Inspired by Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at TNNA this summer, I've been experimenting with ice cream making lately, and here are the two biggest winners; delicious desserts to share with your special person (or people).
The one above is Blackberry Ice Cream; I used this recipe from Food.com, without the cinnamon. Now, full disclosure, blackberries are one of my all-time favorite foods; the taste of a ripe blackberry picked from our California backyard is my earliest taste memory. So when I say that this ice cream, rich and creamy, peaking into the essence of fresh blackberries, is possibly the best dessert I've ever tasted, I may be biased. But my husband Mike was equally smitten....
And a little guy I love found it easy to eat, too!
It does take a lttle advance planning, because you have to cook the berries and sugar first, then cook the cream mixture, strain the berries and cool the whole thing down, but it's really no harder than making vanilla pudding on the stove, and whoever's lucky enough to eat it with you will enjoy the taste of artisanal ice cream right at home.
Our local grocery store had a special on blackberries, so I used fresh, but this should work just dandy with frozen berries, too.
This one is pretty soft in the picture, but goes pow on the tongue; we used this recipe from Simply Recipes, and frozen cherries from our cherry tree.
The recipe called for sweet cherries, and I didn't want to mess with it the first time out, but our cherries were the pie variety, so the ice cream turned out creamy, fresh and tangy. It's deifinitely a sophisticated taste, and pairs perfectly with a warm snickerdoodle; I found the cool sour notes of the cherry alternated with the vanilla and cinnamon cookie totally addictive. This ce cream takes one less step than the blackberry, since you don't have to strain the fruit; just stir all of the ingredients in a saucepan until it begins to make fragrant steam, then blend and toss in the fridge to cool.
I used the Betty Crocker Cookbook Snickerdoodle recipe; if you make up the dough once the ice cream mixture is cooling, you can roll the cookies in cinnamon sugar and bake once you actually start the ice cream maker going (about 20 minutes to stir the ice cream). Your snickerdoodles should be soft and warm when the ice cream is served, and your loved one(s) will have very warm feelings towards you!