Thursday, June 21, 2012

Raspberry Ice Cream

I love raspberries. They are absolutely the best fruit in the world and my husband and kids completely agree. This week I went raspberry picking with my eldest son Zane with most of the berries for me to make jam but at his request we used part of our berries to make ice cream. 

My ice cream maker was a wedding gift 14 years ago and it's gotten a lot of use but I'm a lazy cook so the only recipes I've made were blend & pour. I've never made the heat, stir, add eggs sort of ice cream recipes before. Zane can be insistent (i.e. nagging) when he wants something and he REALLY wanted to make raspberry ice cream so we settled on this recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

Raspberry Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart – Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop
1 1/2 cups half and half and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yokes, lightly whisked to break up the egg yokes
1 1/2 cups strained raspberry puree
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Warm the sugar and cream together in a medium saucepan. Add about one cup of the warmed cream and sugar mixture to the whisked egg yolks stirring constantly so you don’t get scrambled eggs. Pour the egg/cream mixture back into the pot and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 170, or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, stirring constantly.
Pour the custard through the strainer, just in case you scrambled some eggs, and add 1 1/2 cups strained raspberry puree and the lemon juice. Chill over an ice bath, stirring until cool. Taste the mixture to make sure it’s raspberry enough for you. If not, you can add 1 teaspoon raspberry extract or more raspberry puree.
I stored the ice cream in a 1 quart gelato container I saved from last summer and let it harden for a couple of hours before enjoying a bowl.
Let me admit one little mistake I made...I misread the eggs and added 4 egg whites instead of 4 egg yokes. It turned out fine and tasty and probably cut out a bunch of calories but still I'm mad at myself for that one. But hey, what else can you expect when cooking with kids?
By the way, we LOVE this ice cream and I've got a feeling I'll be making it again as soon as we go pick some more raspberries.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Making Raspberry Jam With My Little Man

My younger boys are spending the week at their grandparents and I'm enjoying time with my firstborn, Zane. Today we went raspberry picking together, just the two of us, and it was so much fun. We absolutely love raspberries but it's not so easy to take all of my boys picking, especially since my 3 year old will touch EVERYTHING and run off the instant my attention wanders. 

I found Grace Farm Studio at last year when we visited for the first time. They have the amazing price of $2 per pint for their organic raspberries on Tuesdays while it's $4 per pint the rest of the week. Needless to say we'll be coming back again...on another Tuesday this summer.

Zane and I decided our goals were to get going by 8am (to beat the heat) and pick 4-5 pints. It was nice to be out in nature doing something with my big kid that we both enjoy. We did so well picking that we ended up with 7 pints! Zane did his fair share and picked 3 himself while I did the other 4. We also managed to eat a lot as we picked and that's part of the fun. We agreed that we would make raspberry jam and raspberry ice cream so that's what we did as soon as we got home.

I used this tutorial as my guide to making raspberry jam. I've done strawberry before, many years ago, but this was my first time making raspberry jam. First we washed 3 pints of raspberries and then smashed them up. Zane helped with this part though he managed to smack the berries more than smash them.
I wanted to make a low sugar batch so I used white grape juice as my sweetener. I added the no sugar pectin and brought the mix to a hard boil. Then I added the remaining juice and brought the mix back to a hard boil for a minute while stirring the whole time. I removed the mix from heat and skimmed off the foam. Finally it was time to pour it into my jars and seal them up. I processed the jars in boiling water for about 8 minutes and then took them out to cool.

We ended up with 8 jars of very tart raspberry jam. I love the taste of it but Zane didn't find it sweet enough for him.
I'm thrilled to have yummy jam that will (hopefully) last a while but even more than that I love making memories with Zane. These summer days when parenthood are both fun and productive are my favorites. It's a nice change from the messyness I usually deal with as a parent.

Ok Summer, bring it on!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Menu Plan 6/18- 6/24

Me & my love in the Smokies
I'm back from a wonderful vacation in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. This week I'm missing two of my kids as they went home with their grandparents after vacation and I won't get them back until Saturday. Since I've only got Zane I'm choosing meals he likes and the other two boys don't.

So far life is much easier with just one 10 year old boy. There is no sibling fighting that constantly needs my intercession and Zane is old enough to take care of himself. I'm planning to get a lot of things done around the house this week and I'm going to take Zane raspberry picking. Raspberries are the absolute favorite fruit for everyone in our home. I'm growing a bunch myself but none of mine are ripe yet. I'm hoping we can pick enough to make raspberry jam and I'll write about the experience later this week.

Weekly Menu Plan 6/18-6/24
Monday: Strawberry Poppyseed Salad for me & Dinner out for the boys
Tuesday: Salmon Cakes, leafy lettuce salad
Wednesday: Pasta with marinara sauce, salad, whole wheat bread
Thursday: Tacos with 1/2 cup pureed lentils mixed in
Friday: Baked Ziti
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Burgers & leftovers

You can find lots more menus at Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.
What's on your menu plan this week?


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