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Easiest Mango Ice Cream

13 Sep

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A few weeks ago, when I shared a recipe for fresh peach frozen yogurt, someone asked me a very valid question about whether there was a way to make frozen yogurt or ice cream without using an ice cream maker. Sadly, I did not know of a way, but the question got me thinking about whether or not it was possible to make creamy, homemade ice cream by just mixing things together, saying a small prayer to the ice cream gods, then plopping everything into the freezer. As it turns out, there is. Unbeknownst to me, people all around the world have been making simple freezer ice creams for decades, and, curiously, all of the recipes for those ice creams, whether they hail from the Southern United States or Southeast Asia, all contain one common ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. Now, I happen to be genetically linked to Southeast Asia, and my husband’s family hails from the South, but it had never occurred to me to use sweetened condensed milk in, well, anything. I wasn’t even sure what it was, to be honest.

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Sweetened condensed milk, I have found, is sweetened milk, from which the water has been removed. It is not to be confused with evaporated milk, which is a different product all together, though, as you will soon see, one with which I have also recently become acquainted. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be sitting here telling you about a recipe that contains two processed milk items that hail from sealed cans, but sometimes life takes a funny turn. And then you find yourself sitting around eating the best mango ice cream you’ve ever had, wondering what took you so long to discover such a fantastic recipe. With just mangoes, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and a bit of heavy cream to make things just that much more decadent, you, too, can create this wonderful ice cream in your very own kitchen, no ice cream maker required.

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Last Year: Tzatziki Biscuits with Caramelized Shallot Butter and Spice Cake with Salted Brown Butter Frosting

Mango Ice Cream

Heavily adapted from Mangoes and Curry Leaves, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

24 ounces of mango chunks (you can use frozen mango chunks, as I did, or you can get this amount of mango flesh from anywhere from 4-8 mangoes, depending on the size and ripeness of the mangoes you use—yes, it really can vary that much)

1 ¼ cups sweetened condensed milk

1 1/3 cups evaporated milk

½ cup heavy cream

juice of ½ a lime

pinch of salt

In the bowl of a food processor or large blender, puree mango chunks until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream, and blend until combined. Add lime juice and salt, and blend once more.

Now, you have three different options at this point. You can either pour the mixture into a large freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, you can freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, or you can pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until completely firm (warning: this amount of ice cream mixture will make a huge number of popsicles—we’re talking more than a dozen).

The ice cream will be done freezing when it is firm, but it will remain a bit grainy when frozen solid. If you allow the ice cream to soften at room temperature for just a bit before scooping it, you will be rewarded handsomely with the creamiest ice cream you’ve ever produced in the comfort of your own home.

Makes around 6 cups of ice cream.

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Peach Frozen Yogurt

16 Aug

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Do you want to know the one thing I really dislike about frozen yogurt from a frozen yogurt shop (I am certain no one here has ever considered my complaints about frozen yogurt before now, but play along)? I mean, besides the fact that it is almost painfully over-sweetened? And the unappealing flavors that serve no purpose other than to satisfy a dare (cotton candy? French toast?)? And, all right, the rather mysterious list of ingredients that go into making a frozen confection taste like French toast? So, those are three things already, I know, but do you want to know the biggest complaint I have about frozen yogurt?

It tastes absolutely nothing like yogurt.

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Believe me, I know this is a ridiculous thing to point out. However, it is also the perfect manner in which one comes to the realization that, my goodness, do you even know how easy it is to make frozen yogurt at home? Frozen yogurt that is made of actual yogurt, chopped fruit, just a sprinkling of sugar, and not much else?

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It’s not ice cream, of course, but that’s not what we’re going for here. What we’re looking for is a tartness that is not found in ice cream, and a focus on fruit that can oftentimes be overshadowed by the delectably forward creaminess of ice cream. This frozen yogurt is all about the two flavors of peaches and yogurt coming together. In a fit of curiosity, I added a tablespoon of bourbon to the frozen yogurt right before the mixture was ready to be pulled from the ice cream maker and, boy howdy, can I recommend that you do the same. Bright peaches, tart yogurt, and the woodsy undertone of bourbon? Now there are some things that I definitely like about frozen yogurt.

