Tag Archives: maine blueberries

blueberry mascarpone custard ice cream

17 Sep

rasps

Note: Given that I wrote these words last month, their memory is extra sweet. What I wouldn’t give for some plump fresh berries!

Raspberries are in full swing here. I simply cannot pass by a raspberry bush without grabbing a few of those sweet morsels. Raspberry bushes grow well in sunlit compacted soils, such as one might find lining roads and old log landings, so it’s a given that a heck of a lot of raspberries cross my path. And I go crazy for them, day after day. Ignoring plump ripe raspberries is like wishing summer away, which is something I would never do. I see each berry that I pick as giving thanks to the splendor of the world around me, and thanks for summer’s plentiful bounty. Is there a small thing that you do to savor the season and make the most of each day? I’d love to hear about the raspberry equivalent in your life.

But meanwhile, this post isn’t about raspberries.

blueberry mascarpone custard ice cream

This post is about blueberries.

I’ve made it my life’s mission to 1) listen to New Kids on the Block’s slammin’ album ’10′ at least once per day, and 2) come up with as many tasty blueberry recipes as possible. I’m still working on my hefty score from last year, and while I thought this was going to be the recipe to wipe my stash clean, I somehow still have several pounds in my freezer.

As I will proudly proclaim if you ever ask me (though you won’t), I don’t own an ice cream maker. I don’t find it a useful:space taken up in the kitchen ratioed gadget, given that I can create wonderful custard ice creams that I can then proceed to let chill on their own in the freezer. I do dream of the day when I can freeze my way through my copy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home (finally, a cookbook I actually own… yet most recipes being ones I can currently only ponder), but for now, custard ice cream is the height of splendor at my home.

A whole tub of mascarpone has been added into this ice cream’s simple custard base, and the decadence is nearly outlandish. Smooth, creamy, and rich, each spoonful is akin to skiing down a mountain of mascarpone, skis cutting into the terrain and sweeping up great softly-cheesy waves of ambrosial delight.

If you know of a mountain where I can indeed ski across cheese, please contact me immediately.

blueberry mascarpone custard ice cream

Blueberry Mascarpone Custard Ice Cream

(Blueberry Saucy adapted from aforementioned Jeni’s)

Makes 1 delightfully large tub-full

For the Blueberry Saucy:

3 c. blueberries
Scant 1 1/2 c. sugar

Cook blueberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened somewhat. If you use wild blueberries, the thickenage will not be terribly apparent, but fear not, the sauce will thicken. Remove from heat and let cool.

For the Mascarpone Custard Ice Cream:

2 c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
4-8 egg yolks, depending on how you feel about wasting/using egg whites
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
Hearty pinch of salt
1 tub mascarpone (8 oz.)

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugars. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the cream and milk and heat gently until the mixture is approaching the frothy-boil stage but not boiling. Remove the pan from heat, and ever so slowly, pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture in a small but steady stream, whilst furiously whisking to avoid scrambling your eggs. Return to saucepan, and constantly stirring, cook over low heat until the mixture thickens up. This will take at least ten minutes, and may take as long as twenty, depending on your heat level and stirrage.

Remove from heat, and allow to cool at least ten minutes, until it is still hot, yet you can touch the mixture without injury. Add the tub of mascarpone, mixing in until it is melted.

In a freeer-proof container, alternate layers of the custard with layers of the blueberry sauce. Freeze (no stirring!) until, you guessed it, frozen.

016joepyestorm old chanterelle beach

After what feels like months of rain, because it has been, we have finally been gifted with a day or two of sunshine.

Late summer flowers are decaying, like the joe-pye weed you see up above. That’s Joe-Pye named after a mythical Indian who once upon-a cured a man’s typhus by making him perspire profusely due to a tea made from this plant, not Josie Pye, the perenially-unpleasant cheater from Avonlea.

