A quick note for those of you in DC: 15 of the best local ice cream vendors will be competing for the title of Best Frozen Treat in DC on Saturday, August 20, 1:00 to 4:00pm. The DC Scoop is a free community event taking place rain or shine outdoors at the new Union Market (6th St NE and Florida Ave). For the kids, in addition to sweet treats, there will be a hands-free ice cream eating contest, face painting, balloon artist and live music. More info can be found on www.facebook.com/thedcscoop.
Posts Tagged ‘ice cream’
I wasn’t kidding about squeezing every last bit of summer out of the month. Today may be the first day of fall, but don’t pack up the ice cream maker just yet. It’s supposed to reach 90 degrees in DC again today, and you can still find sweet white nectarines at the farmers market. So I implore you, take some home and make a batch of this sweet summer gelato before it’s too late. (Or, save it for some of those peaches you froze for winter. Ice cream is a year-round food, in my opinion.)
Recipe: Nectarine Gelato
- 5 medium-sized nectarines
- 5 egg yolks (preferably from your local egg farmer)
- 2 cups cream-top whole milk (or just whole milk)
- 1 cup organic cane sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions: Coarsely chop nectarines (no need to peel) and place them in a non-reactive saucepan. Combine with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract and nutmeg and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft and you can mash it with the back of the spoon. Let cool, then puree in a blender or food processor.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, warm milk and the other 1/2 cup of sugar over medium heat just until bubbles begin to appear and sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks well for about a minute. Ladle the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking continuously, one spoonful at a time until you’ve incorporated about half the milk into the eggs. Then pour the eggs/milk back into the remaining milk in the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of your spoon. Remove from heat, stir in the nectarine purée and let cool. Transfer to a bowl or pitcher, cover, and chill overnight or for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.
Process the chilled mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. I have the KitchenAid ice cream maker and mix it on medium low for about 12 minutes. Transfer to a tupperware container and freeze until firm, about 4 more hours. Makes 1 quart. Enjoy!
Note: You can adjust the sugar in the nectarines according to the sweetness of your fruit.
It’s peach season and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they hold out long enough for me to can some for winter. In the meantime, here’s the peach gelato that made me swoon, if I do say so myself.
Ever wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato? Sherbet and sorbet? As far as I can tell, from my extensive google research, the difference between ice cream, gelato, sherbet and sorbet is something like this:
- ice cream, French = milk, cream, eggs
- ice cream, Philadelphia/American = milk, cream, no eggs
- gelato = milk, maybe eggs, no cream
- sorbet = just fruit, no dairy or eggs
- sherbet = milk, no cream and no eggs
Still confused? Short version: if you taste the cream first, it’s ice cream. If you taste the fruit first, it’s gelato. That’s the official FoodieTots definition at any rate. Now I set out to make Philadelphia-style peach ice cream, but the bottle I had labeled cream was in fact buttermilk; instead I used my cream-top whole milk, so while it has a little cream it is mostly milk. It has the texture and strongly fruit-forward taste of gelato, so that’s what I’m calling it.
Recipe: Peach Gelato
- 4-5 peaches (1 1/2 pounds), peeled
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
- 1 cup cream-top whole milk
- juice of 1 lemon wedge
Instructions: I use the boil/ice bath method to peel peaches. It seems like a hassle but trust me, it’s a lot easier and time saving in the long run then trying to scrape peels off with a paring knife. Score the bottom of each peach with a small “x” cut, then drop them into boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them into a colander set in ice water for several seconds, then set on cutting board and leave several minutes to cool. The skins will pretty much slip right off at that point.
Dice the peaches and place in a medium stock pot over medium high heat, add honey and seeds of the vanilla bean. Cook until peaches begin to fall apart, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes. Add milk and blend in small batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender in the pot. I recommend the regular blender to make sure there are no chunks — in a home freezer, the chunks of fruit get too icy and aren’t as flavorful as in commercial ice creams. Stir in the lemon juice and pour into a glass bowl or pitcher. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (I leave it overnight) and then process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. (I use the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment and mix it for 10-12 minutes, until it thickens and reaches a very soft icy consistency, then freeze for 3-4 hours.) Enjoy!
Shared with Fight Back Fridays at the Food Renegade, because once you’ve had homemade ice cream — or gelato — you’ll never go back to that commercial chemical goop from the supermarket.
This week, the Washington Post‘s Mighty Appetite blog is hosting an Eat Local Challenge. I signed up, even though we are already doing the One Local Summer challenge, and frankly, at this time of year it’s almost more of a challenge not to eat local — at least when you spend as much time at farmers markets as we do!
The ELC challenge was simply to include 10 local items into your meals over the course of the week. The Southern Maryland “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaign, also this week, suggests adding one farm-fresh ingredient each day. Since we ate 10 local items on Saturday alone, I challenged myself to go further — no chain coffee or lunches, and eliminating some of my usual cheats. While we don’t have true local grains (mills yes, but the grains come from elsewhere), my general rule is to get locally-baked breads and pastas. For other grains, the rule is organic and/or whole grains – and if all else fails, absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. Which meant I made my pie crust from scratch this weekend, since Pillsbury meets none of those standards. I would like to make my own bread and pasta, but it’s hard to find time with a toddler who seems to get clingy whenever I head into the kitchen.
As a “foodie,” there are certain ingredients I could never give up, such as olive oil, olives, sea salt, balsamic vinegar, citrus and my Hungarian smoked paprika. The OLS challenge exempts oil, vinegar and spices, so I permit those. Whenever possible, I follow the Locavore “Terroir” rule — if local olive oil isn’t available, then buy it from regions that specialize in that product (and preferably organic and/or fair trade certified). I also try to buy my gourmet products from locally-owned shops. We have some great bakeries and shops nearby, including Cheesetique in Del Ray and Grape + Bean in Old Town, which make it easier.
I know this is a family-friendly blog, but sometimes the grown-ups enjoy an adult beverage with their meal. While I have yet to come across Virginia-produced gin, we do have a decent wine and beer selection. (And Delaware’s Dogfish Head is just slightly more than 100 mi. from us.) Virginia wines can be hit or miss though, so I stopped into Grape+Bean to see what local wines they carried. I was told rather apologetically that they only have two at the moment, but hope to add more soon. I picked up a bottle of Thibaut & Janisson sparkling wine to enjoy this weekend. Definitely an indulgence, but I thought it would be fun to celebrate the best of local drinks along with all our peak summer produce. (Their other pick was Barboursville‘s Voignier.) In addition to wine and coffee, Grape+Bean sells fresh-baked bread from Restaurant Eve. I got the most perfectly chewy loaf of olive bread yesterday to accompany last night’s pasta dinner.
Another area where we are blessed with local options is dessert. Of course, it’s not that hard to make your own frozen treats, but we have a number of locally-owned establishments who make scrumptious treats with local, farm-fresh ingredients — the Dairy Godmother, Moorenko‘s and Dolcezza, to name a few. With sources like these, there’s no need to rely on those two guys from Vermont.
For those participating in the Eat Local challenge, or just taking small steps, what’s the one non-local thing you can’t give up?