Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ice cream ends the egg saga

To summarize the now-ended saga of the three dozen eggs: most went to the two batches of ice cream and the rest to Eva's poached-egg-and-soldier appetizer.

More about the ice cream

I had a ton of cherries (Rainier) because I initially thought I'd make a clafoutis, but then I was looking through the Chez Panisse Desserts book and found a recipe for cherry ice cream with kirsch. The cherries were simmered then blended, but I left them a little chunky. The kirsch went in right before blending (not because the recipe called for it, but because I didn't have any in the house when I was making the ice cream custard). The final product was good, but I actually think I don't love cherry ice cream. Maybe if I had used bing cherries, the flavor would have been able to stand up to all that dairy, but I felt like, as it was, it sort of lacked personality. The kirsch gave it a nice kick though.

I also made salted caramel ice cream. I used this David Lebovitz recipe, but left out the praline. Sometimes when I'm making caramel, I have trouble getting it to achieve that perfect brown, but this time it was no problem. Is that because I was using TJ's organic cane sugar that was already a little bit tan? I have no idea. But since it worked so well, I'll use it again in the future.

This ice cream was the all-around favorite. It was very rich and sweet--best eaten in small scoops with a crunchy cookie--but opinions differed on whether the caramel praline would have made it too sweet or just added a nice texture.

I'll certainly make the salted caramel ice cream again, but I may look for ways to pare down the sweet just a little bit. It was turned up to 11, but I think it would be better at about 8. Adding the salt doesn't have a super-dramatic impact but it does give the sweet something to play off of, and adds some depth to what would otherwise be a pure sugar bomb. Or in this case bombe? Sorry.

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