I’m seen a lot of inclement weather, picked more than my fair share of wild mushrooms, and I even (finally) got to go to the beach. Summer was wonderful…. bring on autumn!

kiwi lime blueberry raw cheesecakelets

13 Mar

I told myself I wouldn’t give you another blueberry recipe so soon. But I am on a ball. I am on a roll. And what do you do with a ball that is rolling? You kick it to the moon, duh.

Are you ready for my moon-kicked ball of the week? I, the self-proclaimed patron saint of all things buttery, and sugary, and unhealthy and yummy and preservativey and chemicaly and badforyouy, have managed to churn up a confusing surprise.

Kiwi Lime Blueberry Raw Cheesecakelets!

kiwi lime blueberry raw cheesecake

We have my favorite world scamperer Hannah to thank for the inspiration here. Her whirling dervish of a mind has created two similar delicacies (mango, blackberry), both of which I’ve made and loved. I recently made two varieties of my own, and while these that you see here turned out to be severely kickass, my other creation (tangerine + meyer lemon) left much to be desired. Hence, another blueberry smack in the face for ya. Smack.

You know what else is severely kickass? How easily my truck can churn through huge patches of mud. Things are warming up around here, and now that roads are getting sloppy, I regularly create muddy water tunnels as I drive. Legit walls of water go up and around the back of my truck, occasionally lapping down into the bed. Picture that. Now picture THIS:

partridge

Pretty cute, eh? Look at that ruffed grouse, being all ruffed and stuff. They call them partridge around here, which is sort of foolish if you ask me, because partridge are partridge, and grouse are grouse. But what would I know? I’m just from away… [and, uh, from the "top ruffed grouse-producing state in the US"].

The same they that call grouse ‘partridge’ shoot said partridge (grouse) like nobody’s business, so it’s reassuring to me, the ultimate non-hunter that I currently am, to find out that there is a roughed grouse population cycle, that seemingly transpires regardless of hunting pressure. Sometimes I wish I had studied wildlife biology in much more depth than I had time for in college. At the very least, I wish I had interacted with the peculiar grouse people who I lived near for a few weeks as a forestry student. They got up before the sunrise to go sit silently in the woods and wait to hear grouse drumming on logs, i.e. being all courtshipish. Weird? I thought so.

Next up, a nifty little segue. See that piece of wood in the background in the first picture? That’s a piece of birdseye maple, renowned for its gorgeousness and hefty sales tag. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Hmm, well, check out what I’ve been up to in the past week….

birdseyeheart tree

Yep, I’ve been marking birdseye maple logs. At my awesome job site that is filled with awesome wood. It is such an incredible place, and the trees are so very happy to grow there that they even develop heart shapes to show affection for their surroundings. Aww.

Okay, enough silly woods love.

Bring on the raw cheesecakelets!

kiwi lime blueberry raw cheesecake

These have a bit of a kick from the kiwi, so choose the softest kiwi possible if looking to avoid a mouth-puckering experience. I used wild blueberries here; perhaps with storebought ones, less sweetener would be needed.

Kiwi Lime Blueberry Raw Cheesecakelets {inspiration here}

Makes 12

For the crust

1/2 c. cashews
2/3 c. dates, pitted
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp agave nectar or honey

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until mixture comes together when pressed. If mixture remains loose, add water 1/2 tsp at a time, until mixture clumps well.

Divide mixture across 12 muffin cups, pressing evenly and well into each cup. Set aside in the freezer.

For the cheesecakealicious topping

Heaping 1/2 c. cashews, soaked overnight, and drained
Fruit of 3 kiwis
2/3 – 3/4 c. blueberries, frozen or fresh
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil, melted

In a (clean) food processor, pulse cashews for 10 seconds. Add kiwi fruit, blueberries, lime juice, agave nectar or honey, and salt, and blend until smooth. Add coconut oil, and pulse until combined.

