Thursday, July 27, 2017

Blackberry Ice Cream

Blackberry Ice Cream 

A couple weeks ago I was picking wild blackberries in upstate New York and I was inspired to make a blackberry ice cream when I got home to LA and my ice cream maker. This is the ice cream to make when you have a couple pints of really plump, super sweet blackberries bursting with flavor. Wild or farmer's market is ideal, but nice ones from the grocery store will do just as well. However, once you buy your blackberries, don't put them in the fridge or you will loose a lot of the natural sugar and a lot of flavor. Keep them out on the counter until you're ready to go. I tried to keep the sugar low and the creaminess factor high with this recipe. Last week I served it at a dinner party with a no-cook blackberry sauce. Just crush a cup of blackberries in a bowl with a potato masher, add a spoonful of sugar and the juice of half a lemon and stir to combine. It gave a nice, tart counterpoint to the rich ice cream and everyone loved it.


1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 1/2 c whole milk
1/2 c sugar
5 egg yolks
8 oz blackberries
pinch of salt

In a blender or food processor pulse berries until not quite smooth, you want to have a few chunks to bite in to.

Warm milk in saucepan and warm until hot but not scalding. While milk is heating mix sugar, egg yolks and a pinch of salt in a large metal bowl. Whisk 1-2 minutes until combined and creamy. Gradually pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly and being careful not to scramble the eggs. Return mixture to the sauce pan, place over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring constantly until mixture reaches 170 F. If you don't have a thermometer, just cook the custard until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Strain custard in to a clean bowl to remove any cooked egg solids. Add cream and blackberries. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. When ready to freeze, pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 1.5 quarts.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Strawberry Almond Clafoutis

Clafoutis (pronounced kla-foo-tee) is traditionally made with cherries, but it's also delicious with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, prunes soaked in brandy...any fruit really really. It's elegant (because it's French!) and easy; like a cross between a soufflé and a flan. You basically make a crepe batter in the blender, pour it over the fruit and bake. It will puff up a little like a soufflé and should be creamy within.

This recipe serves 2-4 and is baked in a small dish but can be doubled (only increase the fruit to 3 cups) and baked in a 9 inch cake pan or skillet to serve 6-8. If you don't like almonds, use 100% AP flour and substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract.

Strawberry Almond Clafoutis

8 oz (2 cups) hulled strawberries, sliced in half if large
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 c milk
2 eggs
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c flour
1/4 c almond flour
1/2 t almond extract
1/4 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Use butter to grease a 6 inch cast iron skillet or gratin dish. Place strawberries in pan, cut side down if halved.

Put all other ingredients in blender and whizz until combined and smooth. About 15 seconds. Pour batter over strawberries. Bake 35-45 minutes or until middle is just set and clafoutis is lightly golden. Let cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges to serve. Good warm, room temp or cold.