Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quince Cardamom Ice Cream, Apple Calvados Sorbet, and Espresso Crunch Ice Cream

Seasonal recipe of the Week
Just because winter is knocking at our door doesn't mean we need to give up making and eating yummy frozen desserts! It is the perfect time to look at a new palate of seasonal flavors and ingredients and come up with some cool (pun intended) new treats. I think winter flavors are underused in frozen desserts — has anyone out there had pumpkin pie ice cream?

Here are three new recipes I have been enjoying.

Quince Cardamom Ice Cream

1 large quince
1 bay leaf
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom
1 cup milk
1/2 a vanilla pod, split
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided

Peel, seed, and quarter the quince and then place it into a saucepan with the bay leaf, three tablespoons of the sugar and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes until the quince is soft — at high altitude this might take longer. When quince is fully cooked, it turns pink! Make sure the fruit is tender, or else you will not get a smooth purée. Drain the quince, toss the bay leaf, then purée the fruit in a food processor. Set aside to cool while you make your custard for the ice cream. In a heavy based pot, heat the milk and cream with the vanilla pod and cardamom until just starting to simmer. Remove from the heat a moment. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until lightly frothy. Whisk in the warm milk mixture, a little at a time. Return the mix to the saucepan and heat at just below simmering for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should start to thicken. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl to cool. Mix in the quince purée. Stir for a few minutes then refrigerate until cold. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Garnish with some caramelized quince slices.

Apple Calvados Sorbet

2 cup peeled, chopped tart apple (2 large Granny Smiths)
3 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup Calvados, or apple brandy

In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chopped apple, water, and sugar to a simmer. Cover the pan, lower the heat slightly, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the apples are very tender. Remove from the heat, and purée mixture in food processor and then cool the mixture to room temperature. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and Calvados, and stir the mixture thoroughly. Chill it until very cold, about 2 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Espresso Crunch Ice Cream

3 cups half-and-half
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 1/2 tablespoons ground espresso coffee beans
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans, chopped (Trader Joe's always has them)

Heat the half-and-half in a sauce pan until it forms bubbles around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt and mix well. Slowly add the hot half-and-half to the egg mix to avoid curdling the eggs and then add mixture back to the pot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's thickened and the cream coats the back of a spoon. Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the ground espresso beans, coffee liqueur, and vanilla and refrigerate until completely chilled. Pour the espresso cream into an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. When mixture is thick and almost fully churned add the chopped espresso beans. Put in freezer a few hours to firm up.

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