Before I begin I want to say that these photos of snow look extra cozy with the built-in WordPress snow I activated. It is GREAT. Is anyone there? I have been aching to write today and so far I’ve just had a string of (very deep) thoughts floating in front of me. Let me see if I can string them together. This trick usually helps me find some mysterious link to what goes on in my brain two years from now. Here’s to thinking ahead….
I am sure what the story arc of a blog looks like but I do know that I’ve been feeling like I’ve outgrown my shoes on the Internet. For the longest time, I thought I could get away with all of the slick free themes on WordPress and then for the longest time after that I would spend occasional moments looking at menus(!) on other websites and wishing I could have my own so I could keep my silly doodles separate from the rest of what I do. This time last week, I did something about it and the week since, I’ve spent what feels like both of those earlier “longest times” put together with a thought bubble over my doolingass head that says “wtf was I thinking”. Clearly, not so much. I’ve been googling Adam J Kurtz motivationals on Design*Sponge and harassing my friend Jeanne (who has been so gracious with her expertise. No birthday twin comes closer) so I think I’ll be okay….
I started a newsletter about four weeks ago and never officially introduced it in my blog. I left it as a side note on a post or two ago and put in in the About section as well. I’ve been screaming my lungs out on Instagram and force adding my friends and family to the mailing list, in the hope that I won’t be shouting into an empty space, like writing for this blog makes me feel sometimes….
I feel it sometimes, deep, deep down in the pit of my stomach. I wake up from dreams like I was there through the night. Sometimes I feel the vividness pulling me away from the place where I can walk on the streets and feel the most me. Those are the mornings where it feels like something is missing even more than usual. It does not paralyse but my feet feel a little bit heavier, my goals further away. It is hard to explain that feeling of “other”. It starts right from the way the air feels on your skin and how the light reflects off of it. Over there I’m the same, over here I feel different. Or maybe it’s the other way around….
This recipe was just part of an idea typed into the memo app on my phone in March. To see it on my blog right now as a real thing – not to mention the spoonfuls I ate yesterday – is very exciting to me….
Tomorrow is the day! To all those celebrating their birthdays today: Happy birthday and thank you for letting me use your day to announce mine!
I suppose I should go into what I’ve learnt so far in this life but all that comes to mind is that it’s good to still be here. Time is this incredibly fragile thing that we are twirling in the middle of, trying to get by as slow as possible. It’s impossible to control so we watch it and say every chance we get that “it goes by so fast”. I can’t even believe I’ve spent five of my birthdays here in succession. It’s been good. I try to make it that way at least so it’s something I remember.
My first birthday in the US was celebrated with ice-cream cake. It was from Cold Stone Creamery and it was also my first time eating an ice-cream cake. I was so surprised. First of all, I never knew of such a thing being a….thing. I’d eaten ice-cream over cake as two separate entities but never as one united religious experience. With a barely-there sweet tooth, I could not eat more than a couple of slices but Matt had no such issues. I still have a barely-there sweet tooth but it’s something I can ignore on days where I turn 29 and a few more after that. At least until this cake is all gone.
This year, we got excellent plans and I’m so excited! I’ll share it all with you really soon.
Thank you for humoring my silly I mean AMAZING birthday week celebrations. This blog – rather creating for this blog – has gotten me through some shitty times. It has totally changed my goals too and I hope to get a chance to work on things I love more often than just a hobby. I know this much: I don’t want to go back to being depressed for moving countries again and as long as I’m here doing this thing, I know I’ll be okay.
Happy 29th birthday to me! It’s my birthday in India so I get to say that!
I’ve been wanting to make fennel ice-cream since I don’t know how long. Fennel is always served along with your bill in tiny trays after meals at restaurants in India. It works as a digestive and a breath-freshener. Sometimes it’s sugar coated and if it’s put in front of you, you have to eat it. It is one of those things. I’m not going to get into the myths about dipping into this community fennel because that takes all the joy out of life. Eat at your own risk, I guess. The good part of this story is that this is my personal fennel stock. No pee hands have touched them. I said it.
This ice-cream is just as delicious as you can imagine fennel ice-cream to be. This subtle, vibrant, fresh taste comes out so well. If you love fennel as much as we do in India, you will LOVE this ice-cream.
