Friday, June 30, 2017

Strawberry-Raspberry No-Churn Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

The title says it all, it's a combo of two different berries that I picked this past week, along with chopped bittersweet chocolate. The idea came because I wanted to make ice cream, the easy way.  I found recipes for no-churn ice cream and decided to try it.  This particular recipe uses less sweetened condensed milk than other recipes which made me think it's less sweet.  Other recipes use one can of that stuff but with the same amount of whipping cream; that I think is way too sweet.  But maybe I shouldn't say anything before trying it out :D

And I also recently tried a new flavor of jam after reading new books about preserving, raspberry "lemonade" jam.  It's made with raspberries, lemon juice, honey, and pectin.  I love the flavor combination and thought that the jam will go together with strawberry base ice cream.  As if it's not enough, I went ahead and chopped bittersweet chocolate to add to the ice cream.  Since I haven't provided the recipe for the jam, a regular strawberry jam can be used to make this ice cream.

When I was ready to serve this, I also had some strawberries left.  I was thinking of making something quick and easy, thus strawberry sauce was conceived :)  This sauce was the bomb because the strawberries were fresh and I picked the right variety for it.  Something that's made from in-season fruits always turn out to be the best in flavor.  I just love how fresh-picked strawberries smell!  Eating the ice cream with the sauce after dinner has become the highpoint of our summer days.

I set aside a few cupful of the ice cream for making ice cream sandwich.  Now I didn't make the cookies myself but I have Chips Ahoy! Thin Double Chocolate in the pantry.  It's a fine substitute in a pinch.  Well, well, everybody loves it!  Now I'm gonna probably play around with other flavor this summer and make more ice cream sandwich.

Strawberry-Raspberry No-Churn Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

Serves 8-10

1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup finely diced strawberries
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup jam, raspberry or strawberry jam, warmed just until loosen up

In a large bowl whisk together vanilla extract with sweetened condensed milk and salt.

With a mixer, whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold the cream into the condensed milk mixture.  Fold the diced strawberries and chocolate.

Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or wax paper.  Spoon half of the ice cream mixture.  Add half of jam, swirl with butter knife.  Spoon the rest of the ice cream mixture and then swirl the last half of the jam.  Press plastic wrap onto the surface of ice cream and wrap tightly.  Freeze until firm, or for at least 12 hours before serving.

Let ice cream stands for 10 minutes or so before scooping.  At this time, you can scoop a spoonful into one cookie, press another cookie on top.  Smooth the sides with a small offset spatula.  Wrap the ice cream cookies an freeze until firm again.

Source:  adapted from Belly Full

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Pie

I'm so happy that local strawberries are finally available.  With a longer cool season that made its way till June, I thought I wouldn't see berries ripening or even happening this month.  But, it's here and that's what makes me rejoice!

As I mentioned before, I'm running out of strawberry jam stock so I really need to replenish it.  With the strawberries, I love the flavor of local strawberries over supermarket variety, especially the Hood variety.  It's my go-to strawberry to pick for making jam and when it's in season I have to act quick or they'd be gone.  Last Sunday I dragged my family to Beaverton area, precisely to Hoffman Farms, to help me pick strawberries.  I've gone to this farm for about 2 years in a row and I really like their fruits.

This year is the first year I've picked strawberries though.  I was expecting muddy field, but they've lined the path between the rows with straws so that we didn't have to muck around in the mud.  It rained the day before and it was kind of cloudy on the day, so we always expect the worse in this Oregon weather.

There are 4 types of strawberries available and we picked Hood, Albion and Sweet Sunrise.  Like I said the Hood was made into jam; I got 5 pints out of almost 5 pounds.  The Albion will be eaten fresh, and the slightly tart-more on sweet Sweet Sunrise was made into this fresh pie.  I was glad I picked this variety because it has character and it suited this pie.

I didn't plan ahead on making pie but as it happens, I had 2 homemade pie crusts sitting in the freezer.  So it's an impromptu dessert.  I used my favorite pie crust recipe, which was used in making this Sweet Potato Pie.  What I like about it is that it makes 3 crusts which is quite handy; I can make a double crust pie and a single crust pie right away.  I think it's time to make another batch so I'm ready for the next dessert day!

Anyway, as with a fresh fruit pie, it's a messy eating but it's deliciously out of the world.  We love serving a slice with whipped cream, and we don't mind if the pie looks lopsided or is too runny!

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Serves 8

1 recipe double-crust pie dough,  see this recipe

8 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
2/3 cup sugar or more depending on how tart the strawberries are (mine were sweet enough that I didn't need to add a lot of it)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Milk for glaze
2 teaspoons sugar

Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured counter, then fit it into a 9-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edge; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Roll the other disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured counter, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Toss strawberries and 2/3 cup of sugar in a large bowl.  Let sit for about 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position; place a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 425F.

Drain the fruit thoroughly on a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice.  In a large bowl, mix together the drained fruit, cornstarch, orange zest, vanilla extract and salt.  If the fruit tastes tart, add more sugar gradually until it suits your taste.

Dump the fruit into the dough-lined pie plate, mounding it slightly in the middle.  Cover the top with the second piece of dough.  Trim, fold and crimp the edges and cut 8 vent holes in the top.  Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar.

Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 375F, rotate the baking sheet, and continue to bake until the crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes longer.  Let the pie cool on a wire rack until the filling has set, about 2 hours; serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Source: filling adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book