Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When Coriander Made It Into Our Ice Cream

It is hot. In the 100s hot.

I am counting down the days when we will be traveling to Vermont and later to the Basque Country. Meanwhile, we continue to eat cherries and all sorts of berries by the handful.

And then, there are ice creams and sorbets.

"Can you help me pick these green seeds from this cilantro plant?" I asked Jon a few weeks ago. "See the flowers? That means there will be no more cilantro leaves". "Is the cilantro dead?" he asked with a concerned look on his face. "No, not dead, but we will not be cooking with the leaves now. Instead we will use the seeds".

I love a beautiful flowering cilantro plant. So delicate and dainty.

We collected the green coriander seeds and laid them out to dry. I add them to anything these days.

Last week, I received a new book in the mail. A book dedicated to all things ice cream. Just what I crave at the moment.

Written by Jeni Britton Bauer, who owns Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream in Columbus, the book is photographed by Stacy Newgent whose work I have admired for a long time. I sat down with it over the weekend and bookmarked nearly every page.

Then I came across the coriander and raspberry ice cream.

Instant swoon.

Inspired by this flavor combination, I quickly began making my own version. Coriander-scented cheesecake ice cream with chunky raspberry sauce swirled all throughout.

I toasted the coriander seeds that Jon had helped me pick weeks before and steeped them in the milk. Subtle, but enough to make the cheesecake ice cream pop.

I couldn't stop licking the spatula.

Could you?

On Sunday, after we went swimming and while everyone relaxed, I cooked a batch of fruit en papillote (remember this one?) with vanilla bean, a touch of grated ginger, and lemon thyme.

Red and golden raspberries, frozen red currants, red velvet apricots, and rainier cherries. So light and fragrant.

Served the fruit with the coriander and raspberry swirl cheesecake ice cream.

A dollop of cream. Extra raspberry sauce on top.

And the leftovers? The leftovers were turned into milkshakes.

Miren approved.

Coriander and Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream

Raspberry Sauce

2 cups (260 g) raspberries
3/4 cups (150 g) natural cane sugar

Place raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Coriander Cheesecake Ice Cream

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
3/4 cup (185 ml) whole milk
8 oz (225 g) cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz (225 g) crème frâiche
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs (125 g) caster sugar

In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over medium high heat until fragrant. Coarsely crush them (do not turn them into a fine powder).

Combine the coriander and milk in a small sauce pan. Bring to a light simmer, turn off the heat, and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes. Strain and discard the seeds.

In the food processor, pulse the cream cheese, crème frâiche, sugar, and milk together until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill for at least 1 hour.

Churn the ice cream in your machine according to manufacturers instructions. When it is finished, swirl in half of the raspberry sauce and reserve the rest as a topping. Freeze until solid.

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