- Please use the freshest fennel you can find. Spices have a shelf-life so if you happen to find a handful of fennel sitting in your spice box for the past year, throw it away and buy more. If you don’t use it as often, buy just a little bit from the bulk section of your grocery store.
- The ice-cream could get drippy (as it should) while it’s being layered on the cake. Put it back in the fridge and let it harden if you notice this happening. It’s better to wait than to have sloppy cake.
- If making ice-cream is not your jam, use store-bought, please! A pint should be enough for this recipe..
- The same goes for chocolate cake: Use store-bought or a boxed mix to simplify.
For the fennel ice-cream
Adapted from Gourmet magazine
- 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks
Place a small saucepan with the cream and fennel seeds on medium heat. Bring the ingredients to a simmer, making sure it doesn’t boil. Once it simmer, take it off the heat, cover it and let it steep for 30 minutes.
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the milk, sugar and a pinch of salt to a simmer and stir constantly to help the sugar dissolve. Don’t let the milk boil over.
Make an ice bath by filling a sink or a large container with ice and cold water. Place a large metal or glass bowl into the ice bath put a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl.
Whisk the yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl and add milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking very rapidly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring with a spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not let it boil. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, a good way to tell the custard is done is by swiping the back of a spoon with your finger. The mixture should be thick enough and form a clean line.
Immediately strain the custard through the fine-mesh sieve into the metal or glass bowl in the ice bath. Stir the custard occasionally until cool for about 15 minutes.
Strain the fennel cream through the same fine-mesh sieve into custard, pressing on solids. Chill the custard in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.
The ice-cream can be made a day ahead.
- 85 gms/3 oz dark chocolate chips (62% cacao)
- 185 gms/1 ⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 89 gms/¾ cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 gms/ ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 gms/¼ tsp baking soda
- 113 gms/½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 200 gms/1 cup granulated sugar
- 100 gms/½ cup dark brown sugar
- 4 gms/½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 120 ml/½ cup sour cream
- 120 ml/½ cup whole milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 X 1.5 in cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper in the pan.
Melt the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. If melting over the stove, stir until the chocolate turns smooth. If melting in the microwave, place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and let it go round for 30 seconds. Remove and stir and put it back in for 10 seconds. Repeat this until the chocolate is smooth.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: Flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the melted butter, sugars and salt until combined. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, sour cream, milk and melted chocolate. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing could lead to a denser cake.
Scrape batter into prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake emerges clean, about 50 minutes to an hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
To assemble ice-cream cake
- Candied fennel, to sprinkle on top
Unmold the cooled cake and smooth out the edges and the top with a large serrated knife. Carefully cut the cake in half horizontally and right through the middle. Skip this step if you want to just set and freeze the ice-cream on top of the cake.
Take the ice-cream out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to allow it to turn more spreadable. Spread a 1/4 inch thick even layer of ice-cream on top of the chocolate cake. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it set in the fridge until hard (about an hour). Put the container with ice-cream back in the fridge until this time too.
Repeat the above step with the next layer of cake and ice-cream. Coat the sides of the cake with a thin layer of ice-cream. Sprinkle the top with candied fennel and chill until hard.
I remember chancing upon Lindsey’s blog very clearly. It was wayyyyyy back when I had first started blogging about food (before that it was so much silly; please go look) and sometime prior to that, she was gifted her new blog on WordPress by her them fiance and now husband. I kept going back to her “about” page each time I wanted to comment on her posts (or reply to ones on mine), to double check if she was Lindsey with an “a” or an “e”. I remember a post about basil oil and almond flour (right?) Irish soda bread and generally being so charmed by her style even though it was visually different from the Dolly and Oatmeal you see today. I commented on her work and she wrote back. She had the exact same voice then and it’s one that has only gotten clearer with time. Those early days – what seems like not very long ago – laid the foundation for this work of artistic and technical beauty that lies in the pages of her new and first book “Chickpea Flour Does it All”.
I’ve always wanted to write a book. One of my cousins always says “You want to write a book? You should write a book.” It sounds so simple but it takes that kind of work you know will make you want to do a million other things except WRITE THAT BOOK. In the same vein, I know it’s something that’s worth putting everything aside to work towards and I’m so proud that she has come this far and was able to make all the sacrifices that have led to her making something that’s going to be treasured for years to come.
