Lemon Bar Ice Cream

Are you guys watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix? I’ve been trying not to burn through the episodes, but I mean…I love a good binge watching session and for the last 2 nights Sean and I have been watching after we put Casper down for the night. (Side-note: he’s sleeping through the night most nights now…HALLELUJAH! Queue the choir of angels)! Anyway, I kind of love it. It’s a little cheesy in my favorite way, the theme song includes the line “Females are strong as hell!” (TRUE), and I always loved Ellie Kemper as Erin in The Office, plus Tina Fey is amazing, so needless to say I’ve become a quick fan of the show. Anyway, I feel like this ice cream might be something that would blow Kimmy’s mind and definitely elicit one of her 90’s throwback exclamations (possibly my favorite thing about her character).

I mean, this ice cream has a lot of good, exciting things happening: Lemon-scented vanilla bean ice cream base, tart meyer lemon curd ripples, and crunchy, buttery shortbread cookie crumbles! I definitely used the homemade Meyer Lemon Curd I shared last week, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use store-bought. It’s creamy, rich, sweet, tangy, and has a ton of texture and totally tastes like the ice cream version of a classic lemon bar without making a batch of lemon bars and churning them into a batch of ice cream. So, “By the power vested in me as an adult who is a grown-up”, maybe have ice cream for dinner (PS, don’t ever tell my son I okay’ed that). #hasbrown-nofilter

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Lemon Bar Ice Cream

This ice cream is a riff on my favorite, easy ice cream base from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

If you don’t have a vanilla bean, go ahead and use 2 teaspoons of extract and skip the steeping portion of the recipe.

2 cups whole milk

4 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 vanilla bean, split

zest of 1 lemon

1 cup Meyer Lemon Curd

1 1/2 cups crumbled, store-bought shortbread cookies

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

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of milk with the cornstarch, set slurry aside. Set the cream cheese in a large bowl and stir in the salt, place a mesh strainer over the top. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat remaining milk with the cream. Scrape the vanilla beans from the pod and add both the scraped beans and pod to the milk and cream, as well as the lemon zest. Heat to a simmer, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk mixture and add sugar and corn syrup, reheat to a low boil. Quickly whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue to boil, whisking, until thickened. Whisk a ladleful of the hot mixture into the cream cheese, before straining the remaining hot mixture into the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine. Prepare an ice bath and pour the hot ice cream base into a large plastic bag. Chill bag in ice bath until cooled and process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.

Once the ice cream is processed, layer 1/3 of the ice cream in the bottom of a lidded container, spoon 1/3 of the lemon curd over the top and sprinkle with 1/3 of the crumbled shortbread cookies. Repeat these steps with the remaining ice cream, curd, and cookies. Fit the lid over the container and freeze for several hours, until set. Serve with additional cookies and lemon curd, if you want. [/recipe]

 

Smoked Salt and Almond Shortbread Stars

Oh, hi!

It’s been a little quiet around here, but baking/sugar cooking has been happening. Next week I’ll have an iteration of my fave caramels, but for today I have these sweet and salty shortbread stars.

I love a shortbread. The dough is easy to put together, it can chill in the fridge or freezer for days, they are super buttery, and they appeal to children and adults alike. I also love that there are multiple ways to shape them–you can press the batch into a round pan for wedges, roll it up and slice as needed, or roll it out and use cutters.

I opted to do a star shape since I got it into my head that I wanted to paint a navy background, and wouldn’t it be cute to put tiny star cookies all over it, so it could be kind of like a magical-cookie-night-sky? Yes, yes it would be and it is.

These cookies are nutty, buttery, smoky-sweet & salty. I coarsely ground the almonds so there would be some crunchy nubbins as well as fine bits throughout each bite. I used smoked salt from Allstar Organics–I love this salt for it’s intense charcoal color, deep smoke flavor, and satisfying crunch. The salt really makes these cookies–it plays so nicely with almond and lots of butter. Since these are shortbreads and shortbreads are a sturdy cookie when well packaged, they travel like a dream. The salty-nutty and just sweet flavor of these cookies make me think these would be just as welcome on a festive cheese plate as they would on a holiday cookie tray.

*As usual, all opinions are my own. Allstar Organics probably doesn’t even know who I am, I just love their Applewood Smoked salt and thought you should know it.

Smoked Salt + Almond Shortbread Stars

adapted from Martha Stewart

There are many brands of smoked salt, Maldon makes a nice, lightly smoked, flaky one. I like the Allstar salt since it is so dark and contrasts nicely. You could also just use whatever salt you have on hand–there won’t be any smoke flavor, but the cookies will be delicious regardless. The cookies hold their shape best if you chill the cut cookies on the pan before baking–about 10-15 minutes will do the trick.

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioners sugar

scant 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon smoked salt, plus more for sprinkling

1/3 cup coarsely ground almonds (grind in a food processor or chop by hand)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, extracts, and salt until smooth and combined. On low speed, mix in the almonds and flour until just combined.

Divide the dough and flatten into two discs. Wrap discs in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300*F.

Using one disc at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using desired cutter, cut out cookies and transfer to parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle a bit of salt onto the tops of each cookie. Chill sheets in the refrigerator 10-15 minutes, bake 22-25 minutes or until cookies are just turning golden around the bottom edges. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough/cookies. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 weeks.