A Splendid Idea

"All good things come to those who wait."

That's one of the adages David and I jokingly say to each other. Though we usually add on, "and wait and wait." I wasn't always a patient fellow, in fact, I used to be quite petulant when I didn't get what I wanted when I wanted. But those days are long gone, mostly.

After 20 years with David, he has instilled in me the power of patience. I admit that I have been a good student, so don't feel bad for me when I tell you that I finally purchased a cookbook I wanted for Christmas. No, not this past Christmas, but the one well over a year ago. 2011.

It's not that I didn't want it, but I knew that the right opportunity would present itself to me at the right moment. Even though I love ice cream, buying Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream's at Home cookbook meant that I would need to make and eat ice cream. (This splendid cookbook won the James Beard award for "Best Baking and Dessert Cookbook" in 2011.)

I recently purchased some things on Amazon and when I found the cookbook listed for just $4.46 (plus $3.99 to ship), I gleefully added it to my cart and waited (patiently, I might add) for it to arrive in the mail. Best part? It was new and not a used copy for this rock bottom price!

When the cookbook arrived, I salivated over the creative recipes that are so thoughtfully broken into seasons--spring, summer, fall and winter. If you don't know of Jeni's ice cream, her story and her ice creams are legendary. Using local and seasonal ingredients from nearby farmers markets, she makes incredible flavor combinations such as salty caramel, black coffee, pistachio and honey, wildberry lavender, goat cheese with red cherries, the milkiest chocolate in the world, lime cardamom frozen yogurt, banana cajeta and double toasted coconut.

Considering the book opens with spring and considering strawberry season is upon us in South Texas, the very first recipe, strawberry-buttermilk ice cream, is where I am starting. Like Jeni suggests, I will work my way through this cookbook as the seasons proceed and I'll keep you posted of my splendid progress.

Buen provecho!

Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Ice Cream
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted the sweetness of this recipe from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook

Print recipe

I'd give up dinner if I could just have ice cream. I love it that much. I never do this. In fact, we rarely eat ice cream, but lately when we do indulge, we eat the real deal. And it's worth it. The fact that I have cut about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar from the recipe? Even more of a reason to enjoy it.

The trick to ice cream is to start making it the day before you want to eat it. The ice cream base is best when it's left to chill overnight and made the next day. When you're oohing and aahing over this ice cream, you'll forget all about the two-day process to make it and you'll start thinking about the next flavor of ice cream you want to make!

Makes 1 quart

Strawberry puree
1 pint organic strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
3 Tablespoons
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In an 8-inch square glass pan, combine the strawberries and sugar well. Place in the oven for 8 minutes, or until softened. Let cool slightly.

Place the berries and sugar concoction in a food processor and add lemon juice. Pulse until combined--you may want to leave it just a bit chunky for added texture and punch of berry. Measure 1/2 cup of pureed berries and set aside while refrigerating the remaining amount for other use.

Ice cream base
1-2 tablespoons whole milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces cream cheese, softened

In a small bowl, place 2 Tablespoons of the cornstarch and 1-2 tablespoons of the milk and mix together so it becomes like a slurry. In another bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Set both bowls aside.

1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar (I used mostly Ideal of which maybe 2 Tablespoons was real sugar)
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup pureed strawberries
1/4 cup buttermilk (I made my own by squeezing a little lemon in the milk and letting it curdle)

In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the milk, cream and corn syrup and bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Place the pan back over the heat and let it come to a boil again stirring continuously so it thickens. This will take about 1 minute or so and then turn off the heat.

Gradually whisk in the cream cheese until the mixture is smooth. Add the 1/2 cup pureed strawberries and the buttermilk and blend well.

To cool, you can pour in a big bowl and set in a bigger bowl of ice. Once it's slightly chill, you can place it in the fridge where it sits overnight, if not at least all day.

Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

Spoon ice cream in to a quart-size container and place in the freezer for 2-4 hours.

Leave enough ice cream leftover in the machine so that you can taste, taste it again, close your eyes and taste it again--quality control is essential!


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