It’s amazing. I’m not just saying this because she sent me a copy. PS: First cookbook I’ve EVER received from the author with a note inside. I’m saying it because I know she has always and will always truly take the time to craft recipes you will enjoy making on the daily at home. This one is all about chickpea flour/what us Indians called besan or gram flour. A pantry staple in India, this flour is used in all my favourite savoury and sweet dishes. However, I’ve never ever seen it used in American/inspired food which is where this book makes a grand entrance. Divided into the four seasons, Lindsey has taken chickpea flour and used it in recipes she has grown up with or cooked in her own kitchen to cater to her current dietary needs. So there are waffles, LAYER CAKES, pizza, salads, bowls of hearty deliciousness, vegetarian sandwiches, pasta – all using the versatile and bomb.com – chickpea flour. All the recipes are gluten-free and vegetarian or vegan and from the ones I’ve made already, I guarantee they are 100% delicious. I can’t wait for more MORE summer days so I can eat that cherry Dutch baby outside. If you have the book already, make this a priority come cherry season (SO SOON). If you don’t, this is your cue to go treat yo’self. It’s the day after hump day. It will get you through the week.
Congratulations, Lindsey. This is SO COOL.
I chose this recipe because in the early Dolly and Oatmeal days, I wrote in the comment section of her WordPress blog that I would make her then Irish soda bread. I never did.
Until now 🙂
I enjoy playing with colours a lot and I don’t stop even when I’m in the kitchen. I used pink peppercorns and Himalayan pink salt in this recipe because I love how they look (SOO MUCH). If you don’t have access to these ingredients, just use any flaky salt and crushed black pepper. It will taste just as good, I promise.
For the strawberry-basil butter
- 1/2 lb (8 oz) strawberries, tops removed and cut into halves
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
- 22g gms (8 oz) /2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tbsp lightly crushed pink peppercorns + more to top the bread
- Crushed Himalayan pink salt, to top
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss the strawberries with sugar and place them in a baking dish. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the strawberries cool completely.
Put the cooled strawberries, butter, milk, basil and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and have a creamy consistency.
Using a rubber spatula, scoop out the butter and pat it down length-wise on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll the sheet of parchment paper so that the butter resembles a tube and place the roll into the fridge to set. Bring to room temperature before serving.
This can be made a day or two ahead. Keep refrigerated and use it within 2 weeks. (This butter has been in my fridge for 2 weeks now and still tastes like it did when I made it.)
For the Irish soda bread
Recipe from Chickpea Flour Does it All by Lindsey Love
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 120 gms (1 cup) chickpea flour
- 114 gms (1 cup) oat flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tbsp cane sugar
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed caraway seeds
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup dried currants (I omitted these because I didn’t have any)
- Oil, for your hands
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk and vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes until the top is bubbly.
While the mixture is sitting, whisk together the flours, sugar, psyllium husk powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and caraway seeds. When the milk and vinegar mixture is ready, add the egg, whisking until combines. Using a rubber spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold the ingredients together. Then fold in the currants. Lightly oil your hands and gather the dough into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet and flatten into a disk, about 1 inch thick.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating halfway through for even baking. Bake until golden.
Let the bread cool completely before slicing. Bread can be stored at room temperature, covered with parchment paper. It will continue to dry out each day it’s left out and should last about 3 days.
Spread the strawberry butter on top of the bread and top with pink pepper and pink salt. OMG. WHO AM I?!
To be in transit is to be in a state of stomach knots. For me, that is. I love the world. I love the immediacy of flight travel. It’s still magical how you can stand in the house you spent your growing years in a matter of a sleep and some frigid work day. But the whole getting there part turns me into an anxious worry bag. I am aware that all habits get increasingly habit-like (read annoying) as we get older. And everytime I worry before I fly, I am reinforcing that reaction. I know, I know. I’m going to stop. I’ll watch Ant Man and it will all be okay.
