Monday, July 18, 2011

Churn, baby, churn

Oh, Internet!  Have you missed me?  I've sure missed the beejeezus out of you.  You look so tan!  And skinny!  It’s been one heck of a summer for me so far with lots and loads going on.  Some of it good*, some of it not so good.  In all honesty, life has been handing me more lemons** than is usual or necessary or appropriate and you all know what they*** say to do when life hands you lemons…
Make ice cream!
I have been on a churning tear for weeks, you guys.  And I just realized that July is National Ice Cream Month, so now it all makes total sense, doesn’t it?  It does!  How apropos!  I’ve been doing things as simple as blitzing a frozen banana with some cocoa powder and peanut butter in my food processor (um…easy and DELICIOUS!) to more complicated custard ice cream like Salted Caramel and Chocolate Peanut Butter.  I have celebrated National Ice Cream Month by cozying up with my favorite ice cream recipe tome--The Perfect Scoop****--and churning out Strawberry Sorbet, Lemon Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream, Espresso Ice Cream, Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream and Coffee Ice Cream.  Lest you be concerned, my undying passion for the glorious granita remains intact and I’m never far from a grapefruit/citrus slush of perfection.  So delicious!  And so much easier than standard ice cream because it takes way less planning.  You just juice, freeze, scrape and stab and you’ve got a delicious, refreshing sweet treat on your hands.  And then you EAT IT!  Or pour vodka over it and DRINK IT!*****  I also make coffee granita and use it to make iced coffee******. 
Grapefruit granita! Nectar of the Summer Goddesses!
But for ice cream, you need to be prepared, Internet.  You need to make sure your ice cream maker******* isn’t just cold, but FROZEN TO THE HIGH HEAVENS or you’re just wasting your time.  And your ice cream base?  Even though it says to make sure it’s chilled, you’re better off if you get it practically frozen, too.  Or else you end up with cold ice cream soup.  Which…I’ll be honest: there are worse things in the world than cold Salted Caramel Ice Cream soup.  I still ate it and I made my neighbors eat it with me.  Suckers!

I sure hope you’re summer has been filled with delicious, icy treats and lots of smutty beach book reads.  If you have a hankering and a sweet tooth, you should make some ice cream and get in to the celebration…maybe try this one!  I added limoncello to mine instead of kirsch but if you don’t care about being totally awesome, you don’t have to.  Churners choice!
Lemon Ice Cream+Strawberry Sorbet= Sweet & Sour Heaven

Strawberry Sorbet
The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed & hulled
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp kirsch (optional)
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
Yields: about 3 cups.
1. Slice the strawberries and toss them in a medium bowl with the sugar and kirsch, if using, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve.
2. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, stirring every so often.
3. Purée the strawberries and their liquid with the lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.
4. Press the mixture through a strainer to remove seeds if you wish.
5. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

*More on this later this week.  It involves poolside getaways, pals and bourbon!
**Oh, I know, you guys…”wah wah wah”, right?  It’s not as if I’m homeless, terminal, being sent to war or, say, missed a World Cup winning goal, but still, okay?  Dang.  Don’t look at me like that.
****If you don’t have it yet, buy it!  It’s like an ice cream bible!  And you should follow him at, too!
*****My newest strategy is to conjure a lime-pineapple granita and pour tequila over it.  Stay tuned!
******Because I’m mildly brilliant…as if you didn’t know!
*******I have this one…in case you care.