Friday, September 5, 2014

Raspberry Ice Cream

 A little while back my friend Ramona posted a raspberry ice-cream recipe that she uses all the time, when making any fruit ice-cream. I tried it first with my peaches, but I found it too creamy (if that's possible) so I tweaked it just a tad and tried it again with some raspberries. Now, I'm in love. I don't use any other recipe when I want a fruit ice-cream.
  Is in low calorie? No. Is it low fat? No. But good ice-cream shouldn't be either one of those things. You can convince yourself that it's a little healthy. I mean, there is quite a bit of fruit in there, but it's ice-cream people. It's meant to be an indulgence. A wonderful summer-time treat that celebrates all the wonderful produce that is so delicious and abundant right now.
   You can use this recipe for any fruit. Also, if you are adverse to the seeds in your berries you can always strain them out before adding it to your ice-cream base. I just leave them in. I like the texture it gives.

The creamy ice-cream will take on whichever hue of fruit your put into it. Since I used seductively red raspberries, then this ice-cream came out perfectly pink. No food coloring here people, just fruit. The way it should be.

I love making my own ice-cream, not only because I can create any flavor that pops into my head, but also because I can control the ingredients. There are only real ingredients. No preservatives or crazy ingredients that you can't pronounce. Just pure goodness. Experiment on your own, and let me know which fruit flavor ice-cream is your favorite. My kids prefer the peach ice-cream, but I think I like the raspberry better. My next one to try is blueberry.
Here's the recipe:
adapted from 5 Minutes for Mom

***The amount of fruit in the recipe can vary depending on your taste. You should use at least 3 cups, but I have used 4 cups without any textural difference to the final product. 

Raspberry Ice-Cream

*16 oz fresh raspberries (about 3 1/2 cups), washed (or any fruit you like)
1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups cold milk
2 cups cold heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl, combine the fruit and sugar and mash VERY well with a potato masher and set aside for about 20 minutes. Alternately, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor just enough to puree the fruit but not the seeds, and then set aside. After the sugar dissolves, you can strain out the seeds or leave them in (I leave them in.) Stir in the cold milk, cream and vanilla making sure everything is well combined. Refrigerate mix for at least 30 minutes (the colder it is when it goes into your machine, the faster it will be done).
Pour the cold mixture into your prepared ice-cream maker, and churn the ice-cream according to the manufacturers instructions. (Mine took about 25 minutes to be done.) This recipe makes 2 quarts of ice-cream, so I have to make mine in two batches (since my machine only takes 1 quart at a time). Just cover and refrigerate any leftover ice-cream mix to churn at a later time.

Blueberry Cobbler Bread

If you still have some blueberries you want to use up (that you didn't already use in an Easy Blueberry Pie, or a Blueberry Crumble Pie) I recommend this Blueberry Cobbler Bread. While my husband would vehemently disagree, because he believes the blueberry is best in it's raw unadulterated form, this bread is really tasty. And a great change up from your traditional summer breads (like zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread, strawberry bread, banana bread, or even pumpkin bread -which is not really a "summer" bread, but is often made year-round). This cobbler bread can be used with any fruit, but the blueberry is something unexpected and quite beautiful. It is extremely easy and satisfying.

This is how it starts:
In one large mixing bowl, combine all your dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.) Whisk together and set aside.
In a second, smaller bowl, combine the cobbler topping (butter, flour, brown sugar). You can do this with a pastry cutter, a fork or your fingers (which is what I did). Set this aside also.

Next come the blueberries. You need about 1 cup of pureed blueberries. I decided to make it in my smoothie cup attachment for my blender, so I only had that to wash instead of my big blender, but anyway you want to pulverize your blueberries will work. (It takes roughly 3 cups of blueberries to get 1 cup of puree.) To the puree, whisk (or blend as I did) in the vanilla, eggs and butter and/or oil. (I couldn't fit the butter/oil into my blender cup, so I added that separately.)

Pour the blueberry mixture into the dry ingredients. (See, I also added my butter/oil at the same time.)

Stir to combine.

Prepare a regular sized (9x5) loaf pan. You can just pray it with no-stick cooking/baking spray, but if you also line it with parchment paper it will guarantee a clean cake/bread later.

Pour in the batter, and even it out.

Now comes the cobbler topping. It may seem like a lot, but use it all! Top it all off with a few more blueberries to make it pretty and it's ready for the oven!

Bake it @ 350F for 55-60 minutes (covering with foil if the top gets too brown). It's done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (just a crumb or two, but not wet). Let it cool completely before cutting.

This is what it looks like when it's all done. Isn't it pretty?

The top is a little crunchy and crumbly with a few pops of soft blueberries, while the rest of the bread is soft and moist with just the right amount of sweetness.

I like to just slice it and eat it. I mean, why mess with perfection, right?

But if you are one that likes to add something to your quick breads . . . then my only response to you is:

Butter! As much or as little as you like. I like the salted variety, but of course that is up to you. Enjoy!
Here's the recipe:
adapted from Cookies and Cups

Blueberry Cobbler Bread

2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberry puree (about 3 cups blueberries blended) + 1/2 cup whole blueberries reserved
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (you could use all coconut oil, or all butter if you prefer)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Crumble Topping

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a strip of parchment the width of the pan long enough to hang over the sides a bit. Spray parchment with cooking spray. Set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, combine the blueberry puree, melted butter/oil, eggs and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.
Pour the blueberry mixture into the dry mixture, and mix until thoroughly combined (scraping down the sides as necessary). Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and top with the Crumble Topping.
To make the Crumble Topping: combine all the crumble ingredients together with a pastry cutter, fork or you fingers. Large chunks should still remain. Sprinkle this all on top of the batter in the loaf pan. 
Top with the additional blueberries and bake @ 350F for 50-65 minutes (until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, but to wet at all). Mine took 65 minutes. Keep an eye on your bread. If it looks like it's getting too brown before it's fully cooked, cover it with foil.
When done, you can cool completely in the pan OR let it cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan and then use the parchment paper to help you lift the bread out and cool completely on a wire rack. Either is fine, and I usually leave mine in the pan so I don't have to worry about little hands picking at it before it's completely cool. :)