Peach and Lemon Ice-Cream

I seem to have jinxed this extended summer weather by getting excited about the lack of cooler temperatures in my previous post. And even though the air is much cooler now, there are still a ton of peaches from apple picking at Lyman Orchards last weekend that I have to eat or bake. This peach and lemon ice-cream is great for wrapping up the summer. It’s quick, does not require a custard as a base, and hardly requires any active prep time.

And, of course, since I’m still in denial about the onset of pumpkin spice season, my next post will focus on making a quick peach and strawberry tart.

Peach & Lemon Ice Cream

Recipe adapted from the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly peeled ripe peaches, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • Equipment: Ice-cream maker

Ingredients

  1. Combine the peaches, 1/2 cup sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring the mixture every 30 minutes or so. This step is very essential, so do not shorten the time – the peach juice is more likely to mix with the lemon juice the longer they stay in this mixture.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining sugar, a little at a time. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Finally, pour in the peach juice and blend.

    Whisking the peach juice into the cream mixture

    Whisking the peach juice into the cream mixture

  3. Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Once the ice cream starts stiffening (around 5 minutes before it is complete), add the peaches, then continue freezing until the ice-cream is ready. The ice-cream may additionally need to be stored in the freezer in a container for about 30 minutes before it completely firms up.

Banana-Nutella Ice Cream

Last weekend, I had a huge craving for crêpes. Bananas and Nutella are usually my favorite crepe toppings and I thought to myself – I bet together they’d make a pretty great ice-cream combination.  I was also looking for an excuse to use my ice-cream machine because my roommate kept taunting me about the large amount of space the freezer bowl was taking up, especially given how long it had been since I had last used it. Thankfully it turned out to be a warm weekend, great for ice cream, and the results didn’t disappoint. It’s also an incredibly fast recipe as you don’t really need to make any sort of custard before putting the mixture into the ice-cream maker – just blend together all the ingredients, and they’re ready to go into the mixer.

I eventually ended up using the ice cream as a topping for some darn good crêpes that my roommate whipped up the same morning (recipe for those coming soon!). I was also watching an old episode of The Next Food Network Star, which reminded me of how much I love Bobby Flay, and if you like the flavors in this recipe, you should definitely try out his Nutella and Banana Sandwich.

Banana-Nutella Ice Cream

Banana-Nutella Ice Cream

Reciped adapted from Isabelle’s Crumb Blog

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Nutella spread
  • 3 ripe small bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups half-and-half cream

Directions

  • Using a blender or food processor, process the Nutella and bananas until smooth and thick. Sift in the cocoa, and process again to blend. Lastly, add the cream and process until completely blended and smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Pour the chilled mixture to an ice cream maker, and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Once the ice cream is mostly frozen and has a consistency similar to soft-serve, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 30 minutes to harden up.

 

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

While I’m in love with my new ice-cream maker, I also realize that it’s dangerous thing, given how easy it is to make any kind of ice cream. The salted caramel ice-cream disappeared at an alarmingly high rate from my freezer and I knew that I couldn’t keep making ice creams that were full of heavy cream and sugar, which made them so delicious and decadent in the first place. So I thought – why not try making a frozen yogurt? I decided to try this pumpkin frozen yogurt. It’s great, relatively low fat since the small amount of brown sugar is the only fat in this recipe. However, the downside to making a low-fat ice cream is that it freezes so hard and turns into stone if you leave it in the freezer for more than a few hours. My suggestion would be to serve it as soon as it comes out from the ice-cream maker, or to thaw it for a few hours if it has been in the freezer for a few days.

The recipe itself takes only 5 minutes to prep, and requires 20-25 minutes of churning in the ice-cream maker, so you can have a quick dessert on your hands, especially if you’re throwing a dinner party and are looking for a light dessert!

