconut cream, right?  I had huge doubts that this very simple recipe would amount to much and was nearly correct.  Because I only had two freezer bowls for my Cuisinart (why would I EVER need three?) I had thrown the first one back in the freezer immediately believing that it would quickly freeze again and be ready for the last sorbet.  All seemed well.  I’m thinking that warming the coconut cream  (because if you don’t the fat separates from the liquid) is the real culprit.  Even with the addition of extremely cold water (I had ice floating for a while in mine) it wasn’t enough to offset the warmth.  Plus, the freezer bowl being used a second time in one day must have sealed the deal.  Mush.  To be fair, it did get slushy.  But I let it run, and then it just became liquid.  The thought did cross my mind to add rum, some pineapple, an umbrella and par-tay on with Pina Coladas and trashy romance novels in the sun.  Oooo-yah, bay-bee.

But no.  I went back to the non-machine method of making sorbet and froze the liquid in a long covered plastic container.  Occasionally I would open the container, and using a spoon, scrape up the mixture following the length of the container until all the sorbet had been "turned."  Although it took several hours, by the time we were ready for dessert — after fireworks — the coconut sorbet was a decent consistency.  Better than the Pineapple Banana, but nothing like the Mango, which was the best.

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We served them together, sampling each for its uniqueness, then ultimately stirred them together in our bowls to discover a truly delectable combination of flavors with a great smooth texture.  So much for elegance.Img_2620

There is absolutely no way that I would make all three of these recipes to get the flavor we ended up with, but clearly I’ve got to experiment a bit.  And there’s no hurry, because I mixed up the left overs and put them back in the freezer.  Left overs the guys are sure to lick the bowl over.Img_2619
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