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Last Year: Vintage Kitchen Tools and Chicken Tikka with Tomato–a fantastic potluck offering

Peach Frozen Yogurt

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz

1 ½ pounds of ripe peaches 9 about 5 large)

2 tablespoons water

¼ cup sugar

1 cup whole milk yogurt

1/2  tsp pure vanilla extract

a few drops of fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon bourbon

Peel the peaches (here is a great peeling tutorial–and a great recipe for a no-bake fresh peach pie!), slice them in half, and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into chunks, and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan set over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and cooked through. You’ll want to see the peaches sitting in a nice bed of their released syrup. Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar until it is dissolved, then cool completely in the refrigerator.

When the peaches are completely cool, puree them with the yogurt in a blender, food processor, or with a stick blender. The peach mixture should be mostly smooth, but still a bit chunky. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the mixture reaches the consistency of super soft soft serve, add in the bourbon, then continue to freeze until the mixture is ready to be removed from the ice cream maker and packed into a freezer-safe container.

Makes about 3 cups.

Berry Almond Breakfast Cake

9 Aug

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This cake is a doozy. I know that it may seem rather bold of me to begin diving right into the accolades here—jeez, lady, tell us how you really feel—but there is little more that I can say about this cake than this: it is perfect

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This is the cake that I want in my sticky little hands when I think of coffee cake. This is the cake that I want to see in front of me when I imagine a streusel-topped, berry-filled breakfast treat. This is exactly the type of cake that will make almond-phobes (no, really—those actually exist) do a complete 180 and finally come around to the realization that almond cakes are a delightful, delectable thing to behold.

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Not surprisingly, this cake recipe hails from the great repertoire of Tartine, the bakery that satisfies all of my bakery dreams and needs. (What? You don’t have bakery dreams and needs? Surely, I can’t be the only one who…okay, never mind—maybe I don’t want to know the answer to that) With a light almond flavor, a perfect, buttery crumb topping, and an almost hidden layer of berries baked into delicious secrecy inside, I can’t think of another coffee cake I’ve had that checks off all the delightful, delectable boxes that this one does.

And now I am going to stop talking, because you need to drop what you are doing and make this cake right now.

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Last Year: Niçoise Cobb Salad, Homemade Lemonade and Limeade and White Bean and Tomato Bruschetta

Berry Almond Breakfast Cake

Adapted from Tartine, by Elizabeth Prueitt

Crumble topping:

½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly firmer than room temperature

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

2/3 cup (3 ounces) almond meal or finely ground almonds

1/3 cup (about 2 ¼ ounces) granulated sugar

pinch of salt

Cake:

6 ounces of almond paste, or make your own almond paste by combining about ¾ of a cup (4 ounces) of blanched almonds with ½ cup (2 ounces) of powdered sugar and blending together in a food processor until the mixture becomes very fine and just starts to clump together

¾ cup (about 5 ¼ ounces) granulated sugar

¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (7 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

½ pint (about 5 ½ ounces) fresh berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

To make the crumble topping, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on high speed until creamy. Add flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt and mix only until all of the ingredients are incorporated. You do not want a smooth mixture; it should still have a crumble appearance. If you overmix it, cover it and chill it for  about 1 hour, and then break it into crumble-sized pieces. Place the topping aside.

To make the cake, place the almond paste (or your own almond and confectioners’ sugar mixture) in the large bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until the paste is broken up. Add the granulated sugar and gradually increase the speed to medium. Continue to mix until there are no lumps. Add the butter and mix until creamy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula. On low speed, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and eggs all at once, then increase the speed to medium and mix just until everything is combined. Do not overmix.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Top with berries, distributing it evenly over the surface, and then add the crumble topping, scattering it evenly over the top of the berries. (At this point you can cover the assembled cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The next morning, remove the cake from the refrigerator and leave it out at room temperature for about 45 minutes before baking.)

Bake the cake until the crumble topping is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into a non-fruity part of the cake reveals a completely cooked, non-runny cake. Tartine’s cookbook says that this will take 40 minutes to accomplish, but my cake was not done until it had baked for 60 to 70 minutes (at 40 minutes the batter was still incredibly runny). My advice to you is to check the cake at 40 minutes, then, if it’s not done, continue to bake it, checking on it every 10 minutes or so to gauge its doneness.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve the cake directly from the pan. You will not be able to reliably remove it without completely destroying the cake.

Serves 8 to 12 people.

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