Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

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This weekend I have homemade fish-stick plans–or fish-finger plans, as I’ve been calling them since I ALWAYS fall into the “you-like-fishsticks?” trap (I always fall for this awful joke much to the delight of my husband and BFF…because we’re such adults and I’m SO DUMB). What do fish-fingers have to do with ice cream, you ask? Nothing. Aside from my fish-finger plans for the weekend, which I am weirdly excited about, I have ice cream eating plans…because it’s the weekend and um, ICE CREAM!

Plus, it’s this ice cream, which is ice cream+cheesecake+blueberries, all in one! This ice cream combines the flavor of tangy cream cheese with sweet, sweet maple, plus a fruity ripple of vanilla-scented blueberry sauce, and the requisite graham cracker crumbs…you know, to make it authentic.  I mean, it’s Friday, the eve of the weekend, and we deserve a little frozen indulgence, don’t you think?

Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

I made this recipe with Tonewood Maple Syrup*. You can read more about Tonewood here in my earlier post or on their website. As always, feel free to sub in your favorite syrup.

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

6oz. softened cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups cream

2/3 cup maple

1/4 cup corn syrup

Blueberry Ripple:

2 cups blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Graham Layer:

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed

Mix together about 2 tablespoons or so of the milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry, set aside. In a large, heatproof, mixing bowl whisk the cream cheese and salt together.

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

In a saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, maple syrup, corn syrup, and cornstarch slurry. Heat to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, continue to boil for about 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the mixture into the cream cheese until smooth and combined. Either stir the mixture over the prepared ice bath or pour it into a gallon-size, zip-top freezer bag, seal, and place in the ice bath until cooled. If the base is totally cooled you can process in the ice cream maker at this point. I like to let it chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before processing.

For the blueberry ripple:

In a saucepan combine the blueberries and sugar. Heat over medium-high heat until the blueberries release their juices and soften. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch and stir into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool completely before layering with the ice cream.

In a freezer-safe container layer about 1/3 of the processed ice cream base in the bottom and drizzle with 1/3 of the blueberry ripple, followed by a liberal sprinkling of graham crumbs, repeat with remaining ingredients, cover, and freeze for several hours before serving. If you have leftover ripple and crumbs, use them to top the ice cream when served.

*Tonewood kindly supplied me with the maple syrup used in this recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.

Coconut + Chocolate Chip Cream Scones

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Guys, these scones!

Oh man, what a dream! I mean, toasty coconut and chocolate chips are always a fine pair, but in these scones they are even better.

These are cream scones, which means the main liquid is rich and buttery cream. The cream gives these scones the dreamiest crumb that is at once light and decidedly rich. They are super tender with the help of a soft, low protein flour–like White Lily or even a pastry or cake flour. The soft flour has less protein, meaning less gluten, meaning less elasticity, plus more tenderness. While yeasted doughs benefit from some chew, supple scones definitely do not. The chocolate and toasty coconut make these already special scones a bit more decadent. They would be perfect in a brunch spread or even an easy weekend breakfast. They also make the perfect afternoon treat alongside a cup of something warm and caffeinated.

Coconut + Chocolate Chip Scones

Adapted from Take a Megabite and Smitten Kitchen

Makes 12, 3-inch round, scones.

These scones are still good as leftovers the next day, but are at their very best still warm from the oven. For super fresh scones, I like to freeze the cut and unbaked scones in a single layer on a sheet pan for several hours, then I transfer the frozen scones to a zip top bag and return the the freezer. The scones can then be baked, as needed, from frozen. Just bake an additional 1-2 minutes. 

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

2 cups low-protein flour (like White Lily brand, pastry or cake flour)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted, plus more for sprinkling

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1 egg + 1 Tablespoon milk

Preheat the oven to 425*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat.

In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coconut stirring and watching so as not to burn.  Once the coconut is golden and toasty, scrape it into a bowl and set aside to cool completely.

In a measuring cup mix together the cream and vanilla. Set aside.

Whisk together the egg and tablespoon of milk. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Work in the chilled butter quickly with your fingertips, rubbing the butter into the flour until the bits of butter are no larger than peas. Toss the coconut and chips into the mixture to distribute. Add the cream mixture and bring the dough together by folding gently with a spatula. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead–the goal is to bring the dough together in under 12 turns of kneading. Once the dough has just come together, pat it out into desired thickness (go for a rough circle to cut triangles, makes about 8), cut with a biscuit cutter and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of each scone with egg wash and sprinkle with coconut. Bake in the center of the oven for 10-13 minutes or until tops and bottoms are just golden and scones are baked through.

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Semifreddo Cups

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Are you tired of pumpkin yet?

I’m totes not…but, maybe we need a teensy break. Besides, fall has other stars! Pink ones even, like the tart and native-North-American-beauty, the cranberry. In my head I’m saying “cran-brerry,” in case you wanted to know. Anyway, cranberries shouldn’t just be relegated to side dish status. They are tart, a little bitter, and have the prettiest jewel-toned hue.

I’m a big fan of semifreddo, it’s a lot like ice cream–but it isn’t. It’s a little less fussy, since you don’t have to bust out a machine to churn it, but still manages to maintain a light-yet-rich character.  The deep fuchsia cranberry puree turns the best shade of pink when folded into the semifreddo base–no dyes up in here. A little vanilla and some bourbon bring warmth to the bittersweet tang of the cranberry, while whipped cream and egg yolks bring creamy lushness. Even though it’s a pretty easy recipe, this dessert certainly feels fancy and would be a perfect make-a-head treat to round out a fall or holiday gathering.

Cranberry Semifreddo Cups

Adapted from this recipe. 

You could use another fruit puree if you aren’t feeling, or can’t find, cranberries. Any tart, red fruit would be a nice substitute. You can also serve this semifreddo in scoops or smooth it into a loaf pan before freezing and slice once frozen (like this). I garnished these cups with lightly sweetened whipped cream and some chocolate vermicelli sprinkles. I happen to like tart cranberry with chocolate, but if you aren’t a fan, these are lovely unadorned as well. The recipe below produces more cranberry puree than needed–use it to serve these semifreddo cups or save for another use. 

12 ounces cranberries

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 Tablespoons mild honey

2 Tablespoons sugar

3 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons bourbon (optional)

In a medium saucepan combine cranberries, 2/3 cup sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat until cranberries burst and release their juices and the mixture starts to thicken. Press the cranberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discard skins and seeds. You will have around 2 cups of cranberry puree. Set aside to cool.

Create an ice bath and set aside.

Fashion a double boiler out of a bowl and a pot with a bit of simmering water in it–place a dampened paper towel on the underside of the bowl, making sure it is just larger than the pot below, to avoid slipping while whisking. This way you are able to whisk without steadying the bowl with your other hand.

Place the honey, remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and egg yolks in the bowl. Whisk over the simmering pan of water until the yolk mixture gains some volume, becomes pale in color, and the whisk is just beginning to leave tracks in the mixture. Slowly drizzle in the vanilla and bourbon–whisking the whole time. Continue to whisk the yolk mixture over the simmering water until thickened and the whisk leaves clear, visible tracks in the yolk mixture. Remove the bowl from over the pot of water and whisk over an ice bath until cooled. Gently fold about 1-1 1/3 cups of the cranberry puree into the yolk mixture.

In a clean bowl, whip the cream until it holds medium peaks. Fold in 1/3 of the cream mixture into the cooled yolk and cranberry mixture. Once combined, repeat with the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the semifreddo mix into cups, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours until very firm. Serve cold with desired garnishes.