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Friday, July 29, 2011

Ice Cream and the Importance of Timing

I've been seeing a ton of delicious looking ice cream recipes on the blogs I follow and they all seem to come from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. After a couple weeks I couldn't stand all this deliciousness going on without taking part anymore, so we ordered the book and an ice cream maker. With free Amazon Prime for students, we had our equipment in two days!

I saw the peach ice cream on Annie's Eats so we had bought some peaches to try that first. Unfortunately, there weren't any ripe peaches in the grocery store, so we bought some hard ones and put them in brown paper sacks to help them along. Last Saturday, when we had planned to make the ice cream they weren't perfectly ripe, but because they had softened up a bit we decided to go ahead anyway.

The ice cream was horrible. It was edible, but not pleasurable. Even with added sugar while mixing, we couldn't make up for the unripe peaches.

To recover from the peach disappointment, we turned to another stone fruit. We had bought some nectarines too, intending to eat them as a snack. Changing their purpose, we stuck them in paper bags to speed up their ripening for sorbet. Unfortunately this time we caught them too late. We've been really busy cleaning our old apartment and weren't able to get to the nectarines as soon as we intended. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and cut and cooked them as directed, but the resulting syrup was gross. We gave up before even putting them in the food processor.

The overripe nectarines- don't be fooled by their looks

We've learned our lesson. Unfortunately for fresh fruit ice cream the timeline can only be dictated by the fruit, not our schedule. There's all sorts of parallels to other parts of life besides ice cream, but I'll let you make your own applicable comparisons.

Luckily, someone invented the freezer! (Which is actually why I can make ice cream without trucking in ice in the first place.) With some handy frozen raspberries from ours, we made this lovely raspberry swirl and brownie ice cream from the book. It turned out quite wonderfully! The only thing we changed was the raspberry sauce. We added 3 tablespoons corn syrup and some sugar to taste to the raspberries as a substitute for vodka. The corn syrup helps the raspberry swirl to not harden as much, which is what the vodka was for.

If you're like us, you should definitely bake two batches or a double batch of the brownie recipe. Or else there won't be enough to go into the ice cream (we put in half a batch). If you have more self-control one batch should be fine.

We loved the raspberry brownie combination. It was the perfect balance of taste and timing. Ironically everyone we offered some to refused, but we've been more than happy to keep it to ourselves.