Double Berry Swirl Amaretti Ice Cream

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I felt like it was only fitting to leave you with (yet another) frozen treat before things get real cray around here and I take a little break to move into our new place (we signed closing last night!) and prepare for the birth of our son(!!!). I mean, ice cream always feels celebratory, right?

In the spirit of celebration, I know that the question I ALWAYS want to know when someone is having a baby is the name and I’ve totally been holding out on you all. I mean, we’ve had it picked out since before we knew the gender, I just wasn’t ready to share it with everyone we know, plus the internet. There’s a lot of judgement and suggestion coming in from every direction when you are trying to name a baby, and well…it can be SO OVRHWHELMING. But, I’m totally ready and confident to share now. So…without further ado…

Casper Hart!

Casper, because I suggested it months ago on a super-long list of potentials and it really grew on both Sean and I. We wanted a real, not-made-up name, but also one that was a little different. Hart–which means stag–because I was sort of stuck on a whimsical, woodland theme for the middle name, but still wanted it to be masculine. It’s a nod to my late grandfather who was instrumental in my up brining, since my own father (his son) was killed in an accident when I was really young. He instilled a love of the woods in me and had a woodland nickname himself (Old Grizz), never made me feel like I was missing something growing up without a dad, and was generally my favorite person on the whole planet. Anyway, that’s the deal with the name.

In the next few weeks, I will not be posting any recipes (I may throw in a round-up or two, and a baby update), but I do have some guest posts planned with some of my super-awesome blogger friends. I am really excited to share the delicious bites they’ve come up with and hope you enjoy them as much as I do while I’m away! If you follow me on Instagram (there’s a peach-icon to the left if you want to follow!), I have no doubt there will be baby photos and updates there, as well.

Finally, let’s talk ice cream!

This ice cream is a simple vanilla bean flecked base with swirls of boysenberry–my grandfather’s favorite berry (which are kind of like blackberries)–and raspberry throughout, plus crunchy, almond-y amaretti cookies sprankled in there for good measure. I am a nut for texture and amaretti are one of my favorite treats–plus they pair so nicely with berries and vanilla.

So, that’s it! House buying, baby things, and ice cream. You know, life stuff.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Double Berry Swirl Amaretti Ice Cream

Makes about 2 pints of ice cream.

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

You can use any berries you’d like for this recipe. I went with boysenberries and raspberries. You can also combine the berries instead of keeping them separate when making the syrups. Amaretti cookies are crunchy, almond Italian meringue cookies.

Berry Swirls:

1 cup each raspberries and  boysenberries

1/2 cup sugar, divided

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/4 cups cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup

3 tablespoons softened cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Other:

crushed amaretti cookies

In a saucepan combine the raspberries and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Heat over medium high until the berries release their juices and begin to boil. Boil about 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Press the raspberries through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl, extracting as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.

Repeat the same method with the boysenberries. Allow the berry syrups to cool to room temperature. Store the berry syrups in separate jars in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch, to create a slurry. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream, and vanilla seeds + bean pod. Heat over medium-high until scalded (when small bubbles form around the edges of the milk mixture and it begins to steam), remove from the heat, cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and salt, set a fine mesh strainer over the top of the bowl. Set aside.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl or clean sink basin.

Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk mixture and stir in the cornstarch slurry you prepared earlier. Return the milk mixture back to medium-high heat and stir in the sugar and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, until thickened. Boil about 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl of cream cheese and salt. Whisk to combine well. Pour the ice cream base into a gallon sized, zip-top, freezer bag and seal. Place the bag in the ice bath to cool. Once cooled completely, place in refrigerator up to 24 hours and churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or churn immediately.

Once the ice cream is churned, layer it into a freezer safe container, 1/3 at a time, drizzling with the berry syrups and sprinkling with crushed amaretti cookies. Repeat with remaining ice cream, syrups, and cookies. Place the ice cream in the freezer for several hours, until firm, before serving.

[/recipe]

 

Warm Weather Drinks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rose Lemonade Cocktails

Guys, its T-minus 2 days until the official start of summer! Also, it’s our 4th wedding anniversary today, my 30th birthday was this week, and we put in an offer on a house that was accepted last night…oh, yeah AND I’m going to birth a human-baby in less than 6 weeks. YIKES!

