WELCOME to Cooking with Linnie
Come right in.
Have some coffee…
We were just outside picking some nice ripe blackberries fresh off the vine.
I guess you missed that berry picking part. (Next time tune in earlier.)
Now, here at Cooking with Linnie we are not fond of big electric machines that we don’t really have space for (no microwave oven here), but we make exception for the electric ice-cream maker.
In the old days, a few years back, I used to make ice-cream in a bucket with cracked ice and salt and a hand-crank and lots of time and then what do you do with all that salty water?
Here’s the ice cream maker’s special bowl. (It’s the part that spins when the machine is working.) I don’t want to know what miraculous likely carcinogenic liquid matter is locked inside the walls of the bowl, but it stays crazy cold. It takes a few hours to freeze the bowl so I just store it in the freezer between ice-creamings.
You can mix up a fabulous recipe and, after freezing for about 30 minutes, you have approximately a quart of ice-cream– and you know exactly what is in it.
Today we will be making blackberry gelato. (It is made with milk instead of cream, so it will have a gelato-type lower fat content.) You can always make this recipe with a bucket-&-ice freezer if you like…
To begin, I will take these lovely freshly harvested blackberries and smack them into submission. I mean I will puree them. You can use a mixer or a blender or a whisk or a hammer or whatever violent berry-smashing technique you prefer. (It can be therapeutic.)
Next I squish them through a screen sieve to get out most of the seeds. (If this all seems like berry abuse well you should have felt the thorns on those bushes.)
It takes about 4 cups of berries to end up with 2 cups of seedless blackberry puree or, as we like to call it, Elemental Blackberry Ingredient. (We don’t really call it that.)
So you leave the strained blackberry-whatever in a bowl and make the rest of the cream mix.
Put four egg yolks in a bowl with a cup of sugar. (Save the egg whites for adding to some fluffy thing you will think of later.) Stir this vigorously until it is a vigorously stirred mix of egg yolks and sugar.
Leave that bowl sitting around maybe beside the bowl of blackberry-whatever.
Put two cups of milk (I use 1% milk) in a saucepan. Heat it up, stirring some, till it’s about to simmer (don’t burn it!) then take it off the stove.
Mix the egg/sugar mixture into the hot milk.
Put the pan of milk/eggs/sugar BACK on the stove on medium (I never do anything on medium so maybe medium HIGH) and stick a thermometer in there and stir and cook to about 170 degrees F. (some other number Centigrade — I have no idea what) to kill whatever deadly diseases inhabit raw eggs.
Take the kettle off the heat (and turn off the stove– how many times do I have to tell you?) and let it cool to room temperature. Then add the blackberry-whatever, a teaspoon of vanilla and also, A SECRET INGREDIENT.
SECRET INGREDIENT: 1/4 cup of brandy
Make certain no one is looking, then stir in the Secret Ingredient.
(The Secret Ingredient adds of course a wonderful flavor but it also makes the ice cream easier to scoop since it inhibits freezing just a little bit. And that is the excuse you use if someone happens to catch you adding it.)
Pour this purple cream (must find a different color lid) into a bowl, cover the top and refrigerate it all day or overnight. The colder the better. Ok go home now.
* * * * time passes * * * *
Well good morning– Welcome back to Cooking with Linnie!
We continue our instructions.
First you go to the basement and bring up the ice-cream machine’s frozen bowl from out of the freezer. (If there is someone else around try to get them to do it, it’s dark down there and who wants to climb stairs.)
Take the chilled blackberry cream mix out of the refrigerator and put it in some kind of pitcher because if you pour it from the bowl you will wish you were dead, what a mess, trust me on this.
Turn on the assembled machine, pour in the cream mix, lick the spatula and wait. Set the stove timer for thirty minutes, just so you have a rough idea about timing.
So now we have 30 minutes until ice cream … tick tick tick… but wait! there is a rift in the kitchen space-time continuum–and the timer rings! (Mr. Spock would love this.)
It is still soft ice cream at first. Just scoop it into its storage bowl. The soft cream hardens quickly in the freezer. In the meantime there is usually a fight about who gets to lick which spoons, bowls etc.; it can be rough.
This ice cream tastes like summer. The flavor of the berries is vivid, the texture is dense, the brandy is very subtle in the background… You will love it.
(Hmm, should I be doing wine reviews?)
Someday I will make this recipe with strawberries, or peaches, or raspberries…