Tuesday, June 1, 2010

french vanilla swirled with organic strawberries

After a never-ending week both draining physically and emotionally, a Friday evening spent replicating tendencies of a heroic hermit seemed best suited for tired ole' me. Yet, as much as I enjoy a solo date, what sparked this particular weekend night was a surprise pop-in from my dear organic free spirited comrade. And, who doesn't get by better with a little help from her friends?
The Garden Harlot decided to swing by a local and organic strawberry picking patch, at Oley Valley Organics, and sweetly selected a generous container of the season's juiciest for yours truly. 

A fresh heap of seeded reds grown locally can boost the spirits of any slighted jaded female, and to perfectly repay my kind friend, I decided to craft a sugary ice blend and share its fine wealth. 
Making use of my beloved KitchenAid attachment pumped with tons of local ingredients, including heavy cream from Seven Stars Farm, I prepared a rich blend of french vanilla ice cream. 

As appropriate variety for me to prepare as one of my premiere ice cream batches, due to having french vanilla blends in my freezer my entire upbringing, this creamy ice is lovable and a perfect companion with fresh berries.

French Vanilla with Strawberries
make 16 servings, each 1/2 cup
(Note: This recipe is prepared in conjunction with using a KitchenAid maker attachment. Other makers may vary the process.)
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
8 eggs yolks
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat, set aside.

Place egg yolks and sugar in mixer bowl. Mix for about 30 seconds or until well-blended and slightly thick. Gradually add half-and-half, mix until blended. Return half-and-half mix to medium saucepan; cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edges and is steamy. Do not boil. Transfer to large bowl, stir in whipping cream, vanilla and salt. Cover and chill for no less than 8 hours. 

Once chilled, assemble maker and turn to 'Stir'. Pour mixture into freezer bowl and continue stirring it for 15-20 minutes. During the last 3-5 minutes of freezing, add two cups of fresh strawberries. When creamy ice has matched your desired consistency, transfer finished ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container. When serving, top with fresh berries.

And, if you too want to experience the local valley's pretty lil' things, you better hop over to their organic farmland fast! Picking hours are held Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. But, they suggest, you call in advance (484-336-9980) because the pickings are popular in our local lands.