"}
Food

Perfect Pairings

Of berries, ice cream and summer

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It’s the time of year when we find ourselves in a paradise of berries. Skagit strawberries have been going strong for a month, we’re currently awash in ripe red raspberries, and blueberries are just starting. Blackberries are still a ways off, which gives us something to look forward to.

What to do with all the berries? Once I’ve stuffed my face with the first few pints, made a batch of muffins and started to freeze some for winter smoothies, I start to look for other ways of enjoying them. Strawberry shortcake is classic, as is jam. What about ice cream or sorbet?

In its simplest form, a frozen berry dessert can consist of nothing more than berries and sugar dumped in a blender, then either frozen in an ice cream maker to make sorbet or spread out on a baking sheet in the freezer and scraped up with a fork to make a granita.

Sugared strawberries (with or without a little sweet liqueur) are wonderful as an ice cream topping, as is a syrup made of raspberries that have been cooked down and pressed through a sieve to make a seedless, intensely tart sauce (this is absolutely fabulous on chocolate cake). Or simply warm up a little berry jam to spoon over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

For the most work but the biggest punch, make an ice cream from scratch. Philadelphia-style (no eggs) is easy, but is best eaten immediately. Custard ice cream is more complicated, but absolutely wonderful. This is how you get that rich, creamy, silken texture of ice cream that keeps in the freezer without hardening—not that your leftovers will last long.

Homemade frozen yogurt or ice cream can have berries mixed directly into it—this works best with cooked fruit, since raw fruit chunks will freeze solid. You can add berry puree to the ice cream while it churns, layer it with sauce after churning to make a berry ripple ice cream, or simply drizzle the sauce onto each scoop. This is good with any berry sauce, from chilled raspberry puree swirled through dark chocolate ice cream to warm blueberry sauce poured over lemon sherbet, but a particularly great match with vanilla ice cream is strawberry balsamic sauce. I had it for the first time at the Salt and Straw ice cream stand in Portland, and it is fantastic.

There are several ways of making the sauce, but I love roasting the strawberries with a little sugar, condensing the flavors, then mixing in balsamic vinegar, which in this quantity is not overpowering, just adding a little complexity and savor to the fruit. Feel free to up the quantity of vinegar, or add a few grinds of black pepper for additional punch.

We made this ice cream for our Fourth of July dinner, serving it with a spoonful of raspberry granita, and it made our guests’ eyes roll back in their heads. I highly recommend it.

[Recipe #1]

Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry-Balsamic Swirl
—Recipes adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Ingredients

For the berry sauce:
4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered
¼ cup sugar
½-1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Gently mix the strawberries, sugar and half-teaspoon of vinegar in a high-sided baking dish and roast at 375° for about half an hour, until the berries are soft and the juice is syrupy. Taste the sauce and add another half-teaspoon of vinegar if desired, mashing the berries roughly into a chunky sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the ice cream:
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla

Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan and warm them over low heat. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl and put a sieve on top.

Whisk the egg yolks together in a bowl, then pour the warm milk into the yolks, whisking. Scrape this back into the saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens, then pour it through the strainer into the cream and stir. Add the vanilla. Let the mixture cool (an ice bath helps do this quickly), then chill, covered, in the fridge.

Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Layer the ice cream in a container with the strawberry sauce and freeze for an hour or so before serving.

SVCR Don McLean
More Food...
Naan & Brew
Sampling the flavors of India

On a recent Saturday afternoon, my significant other was still in his bathrobe, curled up on the bed with a cat in one hand and a book in the other. From his prone position, he mused about the voracious hunger that had suddenly overtaken him.

But directly after I hung up the phone with…

more »
Where's the Beef?
A stroganoff surprise

During a recent cold spell, my boyfriend expressed the desire to consume grilled steak.

“I don’t care if it’s 25 degrees outside, I’m going to fire up that damned barbecue and make us a dinner fit for royalty,” he declared, slapping an enormous package of tenderloin onto the kitchen…

more »
Necessary Chocolate
Making a sweet connection

This is the time of year when we eat even more chocolate than usual. The winter season sets the tone for hot cocoa consumption, and Americans consume 58 million pounds of its bittersweet darkness on and around Valentine’s Day—about 5 percent of U.S. annual chocolate consumption.

Credit…

more »
Events
Today
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Whatcom Humane Society Wine Social

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

And I Remember

7:00pm|Village Books

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

International Guitar Night

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

James Hunter Six

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Borealis Wind Quintet

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

IGN Cascadia Bellingham Technical College
Tomorrow
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Snow Play Day and Survival Skills

8:00am|Mt. Baker Ski Area

Children's Literature Conference

9:00am|Performing Arts Center

What's New in Organic Gardening

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Plant Society Ramble

9:30am|Maple Creek Loop

UFO Primer

10:00am|Syre Hall

FiberFest 2017

10:00am|La Conner Middle/High School

Intro to Ancestry

10:00am|Ferndale Library

Winter Trail Run Series

10:00am|BBMX Park

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Smelt Run

10:00am|La Conner Middle School

Kids Can Cook

11:00am|Community Food Co-op

Washington Beer Open House

12:00pm|Whatcom and Skagit counties

An all-season outdoor expo

1:00pm

Tax Help

1:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Weird Washington

1:00pm|Lynden Library

Raising Pigs

1:30pm|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Peace Corps Revisited

3:00pm|Lynden Library

Geology Underfoot

3:00pm|Deming Library

Starry Night Chamber Orchestra

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Whatcom Writes

4:00pm|Village Books

Wishes for Our Stars Gala

5:00pm|Hotel Bellwether

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Varsity Vocals

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Comedy Fundraiser

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Boating Center Fundraiser

7:00pm|Elks Club

Light in the Night Gala

7:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Wetzel's World

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

Northwood Steak and Crab Village Books
Sunday
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Refugee Talk

2:00pm|Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Northwest Cancer Summit

2:00pm|Bellingham Golf and Country Club

Sting and Piano Chamber Concert

3:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

The Tao of Raven

4:00pm|Village Books

Making time with Oscar

4:30pm

The Irish Rovers

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

see our complete calendar »

IGN Cascadia Bellingham Technical College Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books Bellingham Farmer’s Market Northwood Steak and Crab