Thursday, May 24, 2012

Udderly Delicious: Lemon Ice Cream with Blackberry Sauce

(pardon my chipped bowl)
I'm torn on how to label this. It's part Udderly Delicious, part Quick Eats, and part Homegrown. Regardless of the label, it's really freaking tasty.

Sadly I didn't take any photos of the process, so this will be a relatively wordy post. My family was in town for their first visit to the farm and, after K and my father went on an epic berry picking expedition which ended with about three pounds of blackberries being collected, I figured we should put them to use.

The next night I was going to cook up a turkey that we had raised. My sister from over at Fancypants Tris suggested making a blackberry and chipotle sauce for the turkey, but I decided to do a straight up brined and roasted turkey.  While the turkey was roasting, I figured I might as well put some more of our goat milk to use and thought some ice cream might be worth trying.

Before getting into this, I just wanted to plug a fellow New Orleans Louisiana blogger. If you're into homemade ice creams, by all means go spend a day or more reading through Scoop Adventures' ridiculously thorough and ever-growing list of recipes. If anything just go look at the pictures. If you're not an ice cream lover you'll soon be one.

I don't own an ice cream machine and eat ice cream so rarely that I don't think I'll ever get one, but I didn't think that should stop me.  I found this post from Scoop Adventurer and this set of instructions by David Lebovitz, both of which basically have you freezing the ice cream mixture in 30-45 minute increments and using a stiff spatula or spoon to keep the ice crystals from forming. A machine does this same thing, essentially, but usually uses a crank-powered paddle and a bowl that maintains the temperature.

I used the vanilla ice cream recipe on Lebovitz's site as a starting point since it was a shorter list of ingredients and I actually had (most) all of it handy.  My original idea was to add the berries to the ice cream. I also wanted to make use of some lemons we had acquired. Thinking they might not combine together in the ice cream, I set aside the berries to use as a topping.  I added the zest of one whole lemon to the first step in Lebovitz's recipe.

For the eggs I obviously used our lovely duck eggs with their yolks so large and yellow. I had them out at room temperature which made the yolks easier to separate. Tempering eggs -- the act of adding hot liquid to raw egg in small increments so as not to cook them -- always drives me crazy, but it went really well. I cooked this down until it was extremely thick.

I didn't have any heavy cream from the goat's milk, so I had to improvise a little.  The heavy cream you get in the grocery store is made from the cream that settles on top of fresh milk. In cows, the fat molecules are large and globular and separate easily. Goat milk, however, does not separate so easily.

So I cheated. I'm ashamed, but I need to be honest: I added powdered milk.  Since powdered milk is essentially milk solids, my assumption was that it would thicken the milk and add some fat. I added about 3/4 cup of powdered milk to 2 cups of goat milk where the recipe called for heavy cream. Looking back, I'm not sure that adding the powdered milk was even necessary, but what's done is done. I mixed this with custard and put it in an ice bath to cool.

Now comes the time consuming part. I poured the whole mixture into a Tupperware container and every thirty or so minutes went in and stirred it up with a hard spatula. I did this four times. You can probably do it more if you want an even smoother ice cream. Remember, you don't want the custard to have an opportunity to form large ice crystals: Lebovitz even recommends using a stick blender to make sure they stay small. I'm thinking it might work to use the mixing bowl from my Kitchenaid and just do it directly in there using the paddle attachment. I may give this another shot.

For the blackberry topping, I took a couple handfuls of rinsed berries, about a cup of sugar, and about a cup of rum and heated it over a low flame for about an hour, only stopping to stir, mash some berries, and add a touch of water if it seemed too dry (probably added only a few tablespoons). I strained it and then let it sit in the refrigerator to thicken up a bit more. 

The end result? Ice cream that tasted like lemon cake and a wonderful sweet berry sauce. A perfect ending to a fantastic dinner.

We're in the process of drying up our goats, so we savor each bit of milk we get from them. We have a few gallons frozen, but starting in the next week or so and going until Josie kids in mid-July we won't be adding to our supplies at all. I have one more Udderly Delicious post to share with you to honor our gals. Keep an eye on the blog for another post before then: I received an awesome gift in the mail and can't wait to show you what I did with it.

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