Sunday, July 27, 2014

Frozen Desserts Every Which Way
What’s cooking? Eggless Peach Ice Cream, Blueberry Frozen Yogurt, and Rhubarb Sorbet

The Kitchen Goddess is away on vacation with excruciatingly limited internet access for two weeks (I know – what was I thinking???), but that didn’t stop her from racing around –  while she should have been packing – to put together this post for you. There’s a lot for you to work on here, with previously posted recipes and new ones, too – all designed to help you remain cool and calm until the KG returns.

It is one of the most magical aspects of nature that fruit ripens at a time of year when frozen desserts are most welcome. We have all these beautiful berries and stone fruits showing up in our markets, and it’s hot as hell outside. So, naturally, the best way to cool off is to let that bounty of fruit become ways to make you not so hot. To help you enjoy the summer in all its sunny glory.

Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt
The Kitchen Goddess has practically lost her mind in a whirlwind of frozen dessert activity this summer. In addition to the Lemon-Basil Buttermilk Sorbet I posted about in late June, I’ve also made Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt and Cherry Sorbet from recipes posted last year.

Now I have three new ones for your ice-cold pleasure. And in case you run through those, here are four others that have appeared on these pages.

Apricot Sorbet

Apricot Sorbet

Sugar Plum-Cantaloupe Sorbet (can also be made with regular plums)

Spiced Blueberry Sorbet (can also be made with strawberries)

■ Peach Frozen Yogurt

Peach Frozen Yogurt

 Before I continue with today’s triple header, I thought it would be useful to mention a couple of the Kitchen Goddess’s notes about sorbets/frozen treats. I included them in a post about this time last year, but they bear repeating:

1. Some ice cream/sorbet/frozen yogurt recipes call for cooking fruit in a non-reactive saucepan. Generally, that means anodized aluminum, glass (e.g., Pyrex), enamel-coated cast iron (e.g., Le Creuset), or stainless steel. Highly acidic foods – most fruits (including tomatoes), wine, and vinegars – react badly with aluminum and untreated cast iron, causing a metallic taste to leach into the food, changes in the color of the food, and pits/discoloration in the pan itself. Aren’t you glad you asked? You can use a copper pan, but only if you’re cooking fruit WITH sugar. Me, I just go with stainless steel.

2. My friends at America’s Test Kitchen recommend “super-chilling” your dessert base by freezing a small amount (about ½ cup) of it, then remixing it into the larger part before transferring it to your ice cream machine. That seems to be effective in producing a smoother, less granular dessert.

Lots of recipes for ice cream start with a custard made from egg yolks and cream. This one is waaay easier, and still delivers that creamy, peachy flavor that fills your mouth with the feeling of a cool summer breeze on a hot August day. Even if you haven’t got time to make the ice cream, at least get some juicy local peaches while they’re still in season. You can chunk them up and cook them in water (the first step of this recipe), then just pour them into a zip-lock freezer bag and freeze them until you have time for the rest.

Eggless Peach Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop

Makes 1½ quarts.

1⅓ pounds ripe peaches (20-21 ounces, or about 5 small)
½ cup water
¾ cup sugar
½ cup light sour cream or sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Peel and chunk the peaches (no larger than 1-inch cubes), removing pits. Combine the peaches and the water in a large, non-reactive saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The peaches should be soft and cooked through.

Stir in the sugar, then let the peaches and their juices come to room temperature. Purée the peaches, juices, and all other ingredients in a blender just until well mixed if you want some of the peach texture in your ice cream, or up to a minute if you want the ice cream perfectly smooth.

Chill the mixture well in the refrigerator, then process in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Kitchen Goddess note: You will have to restrain yourself with this recipe, as the ice cream will be very soft when it finishes processing, and needs to sit in the freezer for at least a couple of hours before serving. But hold back – the reward is so worth it.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Adapted from David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop

3 cups blueberries
1 ½ cups Greek-style yogurt (2% or whole)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kirsch or French ginger liqueur

Combine the berries, yogurt, and sugar in a blender and purée. Press the mixture through a strainer to remove the seeds. Chill thoroughly, at least an hour.

Before processing the mixture in your ice cream machine, stir well, as it will separate while it sits. Process in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions.

Rhubarb Sorbet

Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 1995

Kitchen Goddess note: As wonderful as fresh rhubarb is, the season is short. Thankfully, most grocers carry frozen rhubarb (already chopped!), which when thawed, is also excellent in this sorbet. Use the frozen pieces as they come in the package – no need for further chopping.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound fresh rhubarb (or frozen), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

In a large, heavy skillet or saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice and stir over low heat just until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then add the rhubarb. Simmer until the rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Stir in the corn syrup and refrigerate the mixture until cold, at least 1 hour.

Process the chilled mixture to an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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