Ingredients (makes 4-6 servings)

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 3/4 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. Taste the mixture and add more sugar if you so desire. I was going for an end product which would not be too sweet.
  2. Place mixture in an ice cream maker and let churn for 20 minutes, or until cold and creamy. Serve immediately or place in the freezer for another hour if a firmer texture is desired. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top while serving, if desired!
Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

 

Salted Caramel Ice-Cream

And my love story with caramel continues. I feel caramel is to this winter what basil meant to me this summer. Not that I’m over basil. I still crave Caprese sandwiches and salads even on cold winter days, when I should be craving warm soups. Either way, any new year’s resolutions about fitness can quickly go astray when there is either caramel or mozzarella involved. Anyway, with this ice cream, I actually inaugurated my brand new Cuisinart ice-cream, gelato and sorbet-maker, which I got as a Christmas present!

icmaker

Verdict: delicious ice-cream, cannot wait to try other delicious and novel flavors! (Though I do see a tiny glitch with this recipe. The ice-cream does not stay hard beyond a few minutes after being taken out of the freezer, and I’m wondering whether the sea salt is lowering the freezing point of this custard. Thoughts? Similar experiences?) Still, it’s barely worth complaining as I love that soft-serve like texture!

Recipe from Epicurious. Please read the full recipe before starting, as many hours of cooling the custard are required, and this is not kind of ice-cream you can whip up in just an hour or two.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon (with 3/4 teaspoon, the salt flavor is pretty pronounced, which I like. If you like a more subtle salt flavor, reduce it to 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Equipment: an ice cream maker, instant-read thermometer

Directions

  1. Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
  2. Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

    Preparing the cream and caramel mixture

    Preparing the cream and caramel mixture

  3. Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
  4. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
  5. Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 5- 6 hours (though I actually left it overnight in the fridge to chill).
  6. Freeze custard in ice cream maker for around 25-30 minutes (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

    Salted caramel ice-cream

    Salted caramel ice-cream

 

Pomegranate-Dragon Fruit Sorbet

I’m always sad to see summers end because I’m a big fan of berries and mangoes. However, I’m falling in love with pumpkin and pomegranates pretty fast and I decided to just go ahead and try making some sorbet/ice cream with pomegranates. On an unrelated note, having never eaten dragon fruits before, we bought some at the supermarket. So I decided to incorporate those in my sorbet for the sake of texture and because I like the look of their small black seeds. Result: A delicious winter sorbet that is not too sweet, but feel free to change that according to your preferences!

Ingredients

  • 3 large dragon fruits, cut into small slices and then frozen/refrigerated
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, or any whole yogurt (but not fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (mine wasn’t particularly sweet, so feel free to add more)
  • Pomegranate seeds,  to garnish, optional
  • Pomegranate syrup, optional

Directions

  • Put all the cut and frozen dragon fruit pieces, the juice, the Greek yogurt, and sugar in a blender and mix. The mixture should have a consistency of a dip or a smoothie. If it is more of a liquid than a dip/smoothie, then put in additional Greek yogurt. Blend again.
  • Take the blended mixture, pour into a bowl and put the bowl in the freezer. Stir every half an hour to ensure that crystals don’t get formed. Your sorbet is ready in a few hours!
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds or pomegranate syrup while serving!

Pomegranate Dragon Fruit Sorbet

Banana-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I just managed to make the simplest dessert ever (no, I’m not even exaggerating!) thanks to the wisdom bestowed upon me by numerous Google searches regarding summer fruit recipes, both fresh and frozen.  This ice cream literally needs just 2 ingredients – bananas and chocolate chips, and given a few hours, you can make one of the most hassle-free and healthy desserts ever (and it’s vegan too).

