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.
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 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.
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!