Photo by ArtsySF and used with her permission.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Follow me on Twitter!

Click here for my profile. I will tweet when new recipes are posted and when ice cream is in the news. Occasionally I will tweet interesting food articles.

For those of us who use Twitter regularly, it is annoying when someone you follow tweets too much. So I promise not to overdo it.

Mascarpone Ice Cream

If you recall my recipe for goat cheese ice cream, the result was very good and very strong. I liked that sharp flavor but it didn't pair well with anything. That problem is solved with this recipe. Mascarpone is milder, but has pronounced flavor that merges well into many desserts.

When I made the Salad du Printemps from the French Laundry Cookbook it called for mascarpone sorbet. I reinvented it as ice cream with fantastic results. This is a bit richer than the mascarpone sorbet, because of the eggs. What can I say? I really like custard bases.

If you recall from the goat cheese ice cream, you should whisk in the cheese when the custard is still warm. It helps to better infuse the cheese into the base. Mascarpone, on the other hand is much softer so you can do it when the base is room temperature. Nevertheless, this fellow suggests doing it while the ice cream base is warm because it definitely makes it easier.

If you don't have time to make the French Laundry recipe (which I will not provide), you will do just great by pairing it with chocolate almond cookies.

Mascarpone Ice Cream

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
2 cups milk
1.5 cups cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mascarpone
pinch of salt

If you follow my recipes you should really know the drill by now, but for you newbies:

  1. Heat the cream and milk with half of the sugar.

  2. While the liquid is heating, beat the yolks with the remaining sugar and salt.

  3. When the milk.cream mixture is at a very bare simmer, remove about 1/3 cup of it and take the pan off the heat. Slowly add the 1/3 cup liquid to the eggs to temper them. I like to do this in 3 small additions of the liquid. The slower the eggs heat, the better the final product (I don't know the science behind this, but try scrambling an egg over high heat and over low and compare the results. The low heat egg is much more appealing).

  4. Pour the tempered eggs into the saucepan with the milk.cream, put the pan back on the heat. Cook stirring constantly until a thermometer reaches 175 F.

  5. Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve. Cool to room temperature then chill over night.

  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strawberry-Tarragon Sorbet

We had a dinner party last weekend and Mrs. Fellow went all out. The menu was huge:

Shrimp and corn chowder
Watermelon and feta salad with Serrano Chile dressing
Roasted leg of lamb, lyonaise pommes anna, roasted asparagus
Salad du Printemps (from the French Laundry Cookbook) - Candied fennel, rhubarb confit, mascarpone ice cream, and oranges.

I made this sorbet for the palate cleanser between the salad and main courses. It is adapted from The Sweet Life, by Kate Zuckerman. People frequently refer to sorbets as refreshing. If that is what you want, than this one won't disappoint. My daughter loves this stuff she is eating her way through the leftovers with enthusiasm.

The texture and look are very creamy despite the lack of dairy. I think you will like this one. Strong berry flavor matched with a perceptible licorice taste.

Some tips:

  • You can use less than perfect berries because they macerate for a while. Just increase the maceration time if they are too tart.

  • If you still find the final product to be too tart, feel free to add more sugar. However, because the mixture will be cooler and not easily rewarmed, you may want to try superfine sugar. Its smaller crystal size makes it easier for the sorbet to absorb without extra heat.

Strawberry - Tarragon Sorbet

2.5 pounds of ripe strawberries
2/3 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
2 TBL corn syrup
1 ounce fresh tarragon (left whole on the stem)

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut them in half. If the berries are not perfectly ripe, macerate them with the sugar for 10 - 15 minutes to get them nicely juicy.

  2. Put the water, berries, and corn syrup into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the berries get very soft, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the tarragon, simmer for one more minute. Then turn off the heat and steep for 5 minutes.

  4. Remove the tarragon. Puree the berries (I used a stick blender, but you can transfer to a regular blender).

  5. Pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

  6. Cool to room temperature then chill overnight.

  7. Freeze in your ice cream machine.

Coming soon

Three recipes will be posted soon - Mascarpone ice cream, strawberry-tarragon sorbet, and something using bacon!