Friday, November 9, 2012

The White Stuff-- Sour Cream Ice Cream

 It's the second week of November, and my family has already held the secret meeting where they decide who will host the various holiday dinners of the next few months.

 Not me-- big surprise! I'm not upset, since I can't afford it this year anyhow. And if that small slight is the worst of the power plays that occur over these winter holidays, I'll be happy and grateful.

 You know how it is-- half of your family thinks your a) food, b) spouse/friends, c) living space, or d) religious ideas, are too weird to entrust a whole, important gathering to YOU. So someone else takes the lead, then bitches about how the load always falls on them. Or something like that. And you, or me in this case, are relegated to bringing the salad.

That's how it was for me in my twenties, until the one year I campaigned harder than usual to be allowed to bring a dessert. I brought a chocolate mousse cake glazed with ganache and sprinkled with dark cocoa-- and I haven't brought the salad since, unless I really wanted to in a given year.

 That is why I now spend extra prep time on finding a special dish to bring to each family party I attend. They forgive me for being myself, at least temporarily, and remember my pies, cakes, lasagna, or green bean salad fondly. I let it go, that they cannot understand why I want to be included in the discussion/decision. It isn't the only way to achieve harmony, but it works for me.

 I think I've found the perfect thing for this year's hell holy days: a rich, melt-in-your-mouth sour cream ice cream that would be perfect with just about any pie imaginable. And, as many of my new and old favorite recipes tend to be, it is both simple in concept and easy to make.

 The reason I stumbled across it so early in the season of frantic recipe searching, is that the hubby-man is conducting a coffee tasting of the newest Starbuck's Christmas Blend today, for his Coffee Master certification; and he asked me to find a dessert that would complement and bring out the flavor. The new blend, to be introduced in stores soon, is a lighter roast, with a fruity acidity that I immediately knew I wanted to showcase. We did several tastings, and the surprise flavor that blew us away, was when I dipped a finger into some sour cream leftover from a taco fest, and then sipped the Christmas Blonde brew. We agreed, it was a special match. But instead of making a cookie or cake with sour cream, I searched for an ice cream recipe, and found this jewel, that tastes as rich as cheesecake, putting the tangy sour cream flavor right up front.

 I've paired it, for Garrett's event, with a simple lemon biscotti studded with candied ginger; but the original article the recipe came from suggested a pairing with fruit pies, and I can't think of any pie or cobbler that would not be enhanced by a scoop of this. You could eat a bowl of this on its own, or with fresh fruit-- raspberries, pears, mango, sauteed apples. But if you want this to shine even brighter, put a scoop on top of a fruit pie, even a mince or pumpkin, and it couldn't fail on a walnut or pecan pie, a cranberry crisp, or instead of the usual whipped cream on top of rice pudding or any chocolate cake or custard.

 And now, I'm hungry! The recipe is from, and first appeared in the much-mourned food mag, Gourmet. My own notes follow.

Sour-Cream Ice Cream 
Gourmet | July 2009
by Ian Knauer
yield: Makes about 5 cups
active time: 15 min
total time: 6 1/4 hr (includes freezing)

1 (16-ounces) container chilled sour cream (full fat, not light or fat-free; they're too watery)
1 cup chilled half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Equipment: an ice cream maker

Purée all ingredients with 1/8 teaspoon salt in a blender* until mixture is smooth and sugar has dissolved. Chill until very, very cold.
Freeze mixture in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up, about 6 hours.
Cooks' notes:
 •Cream mixture can be chilled up to 24 hours.
•Ice cream can be made 3 days ahead. Let soften 20 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. 
*Mari's notes-- I used a whisk to blend the mix thoroughly, and it wasn't difficult. The mixture is rich and soft, so do worry if your ice cream maker can't get it super firm. It will firm up nicely, in a covered container, in the freezer, preferably overnight, but give it more than the 6 hours suggested even if overnight isn't possible, just to make sure. There's nothing more annoying to try to serve, than not-set ice cream! Once firmed, it does need a little time to soften, as noted, but I'd check it at 10 minutes instead of 20, to be safe.
Enjoy, and have a great weekend--


No comments:

Post a Comment