So, basically, there are a lot of reasons to celebrate and knock back a few cold whatevers. In my case, cold-non-boozed-whatevers, but you are all free to liquor up if so inclined. Here are some ideas for warm-weather beverages perfect for summer–boozed or not–from the archives.

Blackberry Ginger Smash

Whisky Cherry Chocolate Soda Floats

Irish Coffee Milkshake with Whisky Caramel

Blueberry Maple Ice Cream Soda

Simplest Margarita

Vanilla Almond Ice Coffee

Roasted Stone Fruit with Ricotta and Mint Sugar

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today, I have the easiest of summertime recipes for you. Sure, I’m asking you to make cheese from scratch, but it’s super easy. I promise. Plus, you could always just buy good quality ricotta from a cheese counter, making this summery dessert even easier.

If you’ve never made homemade ricotta, I seriously urge you to add it to your list of must-makes. It’s crazy easy and produces something that is so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s creamy and perfect…not at all grainy, gummy, or dry. It’s a totally different animal from the part-skim business you’ll find near the cheese slices at the store. I would definitely recommend going the whole milk route for this venture though, you could skip the cream if you want it a little lighter.

Also, let’s talk mint sugar. I am obsessed with mint these days. I love the smell of fresh mint and the flavor it brings to both sweet and savory dishes. I love to use it in summery chopped salads of cucumber, tomato, and lemon, and recently tried it in a feta and pea laced fritatta at Tasty n Sons here in Portland. It was fantastic. Needless to say, I also love it in all sorts of sweet aplications–it’s my favorite herb to pair with melon, or really any fruit, in this case perfect, summer stone fruits. This mint sugar is perfect for just that.

Speaking of stone fruits, they are crazy good right now. Like, I cannot get enough. I’ve been buying (and eating) a ton of them. It even seems a little early to me for them to be so spectacular but, apricots, plums,  and even cherries, are fantastic. The peaches haven’t been perfection, but they are still darn good and only benefit from a little roasting or grilling. Paired with creamy, lush ricotta and herbal mint sugar, the sweet-tartness of summertime fruits really shine.

Tip: if the pits of your stone fruits are stubbornly attached to the flesh, use a melon baller to scoop around the pit to free it. 

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Roasted Fruit with Ricotta and Mint Sugar

There are a variety of methods for making ricotta that can be found online. I kind of read a bunch, then went for it. I have used multiple layers of cheesecloth before, and it takes forever for the liquid to drain away (several days), so I find a single layer of cheesecloth over a fine mesh sieve does the trick just fine. Of course, you can sub the homemade ricotta with quality ricotta purchased from a grocer. Use any stone fruit you like and if you don’t want to turn on the oven, go ahead and grill the fruit halves, it will be just as delicious!

Homemade Ricotta:

Makes about 1lb of drained ricotta. 

1/2 gallon whole milk

8 ounces cream

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Roasted Stone Fruits:

As many pieces of fresh, not overly ripe, stone fruit you’d like. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, and even cherries would work here.

sugar for sprinkling

Mint Sugar:

1/2 cup mint leaves

1/2 cup sugar

To make the ricotta, start 1-2 days ahead of time, so the cheese has plenty of time to drain.

Place a large pot (a dutch oven or soup pot will work perfectly) over medium heat and add the milk and cream. Insert a thermometer into the milk mixture and clip to the side. Gently heat the milk mixture until the thermometer reads anywhere between 165ºF-180ºF. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the salt, plus lemon juice. Let the milk and lemon mixture sit for 10 minutes off the heat, undisturbed. Small curds will form and separate. Set a large fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, lined with one layer of cheesecloth and ladle the curdled milk mixture into the lined sieve. You may have to do this in batches as the liquid drains away or use 2 sieve/cheesecloth/bowl set-ups. Place the draining ricotta in the refrigerator for 1-2 days until most of the liquid has drained away, you may have to pour off the liquid from the bowl beneath once or twice if it reaches the bottom of the sieve. Once the ricotta is the consistency you like, store in an airtight container for a few days, if needed.

To roast the fruit, preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place washed and halved stoned fruits on the sheet in a single layer, cut side up, and sprinkle with sugar. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the fruits soften and begin to release their juices. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving. Or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To make the mint sugar, pulse the mint and sugar in a food processor until combined.

When you are ready to serve the fruit and ricotta, either spread some ricotta onto plates, top with fruits, and sprinkle with the mint sugar, or spoon some ricotta into the center of each fruit half and sprinkle with mint sugar.

[/recipe]