August's ice cream recap

I've been making more ice cream than any one person has any right to have stuffed into their freezer unless they're writing a cookbook. Part of my excitment was fueled by this year's Best Lick ice cream contest hosted by the kitchn. I decided to jump in head first and make up two recipes for my first ice creams. I wanted ice creams that were unique but tasty. I decided to submit the first ice cream I made--Blueberry Brie Tart. I love brie cheese with fruit, and I love blueberry tarts. I decided an almond "crust" would go best with the blueberry and brie pairing. The result was sweet with punches of fresh, tart berries and a wonderful, nutty pop of taste and texture from the crust bits stirred in.


The recipe is connected to my ice cream entry's post. There have been so many amazing looking entries--they're all worth checking out!

I stored that batch in a repurposed plastic soup container from my favorite Chinese delivery.

The second ice cream that I considered entering was the White Peach and Honey Hazelnut Praline Ripple. This was also inspired by seasonal fruit, as well as the hazelnut praline leftover from July's Daring Baker challenge. It had a great flavor, but when I saw that the first entry the kitchn posted was also a stone fruit praline, I decided it would be kinda tacky to submit my own. Claire Clark had written in her cookbook 100 Perfect Desserts that her favorite ice cream recipe excluded eggs, especially with fruit ice creams because she believed that leaving out eggs allowed more fruit flavors to shine through. Since white peaches can have such a soft flavor, I went with an eggless recipe and was very glad for it. White peach, through and through!
peach praline ripple

I tried two chocolate peanut butter ice cream recipes--David Lebovitz's from The Perfect Scoop and Joy the Baker's. My favorite by far was Joy the Baker's--built like a starch-thickened, eggless gelato, this ice cream was so rich and creamy, and both the chocolate and the peanut butter show through instead of blending muddily into each other. Don't get me wrong--I also enjoy chocolate peanut butter mud, but this ice cream reminded me that punches of each flavor separately is what makes the pairing so perfect. The Lebovitz recipe was also a bit too icy and almost flat in comparison. Joy's baker is a little more labor intensive, but it's worth the work, which is still pretty negligible compared to a custard-based ice cream.
double chocolate peanut butter ice cream

The easiest and healthiest recipe I made was the honey vanilla frozen yogurt--a riff off David Lebovitz's, but without the sugar. It's basically three cups of plain yogurt with a couple teaspoons of vanilla extract and a quarter cup of honey stirred in, then frozen in the ice cream maker. Unlike the overly sweetened commercial frozen yogurt, this has all the tang of plain yogurt. It also doesn't have any of the weirdo additives. I really want to start experimenting with healthier ice cream recipe along this line. Especially since eating "regular" ice cream is one of the best ways to mainline fat and sugar into your body. *sigh* Anyway, the pleasant zing made this frozen yogurt a great accompaniment to all the fruit-flavored ice creams I'd made, especially the next ice cream I made: ube ice cream.
honey vanilla frozen yogurt

The first time I had ube ice cream was a few years ago at my Mom's house, home of other such strange ice cream flavors as avocado ice cream and sweet corn ice cream. She'd found ube ice cream popsicles at a local Asian grocery, and I quickly became addicted. Unfortunately, ube ice cream was hard to come across out here in Phoenix, and I've only recently been able to find it. I saw a recipe for it in one of my favorite food blogs, Burnt Lumpia, where Marvin the blogger writes painful details of trying to figure out how to get the ube into the ice cream. I cheated.
ube ice cream

I basically used Joy the Baker's starch-thickened base and added a heaping half cup of ube jam from the local Asian supermarket into some hot cream so the ube "grains" would melt down.

Ube Ice Cream
with respect and admiration to Joy the Baker and Marvin's heroic efforts

2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup ube jam (available at many Asian markets)

1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, stir together 2 cups whole milk, sugar, Splenda, and salt. Heat the milk until it steams, but before it starts to boil.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup of whole milk and the cornstarch. Stir until no lumps remain.

3. Add the cornstarch mixture to the heated milk and bring to a low boil. Boil until thickened and remove from the flame.

4. In a small sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a simmer. Add ube jam to the jam and stir until smooth.

5. Stir the cream and ube mixture into the cooling milk mixture. Place in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap or a lid, and put in the fridge until cool.

6. Once cool, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the ice cream maker to churn ice cream. Transfer the ice cream into a freezer safe container, cover, and freeze until solid.

Maybe next time, I'll swirl some ube jam ripple through the ice cream, though some of my dinner party guests strongly recommended I swirl it with my frozen yogurt since the sweet ube and tart yogurt went so well together.

Over at the kitchn, there was a thread about where to get ice cream pint containers. I used random tupperware and, as mentioned above, empty soup containers. My favorite containers, though, were empty Laura Scudders peanut butter jars, which were especially appropriate for the chocolate peanut butter ice cream. If you use glass, just be extra careful to leave some head room so that the container's contents don't expand and cause a glass bomb to explode in your freezer! I left about 3/4 inches at the top, and it worked out just fine.

I wonder what September's ice cream roundup will look like. Luckily, ice cream season in Phoenix lasts all year around!


Joy the Baker said…
So glad you liked the ice cream recipe! It all looks so lovely!
Wow! Very creative! You have some wonderful ideas! Keep up the great work!
Julie said…
Joy, thank you for sharing it! It's wonderful!

JSIC, thank you! I look forward to exerimenting more! ;)
Marvin said…
Hi Julie, ALL of your ice creams look fantastic! They all have that tell-tale look of quality ice cream by the little ripples in each scoop.

I've been wanting to give Ube jam a try in an ice cream as I think it's probably a lot easier than what I went through with the frozen stuff. Thanks for that!
Julie said…
Marvin, thanks! It's amazing how much you can tell about ice cream just by looking at it. I've seen more than a few icy ice cream photos this summer! I swear by the ube jam, but definitely recommend melting it down with some milk or cream to avoid risking a gritty ice cream.

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