Raspberries and Cranberries, Already Great, Made Great Again

IMG_1557
Cranberries afloat, raspberries turning into puree

In the summer and autumn of 2014, while spending part of every week at my mother’s house and having an abundance of fresh fruits from the garden, trees and eastern Washington, I learned how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker or rock salt.

It began with a recipe for rhubarb ice cream from an issue of the Taste of Home magazine. Tasty weekly experiments followed with raspberries, strawberries, marionberries, wild blackberries, black cherries, yellow plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines, then pumpkin, then chocolate and vanilla. They were all pretty much Heaven. Writing about them brought to my mind’s eye the ice cream shops IN Heaven, with all those flavors. Can you imagine one?

My daughter did not have the benefit of a single spoonful of those ice creams, so I decided when raspberries were plentiful this year to freeze some and make for Thanksgiving dessert what is undoubtedly the most raspberry deliciousness of any raspberry ice cream that I ever had. (We do not have pie, by choice.) Try it. You know you want to.

juliyya’s Raspberry Ice Cream Heaven

1 1/2 c. raspberry puree (started with approx. 4 c. frozen)

1 c. castor sugar

2 t. lemon juice

1 c. HEAVY whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Smash the berries and strain to remove seeds.
  2. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves.
  3. Add lemon juice.
  4. Put the sugared, lemoned puree in the freezer in a sturdy glass or Corningware bowl. Stir it every 15 minutes or so until it is thoroughly chilled. It will ice around the edges over time and it’s necessary to break those bits down each time.
  5. When the raspberry mix is very cold, beat the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks. Whisk it into the chilled berries.
  6. Set the timer. Whisk the ice cream well every 15 minutes for an hour. Then cover it and leave it to freeze for several hours or overnight.
  7. It should set for a few minutes before serving if it is frozen too solid to scoop. Some freezers freeze colder.
  8. Serving size is 1/2 cup !!! Makes approximately 12 servings.

 

IMG_1562
Homemade Raspberry Ice Cream

This is a legitimate and old way of making ice cream. It’s called “still freezing” but I cannot recommend the common direction of using a metal tray to freeze the ice cream. (Well, if you prefer brick hard ice cream, then the metal freezer tray will work for you. You’ll need an ice pick to break it up.) I use a deep Corningware bowl, one that has a lid which fits squarely over the bowl and atop the aluminum foil, so there’s plenty of protection from freezer burn and thus it easily stores for a week or thereabouts.

The directions I found for still freezing also said that an electric mixer should be used during the 15-minute-interval stir sessions once the whipped cream has been added. The purpose is to add air to the ice cream mixture, but I found that whisking is both easier and the result is beautifully dense as well as tastier (to me) than the more labor intensive, custard-based raspberry ice creams of my past.

As for the cranberries, I spend a few hours yearly making a candied version all my own. Like many “inventions,” the process I used for one thing was the mother of something else. Candying a few cranberries with walnuts for the top of a cheesecake made me wonder if it could be done with the berries alone and thus provide me a source out of season.

The answer was yes after a few attempts to create in reality what I could see in my mind’s eye. It not only keeps in the fridge for years, but works for baking uses that I never dreamed about in the past. It is definitely suitable for retail so, like my cookies, I cannot share the recipe or process by which I make Cranberry Lolly, but it will feature in future posts about baked goods … and in tomorrow’s dinner.

IMG_1559
The table and vintage Betty Crocker bowl await filling

And a P.S. I’m quite cross with the produce manager at the local store in Mountlake Terrace where I bought the cranberries. Three bags of them, 12 ounces each, 36 ounces total for my recipe. I washed them, put them in the colander and then, one by one, put each in the Save or Discard pile. Sadly, there was only 18.3 ounces of good ones, so the birds and squirrels had a lovely feast on the other 17 point something. But it meant that I had to do fractions in order to have the proper result, and two of them were 3/8s. So, grrr on him for selling product that was half bad AND for the fractions. Also, this summer he sold me some lousy strawberries and I was making a strawberry filled cake. He’s on my you-know-what list now, the list that doesn’t get Christmas cookies.

11/30 Update. Today I went into the as-yet-unnamed store to discuss lousy cranberries with my favorite cashier and then with the store manager, a man who also checks customers through the lanes when needed. He didn’t outright call me a liar but said that he personally had not seen or felt any bad bags of cranberries this week, those berries felt just fine and firm to him. Funny thing is that I took the rotten strawberries back to the store in order to prove my case and the produce manager had told me it was unnecessary. So this time I gave the spoiled berries to the birds and squirrels when I should have taken them into the store and said … well, something.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Raspberries and Cranberries, Already Great, Made Great Again

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s