Pour/scoop mixture evenly across 12 prepared muffin cups, smoothing the top of each. Freeze until set, at least three hours in a deep freeze, longer in a refrigerator freezer. Thaw for ten minutes before removing from muffin pan – this will make them easier to remove.

Serve cheesecakelets slightly thawed, depending on how long you’re willing to wait; I would recommend 5-10 minutes to take a bit of the cold edge off.

kiwi lime blueberry raw cheesecake

chocolate ginger blueberry crème brûlée

5 Mar

chocolate ginger blueberry creme brulee

For those of you who read one to two to several blogs, you will understand my indubitable ennui when I tell you that my Google Reader currently has 341 unread posts. I’m trying to keep up on all that you out there, on the frontiers of the crazy wild internet, have to offer, but I’m doing battle with a foe I cannot conquer: a slow internet connection (and a desire to do other things…. like watch episodes of The Vampire Diaries). Like a grumpy curmudgeon, I trundle along each night, making my way slooowly across the endless pages of the web. Where would our lives be without it, I ask you.

Would we be free to quietly enjoy the last throes of winter, storm upon storm bringing impressive blizzards and quickly accumulating snow cover; would we seek out the small telltale hints of green peeking through on the forest floor, trumpeting proudly that spring is on the way? Or would we simply be searching, impatiently, for the next big technologic thing?

I guess we’ll never know, because this here’s the internet, and it’s growing mightier every day.

allagashsnowprints DSC04209moss featherslichentree moss

Today I would like to showcase the 689th post in an impromptu series I like to call “What to Make When It is Summer, or, Get Cooking Already! Your Freezer is Jam-Packed with Blueberries.” Interestingly enough, you may recall that Post #688 (Post#3, in actuality) also featured the stellar duo of ginger and blueberry – - looks like the recipe apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

But. BUT! Oh my goodness. The idea for this Chocolate Ginger Blueberry Crème Brûlée came to me, like in a dream. Like a crazy dream, you know, where you aren’t quite sure if the thoughts that sound so radical in your head will turn out to be only subpar once they reach your tastebuds?

Those dreams are the worst – - but also the best, because sometimes they produce lovely results such as you see here.

chocolate ginger blueberry creme brulee

A hearty crunch of burnt sugar tops a near-pudding like dream of chocolate custard that is mixed with juicy blueberries and perfectly spiced with both fresh and dried ginger. I don’t always crow the deliciousness of my recipes, but oh man is this a winner. Try it out and you will not be disappointed (I sincerely hope).

Chocolate Ginger Blueberry Crème Brûlée {basic brûlée found here}

Makes 5 individual servings

++Ingredients:++

2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp freshly-grated ginger
1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
3 oz dark/bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp sugar
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (and defrosted) blueberries
5 tbsp sugar, to top custards

++Directions:++

Preheat oven to 275F. In a small pan, bring cream, 1/4 c. sugar and freshly-grated ginger to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Add ground ginger and chocolate, and whisk until combined.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 3 tbsp sugar with egg yolks. Whisking constantly to avoid the dreaded scrambled-eggs-in-pudding outcome, pour the egg mixture into the pan in a slow but steady stream. Cook for one to two minutes more, then remove from heat.

At this point some of you may want to strain your custard through a mesh sieve. Unlike some custards, this one (being more pudding-like) does not seem to produce any lumps, so straining is to me quite unnecessary.

Distribute blueberries evenly amongst five ramekins. Pour custard mixture on top of blueberries. Place ramekins inside of a baking or roasting pan, and fill pan with boiling water until the waterline reaches 2/3rds the heights of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes to one hour, or until the custards have set – if you press down in the center and you feel some resistance, your custard has set.

Let custards cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge (or ten minutes on the counter if you are impatient like me). Top each ramekin with 1 tbsp of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to create the brûléed effect of caramelization; in place of a kitchen torch, broil for one or two minutes on the top rack of your oven.

chocolate ginger blueberry creme brulee

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