Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream with Homemade Ice Cream Cones

The Setting: A dim but otherwise lovely apartment in the DC suburbs, decorated with a pitcher of flowers from my birthday and a smattering of baby paraphernalia...from life.

The Soundtrack: The same three chords pitifully squeaking out again and again as Oia's favorite musical book clings to its last breaths of battery life.

On the Stovetop: Quesadillas.

The Scenario: So far the flavors we've savored from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home have been fairly standard: Backyard Mint was a fresh take on an old standby, and while Kona Stout was a far cry from your average coffee ice cream, you could probably imagine ordering a scoop at your favorite brew-pub. Today, however, I bring you excitingly unexpected flavors that collide in a full-on scoop of summer.

This, my friends, is the blessed time of the year when bushels of sweet corn fill the floors of farmer's markets and produce departments, and fresh berries are cheaper than frozen.

This is the time for Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream.

A smooth, sweet base of fresh-corn-steeped cream is frozen in a standard machine and layered with a simple berry sauce to create a surprising treat that'll have you wishing it were summer all year long.

Of course, part of the childlike joy of eating ice cream in the summer is skipping the bowl and spoon in favor of the ever-portable, edible vessel, the cone.

Jeni's recipe produces a sweet and crispy cone good enough to stand on its own but even better when filled.

The batter is extremely simple, but an iron is required (these can be purchased from a variety of online sources and tend to be in the $25- $50 price range).

Jeni says her recipe will make 8 medium cones, but I've been averaging 14 small-to-medium-sized cones from one batch of batter using my 9-inch KrumKake Express, and the whole process takes 30-45 minutes.

Poolside parties and Slip 'N Slides will come to mind as your tongue reaches around the edges of the cone to catch those first drips of ice cream melting in the summer heat.

By the time you're licking your fingers and savoring the last crunch of cone, you'll feel just like a kid again...but with a slightly more elevated palate.

The following recipes are excerpted with permission from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. My notes are in red.

Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream
"A sublime summer match--initial hits of milky sweet corn give way to the floral nose of sweet black raspberry." 

1 ear sweet corn, husked
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Black Raspberry Sauce (page 196) (recipe follows)

PREP  Slice the kernels from the corn cob, then "milk" the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife to extract the liquid; reserve kernels and liquid.

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Make sure the cream cheese is fully softened--microwave for 10-15 seconds if necessary--otherwise whisking it is nearly impossible, and it could cause your ice cream to be clumpy.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

COOK  Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn and juices, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and force the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, leaving the corn "cases" behind. Return the mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

CHILL  Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes. You could refrigerate the mixture overnight at this point if desired.

FREEZE  (Snip the corner off your Ziploc bag and...) Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating it with layers of the black raspberry sauce and ending with a spoonful of sauce; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Makes 1 generous quart.

Excerpted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan Books). Copyright 2011.

Black Raspberry Sauce
2 cups raspberries, black raspberries, and/or blackberries I was unable to find black raspberries, so I used half red raspberries and half blackberries
1 cup sugar

Combine the berries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 220 degrees F (5 to 8 minutes). I set mine on lower heat and let it cook a lot longer than I was supposed to (probably to the tune of 25 minutes), which made the sauce a little chewy. I actually found the texture rather pleasant, but it made straining out the seeds a major chore.

Let cool slightly, then force through a sieve to remove the seeds. (Or leave a few seeds in there just to prove you made it.) Refrigerate until cold before using.

Makes about 1 1/4 cup.

Excerpted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan Books). Copyright 2011.

Ice Cream Cones

2 large egg whites
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Turn on the waffle cone iron.

Combine the egg whites and cream in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the sugar, salt, and both extracts and whisk for about a minute to combine well. Whisk in the melted butter. Add the flour, whisking only until the lumps have disappeared and the batter is smooth.

Make the cones in the waffle cone iron according to the directions for your iron. To shape the cones, follow the instructions on the next page (sorry, you'll have to get the book for that...but don't you want to get it anyway?). When you get really good, there should be no hole in the bottom of the cone!

These cones are best the day they are made, but they will keep for a week in a sealed container.

Makes 8 medium cones (4 to 6 inches tall and 2 inches across at the top).

Excerpted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan Books). Copyright 2011.

Thanks for reading! Here's to Being the Secret Ingredient in your life.

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