Photo by ArtsySF and used with her permission.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fixing cinnamon ice cream woes

I want to tell you about a great trick I discovered to resolve the problem with using ground cinnamon in ice cream. I have always had problems with the cinnamon clumping when I added the milk and cream. Previously, I had suggested making a slurry with just enough milk before adding the it to the base. Although it worked, it was not a great solution. This time, I mixed the cinnamon with the sugar that is mixed with the eggs. You do this step before adding the eggs. When the eggs go in, the cinnamon is well distributed and does not clump at all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Butternut Squash with Cranberry Swirl

Admittedly, this recipe might be slightly inspired by the Top Chef finale. Still the squash is different and the swirl is all me.

Cranberry and squash are two classic fall flavors and make this recipe taste like it belongs as part of Thanksgiving dinner.

I cheated a bit. Usually, I prefer to do as much from scratch as possible, but I used frozen squash puree. Shame on me, but the result is more than adequate. The butter and brown sugar bring out the sweetness of the squash nicely and adds a bit of a foil for the cranberry sauce which can be quite tart, even frozen.

If you want, sterilize some jars and preserve the cranberry sauce. This recipe makes a lot more than you need and it is delicious on its own.

One more note, I am guessing a bit at the ice cream proportions. I made my usual base using 2 cups milk, 2 cups cream, 3/4c of sugar and 5 eggs. Unfortunately, I did not buy enough squash for this so I only used about 2 1/2 cups of the base with the squash. Everything should work out fine, but be forewarned you may need to adjust this a bit to your taste.

Butternut Squash Ice Cream with Cranberry-Clementine Swirl

Cranberry-Clementine Swirl

16 oz cranberries
1 cup water
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of slat
zest of 1.5 clementines
1 tsp clementine juice

  1. Put the water, sugar, cinnamon, salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.

  2. Add the cranberries, zest, juice. Cook for ten minutes until the berries have popped and become very soft.

  3. Cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Butternut Squash Ice Cream:

12oz frozen, pureed butternut squash
1 TBL brown sugar
1/4 ounce unsalted butter
1.25 cups whole milk
1.25 cups cream
3/4 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
Salt to taste

  1. Microwave the squash until hot. Add the butter, brown sugar and salt. Set aside.

  2. Mix the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt.

  3. Put the cream, milk, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a saucepan. Heat until bubbles just begin to form around the edges of the liquid.

  4. Add about 1/3 cup of the heated liquid to the eggs slowly while stirring the eggs the entire time.

  5. Add the egg mixture into the liquid. Stir constantly until the temperature exceeds 175 degrees F.

  6. Remove the liquid from the heat, strain into a bowl. Add the squash, stir to incorporate.

  7. At this point, taste and correct the seasoning. When you are satisfied with the flavor, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight to let the flavors mature.

  8. Freeze in your ice cream maker. Swirl in the cranberry-clementine mixture at the very end of the freezing process.