Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Feeling Blue

No, I'm not sad, I actually had a wonderful weekend. This week's post is all about BLUEberries! Remember last week I mentioned that the summer berries had done a disappearing act in my usual grocery store? Well this week they're back and it took me a while to decide what to make. As I walked by the aisle with the ice cream maker I had an idea, Blueberry Ice cream! I hurried and got all my ingredients together. I used the "Blueberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream" recipe from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From my Home to Yours".

I needed a cup of blueberries, but didn't know whether a six ounce package would be enough to fill a cup so I bought two packages thinking a cup would be about 8 oz. It was a little annoying that this particular recipe was using cups to measure the fruit. I would've preferred they use weight since thats how they measure it on the package. Anyway, I ended up with one whole package of extra blueberries and decided to make blueberry muffins as well.

I felt pretty foolish when I read the little ice cream maker's instructions and discovered that this thing had to be left in the freezer for at least 8 hours! Silly me, now I wouldn't be able to churn it till 9pm. I set the bowls in the freezer as instructed and begun preparing the custard for the ice cream. I combined the blueberries, sugar, salt, lime juice and lime zest in a saucepan and cooked over medium heat until the blueberries popped to form a lovely little sauce. I pureed this in the blender for a minute and then thought of all the wonderful things I could do with just this part of the recipe alone. All the other desserts it would be lovely drizzled over. I added the cream and sour cream to the blender and pulsed a couple times to get everything incorporated. When I took a taste, I thought it needed more lime juice and sugar so I added one lime at a time, and one tablespoon of sugar at a time until my tastebuds approved. Then I poured it in a container and left it in the refrigerator to chill until the bowls for the ice cream maker were done their 8 hour freeze.

During the wait I made the muffins. I used the "Blueberry Muffin" recipe from Nick Malgieri's book "BAKE! Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking". What I like about this recipe is that he provides a basic muffin recipe and then suggests several variations. This one recipe can turn into blueberry , lemon poppy seed, apple raisin, jam or whatever else your imagination can think of muffins. IT encourages you to take the basic recipe and put your own spin on it.

I started by whisking the dry ingredients together, then I whisked the wet ingredients together with the lime zest and then combined both wet and dry mixtures. I folded in the blueberries and divided the mixture evenly among the holes in the muffin tins.

I sprinkled the tops with cinnamon sugar and baked them at 375F for 20 mins. Then I set them on the cooling rack. Look at these babies!

I've had blueberry muffins before, my mother used to make them for weekend breakfasts when I was a child. But never with fresh blueberries. The difference is apparent. There is a fresh, fruitier taste to them and I just love how the blueberries popped and infused themselves into the muffin dough. Yummy!!

Several hours later when my ice cream bowls were ready I filled each with half of the liquid I had chilled. Each one churned in my little ice cream maker for a little over 5 minutes.

I covered each bowl in plastic wrap and put them back in the freezer overnight. Then this morning at dawn I ran to the kitchen and pulled out my first frozen creation.

Isn't the colour amazing? It had a light, refreshing, creamy, tangy, taste. Ice cream is not my usual morning breakfast, but any chef (or wannabe baker) knows you gotta taste your product before you serve it!

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