Friday, July 22, 2011


We had some of the most amazing ice cream, sorbets, granita, and sherbet!

Salt Caramel Ice Cream
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
  • Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
  • Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
  • Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.
Lemon Granita (Granite di Limone)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Minced zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Put the water in a saucepan and add the sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Refrigerate until well chilled.

In a bowl, combine the sugar syrup, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour the granita into metal ice cube trays, or a shallow metal pan and place in freezer. Stir the granita every 30 minutes for about 1 1/2 hours.

(If you stayed past 11:30 you got to try this one, Brook's Meyer Lemons made this one amazing. I could have eaten the entire pan!)

Raspberry Sorbet
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar syrup (recipe follows)
In a food processor/blender, process berries and 1/2 cup sugar syrup to a smooth puree. If desired, strain through a nylon strainer. Pour raspberry puree and remaining syrup into ice cream canister. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a freezer tray; cover. Freeze until firm. Garnish with mint leaves or edible leaves. (makes 4-6 servings)

Sugar Syrup
  • 2 lbs. superfine sugar
  • 4 cups water
In a large saucepan bring sugar and water to a gentle boil. Reduce heat until bubbles break surface. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool before using or storing. This amount is sufficient for at least 4 recipes.

Hot Fudge Sauce
  • 6 T. butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt butter slightly. Add sugar and cocoa. Add half of the milk gradually, stirring well to remove lumps; stir in remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until it comes to a rolling boil. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.

Tangy Orange Sherbet

  • 7 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 5 cups orange juice
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
Freeze as directed. Makes 4 1/2 - 5 quarts.

Creamy Lemon Custard Ice Cream
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Bring the cream, half and half, sugar, and zest just to a boil over medium heat in a heavy medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Whisk the egg yolks and salt together in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the cream mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk until blended. In a slow steady stream, add the remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly, and continue whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until the custard thickens and leaves a path of the back of a wooden spoon when a finger is drawn across it; do not allow the mixture to boil.

Immediately pour the custard through a strainer into a bowl and stir in the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours, until thoroughly chilled.

When ready to freeze, stir the lemon juice into the cold custard, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For a firmer texture, transfer to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Everyone should have a great recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream in their repertoire. Here's mine, which you'll want to serve with anything from freshly baked pie or just covered with dark, bittersweet chocolate and toasted nuts.
  • 1 cup milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.

Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

Ben's Chocolate
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Gradually whisk in the milk and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt and whisk to blend.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and blend. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 to 3 hours, depending on your refrigerator.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 1 quart.

Lemon Ricotta Granita
1 cup water
3/4 cup + 1Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup strained fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (at cooking group I used the traditional because I couldnt find whole)
pinch of salt
1 lemon for zesting

Stir water and 3/4 cup of sugar in medium saucepan over high heat just until sugar dissolves. Whisk in lemon juice. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square glass dish. Cover and freeze, stirring occassionally, until the liquid becomes slushy (about 2-3 hours). Using a fork, scrape the granita every 30 minutes, until it is completely made up of ice crystals.

Whisk the ricotta, remaining 1 T sugar and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Spoon granita into dessert bowls, top with ricotta mixture and add lemon zest.

Note: The granita can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of serving time, just cover and keep frozen. Scrap every so often so the crystals stay loose.

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