Eat me quick....I am melting....
Thank you all for your concern with the storm. We did get a good bit of rain, enough to make the water come up the hill from the river during the night at high tide but it was all gone by 9am with blue skies, bright sun and scorching heat once more. I woke up at 3am to check the river and the backyard and took Bailey out so he'd let us sleep a little in the morning. Bad mistake...he
Didn't I say a couple of weeks ago with the redcurrant sorbet dessert that it was the last time I was trying to shoot ice cream during summer? Yes, well...either I am a sucker for punishment or I am a sucker for ice cream. Hmm...yes, apparently my love for anything ice cream-ish made me churn a batch of ice cream and sing aloud "que sera sera" when I attempted to take a few decent shots in 5 minutes in the heat and humidity (yes, even with the AC cranked up...I swear it seeps through the windows!). It did not help that cutie-patootie Bailey was pulling on the tablecloth every 10 seconds...that nose could smell that jasmine tea ice cream, or maybe the sables breton. There are days we call him "The Nose" but today he was "Mr. Pull-it-all"...anything hanging came down, all day long.
I loaded up on fresh red plums at the store the other day as I could not resist their beautiful color and perfect roundness, not to mention they were a great bargain. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them yet but the more I was looking at them in the fruit bowl the more I thought they would be a great vessel for something. During the afternoon I made myself a large mug of jasmine tea, sat down at the computer with a fresh cut plum and started writing, sipping my tea and munching on the plum. That's when it hit me, a soft vanilla ice cream flavored with jasmine tea and paired with roasted plums. I like some crunch with my ice creams and when my father in law called to ask if I could make some sables bretons for him, I thought I'd keep some for us to get that little crunch while eating the ice cream. I made some cut out cookies and sandwich them with some leftover quick berry jam from the other day and its tartness provided the perfect contrast to the smooth taste of the ice cream. I use one of those Linzer cookie cutters but plain ones will be fine too to sandwich the jam.
For a take on the roasted plums, I sliced them rather thin, sprinkled them with sugar and popped them in a 300F oven for a few minutes. After they were cooled, I line cups with plastic wrap and laid the slices in, overlapping each other, filled the cup with ice cream and froze them until completely set. I did some in glass cups and some in half sphere silicone molds and both came out fine, so feel free to use either options. You can prepare the ice cream the day before, as well as the plums, assemble the cups the next morning, take care of the cookies while the plum cups set in the freezer and have everything ready for dinner. You can even do the ice cream part a week before if you want to spread your baking time ever more. That's the beauty of ice cream....it keeps!! I did try to take step by step pictures but I only have one small window in the kitchen and the sun coming through French doors behind me. Some people like my buddy Jen are experts at step by step, I obviously don't have the proper set up for quality pics and I will keep practicing for the time being.
Jasmine Tea Ice Cream In Roasted Plum Cups With Sable Bretons Cookies:
For the jasmine tea ice cream
4 egg yolks
2 cups (500ml) half and half
4 oz (120gr) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag jasmine white tea, broke open to get the leaves
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick, add the vanilla. In a saucepan, on medium heat, bring the half and half and jasmine tea to boiling point but do not let it boil. Slowly pour the hot cream onto the egg yolks mixture and stir to combine (tempering). Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cream coats the back of spoon. At this point you have made a custard sauce, also known as "creme anglaise". Let cool completely, strain the tea leaves and refrigerate until cold. Process the custard according to your ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions.
For the roasted plums:
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
Preheat your oven to 300F.
Cut the plums in half and thinly slice each half, skin on. Lay then down on a silicone mat or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle them evenly with the sugar and bake for 20 minutes or until the plums become to take color. Watch carefully so that you don't burn the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
For the plum cups:
If you use glass cups: line them with a sheet of plastic wrap and lay the plum slices slightly overlapping each other.
If using silicone molds: skip the plastic sheet step and overlap the plum slices directly in the molds.
In both cases, fill each cup with about 3/4 cup to 1 cup ice cream, depending on your mold capacity.
For the Sables Bretons:
Makes about 2 1/2 dozens
1 stick (115 gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 3/4 cups (245 gr) all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup to 1/2 cup raspberry jam
In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract (or paste) and beat until blended. Add the flour and salt and beat until just incorporated.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough just to bring it together. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove one portion of the dough from the refrigerator and place on a well floured surface so it won't stick as you roll. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. If you have a Linzer cookie cutter (3 inch diameter) with little cut out inserts, use it without the insert to get full circles and start cutting out. Place them on the baking sheet and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. In the meantime roll out the other half of the dough the same way but place the cut out insert in the cutter and cut away the cookies. I keep the little cut out scraps to munch on...my little bakers treat!!
Once cooled filled one cookie with jam and sandwich with another cookie.
A little news flash before my brain melts too:
The 3rd issue of Desserts Magazine is online!! All vegan, all the way! I am pyched to have contributed once more to the magazine (cover picture and pages 4 and 5). Thank you Chris for the lovely polka dots napkins and the pitcher !