Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Lemon Blueberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
I have really been into going berry picking at local farms here, which are plentiful here in the Northwest. And this past weekend, I went berry picking yet again (....but can you blame me, its around $1/pound!) and I was pleasantly surprised that the blueberries were in full swing! And let me tell you, blueberries grow on the most adorable little bushes! I got a little over 2 pounds in maybe 10 minutes. It was such an amazingly sunny day, and I knew I had to make something special with these berries.
It was a hot weekend, and all I had on my mind were the follow things in no particular order: ice cream, cookies, refreshing, and cold! Immediately, the idea of ice cream sandwiches jumped to mind. And almost like magic, I was struck with the taste of bright, refreshing lemons with blueberries....in ice cream form! And cookies, lemon cookies...! And so began the long journey of making ice cream sandwiches from scratch, every step of the way.
For the ice cream, you make a blueberry compote first, which will get swirled into the lemon ice cream. Then you make cookies, and then you assemble. A little note, making everything in one day was quite the project. I think it would be much more manageable splitting it into two parts. But I needed my fix of ice cream sandwiches, stat! So, right after berry picking I got to work.
Here is what you will need:
2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. corn starch
2 - 13.5 fl oz cans coconut milk (not the low fat kind!)
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. arrowroot
4 - 5 tbsp. lemon juice
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
12 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Ener-G egg equivalent
First thing first, you want to make the blueberry compote. That way you can put it in the fridge to cool while you make the lemon ice cream mixture. Start by rinsing 2 c. blueberries, put into a medium pot and add the sugar. With a fork or a potato masher, start to crush/smoosh the berries until they release their juice and there are no more whole berries left. Simmer for 5 - 7 minutes. You should have a dark sauce with smooshed up berries that look pretty mushy as well. Add the tbsp. of lemon juice to the 2 tbsp. cornstarch, mix and add to compote. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. It should have thickened up a lot, and be like a thick blueberry syrupy sauce almost. Set aside in fridge to cool.
Next up, the lemon ice cream. Reserve a 1/4 c. of the coconut milk, and set aside. In a medium sized pot, add the rest of the coconut milk along with the sugar. Cook on medium high. While this gets up to temp, take your 1/4 c. coconut milk and incorporate your 2 tbsp. arrowroot. When the sugar/coconut milk just starts to boil, take it off the burner, add the arrowroot mixture, and stir to combine. You should notice this getting a bit thicker as well. After everything is incorporated, add 4 tbsp. of lemon juice. Taste, and if you like it a bit more zingy, add another tbsp. of lemon. Stir, and set aside in fridge to cool completely.
For everything to come together in your ice cream maker, your lemon mixture really needs to be cold. Even just "cool" can be too warm and it will not work. Trust me on this, I too once was anxious to have my ice cream and threw in a cooled mixture into the ice cream maker and it never quite got where it needed to go. So you have two options at this point: 1. make the cookies or 2. take a nice, long break! I left my mixture in the fridge about 3 hours, stirring every once in a while.
Once totally cold, follow your ice cream maker instructions accordingly with the lemon ice cream. After it is done, I layered the lemon ice cream and the compote. For every couple of scoops of lemon ice cream I put into my container, I would add a big, heaping spoonful of blueberry compote. After filling your container in this fashion, simply take a knife and make swirly figures in your ice cream. Place in freezer to harden.
Ok, if you are brave, you will venture onto the cookies. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix to combine all ingredients. One tbsp. at a time, mix in your butter. After all of your butter chucks are well combined, add your vanilla, lemon, and Ener-G egg equivalent. Mix until the dough comes together. Take it out of the bowl, and knead for a 2 - 3 minutes. Roll it into a log, wrap in saran wrap and stick it in the fridge for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. You will notice the dough is super soft, similar to sugar cookies. Freezing the dough a little will make it easier to handle the dough.
Fast forward 1 hour or so, take out your cookie dough log, slice off cookies in 1/4" slices. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place on a non-stick baking tray or onto a tray lined with a Silpat mat. Bake cookies until slightly golden brown, 12 - 14 minutes. You want your cookies slightly softer than normal, this will make it easier to bite into your delicious ice cream sandwich. Let the cookies cool completely.
Ok, now for the fun and tasty part. Finally, right!? If you are not worried how nice and neat the sandwiches look, take the ice cream out of the freezer and set it on the counter for 20 minutes or so to soften up a bit. Scoop several spoonfuls onto a cookie, place a cookie on top, with the edge of the spoon, smooth out the edges a bit. You can eat this now, or freeze it a bit to firm up the ice cream again. Firming up the ice cream is what I recommend, but I have to admit I had one right away. After all of this work, I had to do it, okay!?
If you want really neat, pretty sandwiches, you can do what I did. Simply take some softened ice cream, fill a little ramekin with about 1" of ice cream, throw the ramekin in the freezer for 20 - 30 minutes. Use a knife to line the edge of the ramekin, this will loosen the ice cream circle. Turn upside down and tap onto cutting board. Out should pop a neat, little circle you can simply place onto the cookies to make the sandwiches.
Eat lots of these and enjoy! You have earned it!