Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream & Strawberry Sherbert

Thank you to all of you who participated in my ice cream survey. The results were not what I was expecting. Most people wanted ice cream with fruit in the first question, followed by something with nuts. The second question though showed that Ben & Jerry's is the preferred ice cream brand by far. This question had the most responses for an ice cream with stuff in it, like Phish food, cookie dough, or cookies and cream. The other most mentioned desired flavor was vanilla with some kind of fruit in it.

Knowing that, I set out to pick one fruit flavored ice cream and one intensely flavored chocolate based ice cream. The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz is definitely my go to book for all ice creams. That's where I found the most amazing Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream recipe with peanut butter patties mixed in. It had the qualities of cookie dough with the peanut butter chunks, but also the intensity of the chocolate that you'd find in a Phish food. As with all ice creams, the recipe is exceedingly easy. Just throw everything in a pot, boil for a bit, chill, and throw in the ice cream maker. If you want to make your own chocolate peanut butter ice cream, check out this link for the online recipe or pick up your own copy of The Perfect Scoop.

For my fruity ice cream, Candace had been flipping through my latest Eating Well magazine and come across a great recipe for Strawberry Sherbert. What I liked about this recipe was that it used buttermilk instead of half and half so added a bit of a sour flavor to the sweetness of the strawberries. Honestly, I would have probably added more strawberries in comparison to the volume of buttermilk because I wanted a bit more of a strawberry flavor, but it was still great as is. The recipe is below for those of you who'd like to make your own.

Strawberry Sherbert (from Eating Well):
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup half and half
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1. Combine 1 cup of berries and sugar in a small bowl and let sit, stirring occaisonally until the sugar has begun to dissolve, about 10 minutes. Transfer the berry mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, combine buttermilk, half and half, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the strawberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl. Stir, cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
3. Whisk the sherbert mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. During the last 5 minutes of freezing, add the remaining 1 cup chopped berries. If necessary, place the sherbert in the freezer to firm up before serving. (If the sherbert becomes very hard in the freezer, soften it in the refridgerator for about 30 mins before scooping.) Makes 8 servings.