Summer....easy living, easy going. When the casual becomes upscale and the impromptu becomes routine. I love that. Summer evenings around here are something to be savored, never rushed. In that regard, I have retained a great deal of my home country in the way friends and family gather around our dinner table. Long evenings with simple, fresh and seasonal dishes, something cold to sip on and a light summer dessert to end.
Growing up, summer desserts rarely consisted of cakes or pastries and chocolate was pretty much forgotten until the Fall. Not always but often. Instead we would always have some fruit, either raw or slightly grilled, a drizzle of lavender honey and maybe a dollop of fresh cheese. Sometimes it was ice cream. Sometimes it was sorbet. Sometimes it was just a plate of cherries and some cheese.
This week French Word feature is all about l'ete (summer), les cerises (cherries) and les vacances (vacation) (lucky you!)
Taking advantage of the bounty of summer. Letting your senses get their fill of fragrant peaches, apricots, lavender, your taste buds get tickled with tart raspberries and red currant while your eyes can't get enough of all the colors around. Red. Yellow. Green. Orange. I can easily get lost in everything that the season brings forth. Hurricanes and heat waves included.
After a busy workday, I find myself craving simplicity. A lot. Summer is perfect for that. The South is prefect for that too. I love bumping into neighbors and settling on their or our front steps, talking for hours. Often times, I make a quick run to the house and bring back some ice cream, some cones and some bowls and we just sit there in the magic hour of the sunset and laughing life away.
I am dipping (pun intended) into the archives today to bring you a recipe I've made about every other month since I first posted it: Cherry Rose and Coconut Ice Cream. It's got all my favorite in one nice scoop: coconut flavor, cherry bits, and a hint of rose. Sometimes I skip the latter but this is by far the most requested ice cream flavor I get from my friends and I am far from complaining. Hehehe!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Cherry, Rose and Coconut Ice Cream:
Makes a little less than a quart.
Notes: don't just go use any dried rose for this! Make sure to get food grade, organic and non treated rose petals or rose buds. Most can be food at health food store in the bulk spices and tea section and are quite cheap. I got about 1 cup for $1.50.
For the rose infused cherries:
1 cups (145gr) pitted and halved cherries
1/4cup (60ml) water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
6-8 food gradedried rose buds (more or less depending on your own liking)
For the ice cream:
1 cups (250ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) whole coconut milk
1 cup (200gr) granulated sugar
Prepare the cherries:
Place all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat off and let steep one hour (longer for an even intense rose flavor). Remove the rose buds and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the ice cream:
In a large saucepan set over medium low heat, bring the cream, milk, coconut milk and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, preferably overnight.
Process the mixture into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's intructions.
Once the ice cream has reached soft serve consistency, pour into a freezable container. With a spatula, swirl in the cherries and a few tablespoons of their liquid. Freeze a couple of hours.
No ice cream maker? No problem, but really it is worth the $50 investment. Pour the cream into a freeze proof container and freeze for a couple of hours. Take it out and whip it with an electric mixer or immersion blender, freeze it again, whip it again....do that four or five times. The mixture won't be quite the same but pretty darn close.