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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

So apparently it's not a that great of an idea to leave the cylinder of your ice cream maker in the freezer from the end of one summer to the beginning of the next.  Icky things make their way inside...and freeze there. Go figure. I suppose I coulda used the old noggin' and wrapped it in plastic or foil or something to keep the inside from gathering said icky things, but....  Instead I used the space inside to hold a bag of cranberries. Smart.  When I pulled it out this morning...all ready to pour in my cinnamon-scented custard (a whole 'nother story)...there were the icky things.  Frozen in time.  Being the quick-thinker that I am, I grabbed a paper towel and wetted it a bit, all set to wipe them away. Yeah.  Now I have paper towel stuck in the inner walls of the cylinder as well. Nice.  Grab a clean kitchen*t.  Threads now frozen in place.  Guess I'll have to actually unfreeze it a bit and wait for it to re-freeze before I make the ice cream. So I turned on the hot water and swirled it around a bit...picking and rubbing until all icky things and paper towel and threads were gone...then I stuck it back in the freezer.  Sans cover.  It'll be okay for an hour or so, right?  Better be.  Lesson learned:  cover the opening of the ice cream machine cylinder BEFORE freezing for long periods of time.

Should we go ahead and get the custard debacle out of the way as well.  Might as well.  I woke up bright and early butt-crack of dawn this morning and could not fall back asleep no matter how hard I willed it.  I decided it was the perfect time to get the custard on the stove that I'd been putting off due to hot weather.  It was still cool...birds were chirping...STOP.  Chirping reminds me of tweeting...and that's just what I started to do. Tweet. Twitter...I got sucked in.  It happened to be I started sending out #FF's...because usually I completely forget and feel like an a*#hole when I see all the wonderful friends who included me as I went about my day unawares.  Unawares.  I like saying that. Back on subject, I left the stove FOR LIKE, 2 SECONDS to tweet something and BAM, curdled.  Of course.  I tried my best to whisk wish those curds away before walking away and throwing up my shoulders.  But since I was already computing, I looked up cures (since straining didn't work...whoda thought those little curds would slide right through the wire mesh) and found out you could actually just blend them away.  I used my stick blender and wham...beautiful custard.  Cool, huh.  Beautiful cinnamon-scented eggy deliciousness. This day is gonna be okay.

WRONG!  Somewhere in the midst of the mayhem and the relaxation something in the formula went haywire.  This "ice cream" would NOT freeze.  Would. Not. Ugh...I let the ice cream maker run its course, but I still had liquid.  So, I  just poured it all into a container and stuck it in the freezer.  What came out was more of an ice milk than an ice cream.  A somewhat strange-flavored, odd-colored, berry-bottomed ice milk.

Oh well, so is life.  If at first you don't succeed...make an ice cream that doesn't require making custard. I'm about to redeem myself...

Strawberry season is drawing to a close here in Northern Indiana.  So, of course I snatched up a few pints at the farmer's market over the weekend.  Lots of them were really soft and ripe already, so I picked out the prettiest ones to use as decoration on one of the pastel de tres leches I was making (ran out of fresh fruit after the two I had earlier in the week)...and I used the rest in smoothies and ice cream!  They were as warm, sticky, and juicy as the humid summer heat, itself!

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
slightly adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
yield: ~1 quart

12 ounces strawberries, washed and quartered
8 ounces cream cheese, at soft room temperature
3/4 cup honey
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (I used a vintage merlot sea salt - very nice)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put all of the ingredients into blender and blend on low until just combined; put in fridge to chill.

Pour cool mixture into the base of your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions; result will be very soft, like soft-serve. Transfer to container to harden completely.

This will could potentially keep in the freezer for up to a week. Didn't last longer than a day in mine.