The following recipe yields 2 servings. You should prep for this at least 4-5 hours in advance of when you actually plan to make the ice cream

Ingredients

2 bananas, chopped and frozen

A quarter cup chocolate chips

Chopped almonds, for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Take the chopped bananas and put them in the freezer for 4-5 hours, until they appear to be completely frozen

Ingredient  #1: Frozen Bananas

Ingredient #2: Nestle’s Mini Chocolate Chips

Putting the frozen bananas in a blender

2. After they have been frozen, put them into a blender or a food processor. (If you are using a blender, you will need one on the stronger side. For those using weaker blenders, you might want to consider adding a few tablespoons of milk to ensure that the bananas don’t stick to the sides of the blender and get mashed easily)

3. Once the bananas have been mashed completely and achieved a mushy consistency, you might want to add chocolate chips. Some other great alternatives would be a few spoonfuls of peanut butter and/or almonds, depending on your taste.

Adding in the chocolate chips

4. Start the blender again until the mixture has been properly mixed. It should still be relatively frozen, but in case you’re making this in an extremely hot climate (like I was), you should probably put it in the freezer for an hour or two before serving.

5. Garnish with more chocolate chips/chopped oreos/chopped almonds and serve!

A Summer Full of Mangoes

There are a few saving graces to spending a summer in India, and one of them is having the most delicious mangoes on the planet (Okay, so I might be slightly biased, but they’re still pretty hard to beat!). I didn’t start off being in love with with fruit though, I initially fell in love with Frooti as a child. A sugary mango fruit drink, Frooti was that perfect way to quench thirst on a hot, lazy afternoon, and Coco-Cola soon came up with their own answer to compete with Frooti – Maaza.

Frooti!

There is a strong regional rivalry in India when it comes to deciding the best mangoes. While Alphonsos, grown in Gujarat and Maharashtra, are often touted to be the best by those living in the south of the country, my personal favorites are Safedas and Chausas. Despite India being the biggest exporter of mangoes, the biggest disappointment so far  remains the lack of enforcement of the nukes-for-mangoes deal between India and US.  In 2008, a civilian nuclear agreement was reached between the US and India, one of whose lesser known clauses was the decision to import a lot more mangoes from India. However, the enforcement of the treaty is questionable at best, leaving those of in the States to fend for themselves with their lesser, mediocre mangoes. Indian expatriates who cannot spend their summers without mangoes might want to consider living in the UAE, which is supposedly the biggest importer of Indian mangoes. For those who are more curious, here’s some good ol’ Indo-Pak rivalry extending into the mango trading business.

Besides mango milkshake, which I feel like is the most obvious and easiest thing to make when you have mangoes lying around at home, here are 5 great and easy things that you can make with mangoes at home:

1. Mango Chutney

Using just half a dozen ingredients, you can eat this as a spread on a sandwich, with roti, parathas, papads, or just as a dip.

http://whatwouldjaishreedo.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/did-you-make-this-mango-chutney/

2.  Mango Lassi

Using just 2 ingredients – mangoes and yogurt, you can easily make mango lassi at home. Depending on the kind of mango you’re using, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar you want to add

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mango-lassi-ii/

Mango Lassi

3. Mango Ice-Cream

My recipe on homemade chocolate ice-cream can be adapted to make mango ice-cream at home as well. Instead of using cocoa powder, use a full mango for every 500 ml of whole milk. Again, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the mango that you are using. Though safedas make pretty decent mango ice cream, my choice for making ice cream is chausa.

Mango Ice Cream

4. Mango Lime Granita

Granitas are basically iced versions of fruits – and are perfect to be had either on their own, or as a topping to a creamy dessert.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/ginger-mango-granita-recipe/index.html

5. Mango Salsa

As an alternative to the tomato salsa that you might eat around the year – you can have this mango salsa with either tacos or fish to get that perfect tangy, yet fruity combination. For those who like this, you might want to try a kiwi salsa as well. Though this particular recipe does not include it, I would throw in an avocado and some chopped tomatoes as well.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mango-salsa/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=mango&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe

Mango Salsa
(Photo Courtesy: http://eclecticrecipes.com/mango-salsa)

So how do you like to eat your mangoes?