Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another cooler for hot stuff 'Piskies

Ah, ice cream in July. Does anyone remember taking turns cranking an old-fashioned churn during picnics? Maybe you still have one in the basement - but these two recipes are a little easier on the arm if you don't have a team of kids to help you out. If you make the second traditional recipe, try making little ice cream sandwiches with ginger snaps. Trader Joe's and Anna's are good choices, as they are spicy enough to stand up to the tart lemon.

Yep, two recipes in a row is a little lame, but Lynn's feeling mellow and Fred is taking a wee vacation. It's Sunday. It's hot outside. And it seemed better than making up Lambeth rumors.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Stirred Lemon Ice Cream

No special equipment equipment needed!

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest (use only the colored part of the rind)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 cups heavy cream (if possible organic and not ultra pasteurized)

In a shallow plastic container with a lid, stir together the lemon juice, zest, salt, and sugar. Gradually stir in the cream until mixture is smooth. Taste for sweet-tart contrast; it should be on the sharp side since freezing mutes flavors, so adjust the balance of lemon juice or sugar balance as needed.

Cover and freeze about an hour. When rim of the ice cream freezes, stir it into the center of the cream. Repeat two to three times, waiting about an hour between checks. The final result should be a frozen, yet creamy consistency. (To do ahead: let the ice cream freeze solid, break it up and refreeze, stirring every 30 minutes for an hour or so.

"Classic" Lemon Ice Cream

A little more time-consuming, but worth it if you have an ice cream maker.

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan whisk together the zest, the lemon juice, sugar, and the eggs. Whisk in 1 cup of the half-and-half and the vanilla; cook the mixture over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, until it just comes to a simmer. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the zest. Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper - pressed directly onto the custard - and chill in refrigerator. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup half-and-half and freeze the mixture in an ice-cream freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 1 quart.