Some of my favourite stories from my childhood are of my dad, who worked in Saudi Arabia before Gayle and I were born. He always said how he never saved any money from that job because he always came back with so many presents for all the people he knew in the village his parents lived. I know this is not something he likes to brag about but he doesn’t need to because I’ve heard it from my cousins and the people he knew too. A lot of this season is about giving. We place so much emphasis on it – sometimes too much. It’s stressful but it doesn’t have to be. When you’re placed in a position to do good for someone else, take it. It’s a privilege. It’s something to feel thankful for. Not stressed.
I’m getting on a plane tomorrow and today I made cookies, cinnamon rolls, and this here tart (and now I’m writing this blog post in what has been one of the darkest days in Western Washington). I put up Christmas lights and painted the ceiling. I’m procrastinating. Clearly. I think I’m all packed but really, I’m just a confused puppy who’s pretending that the most important thing to do is finish watching all of the Jessica Jones. There is no Netflix where I’m going and that’s okay.
If any of my food blogger people reading this in the US want me to bring a delicious Indian ingredient to them when I come back, let me know. We could do a swap or something. I’ve been thinking about this for a while but I wasn’t sure if I needed to make a spreadsheet about it. Me and spreadsheets=no. I love the cashew nuts.
For now, here’s my first sweet recipe of the Holiday season. I made this for Thanksgiving because it was so easy to put together the day before. All I had to do was wake up in the morning, assemble it and bake it. It’s the best way to look fancy with minimal effort. I am all about the simplicity.
For the tart dough
Makes one 9″ tart or five 4″ tarts
- 190 grams (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 130 gms (9 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold or frozen and cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter on top of the flour mixture and pulse about 10 to 15 times to cut the butter. The butter should be the size of peas or oatmeal flakes when it’s ready.
Break up the egg yolk with a fork and add a little at a time to the flour, pulsing after each addition. Once all the egg yolk is in, pulse for longer intervals (10 seconds) until the dough forms into one single ball. You’ll hear the sound of the food processor change right before this happens.
Remove the dough from the food processor and knead very lightly just in case there are any dry flour streaks.
If using a 9″ tart pan, press the dough directly into the pan until it’s spread out evenly across the bottom and along the sides. The dough does get denser as it bakes so don’t worry if it feels too thin. But also don’t put too much force while pressing in the crust because it might cause the crust to lose its shortbread texture.
If using smaller 4″ tart pans, divide the dough into five parts (weighing about 75gms each) and repeat the same press-in technique.
Freeze the tart shells for at least 30 minutes but preferably longer before filling it and baking. You can make the shells a day or 2 ahead, cover them and keep frozen until you’re ready to use.
For the almond cream filling
- 2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
- 7 tablespoons jaggery (coconut palm sugar)
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 Bosch pear, firm but ripe
- Powdered sugar (optional)
Place the almonds and brown rice flour in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a fine powder. Add the jaggery and coconut oil and grind until it forms a smooth paste. Add the egg at the end and blend it all together. Spoon the almond filling into a bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
Remove the tart shell from the freezer and spread the chilled almond cream mixture in it.
Peel the pears and slice them in half across the length. Remove the seeds and stem and cut them cross-wise into thin slices (about 1/4″ thin) . Place the pears on top of the almond mixture, letting them overlap slightly and fan across the top of the tart (see picture). I say be creative with your designs!
Put the tart on to a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the filling comes out clean. Cool the tart completely on a baking rack before unmoulding. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy with your evening tea. Or you know, the day before a long ass flight when you should be packing but you’re baking all the things instead. Choose wisely!
Before I say goodbye to a summer of crispy skin, happy hearts, mountain greys, achy joints, parched lips, windows wide open, bare feet, firsts, almost firsts, heartbreak, time travel, breakfast outside, sitting on recipes, gemmy friends and maybe finally making peace with the ocean between my feet and home, I must have cake.
It’s the same ocean that made these mountains, carried me over them, settled me down and let me exhale, truly exhale, the weight of starting over. The more I seek its power, the more resilient I become. I know this now. Cake helps too.
Summer peach spoon cake
I made this cake twice. Once was just like the original recipe (linked below) and the second time I changed it up by using a different flour, goat cheese and more spices. It’s more of a spoon/breakfast/mug cake. It’s soft – almost custard-like, does not maintain its pretty little shape on a plate and gives you all the joy of eating it in a cup in front of the TV. I love these kind of cakes.
Some notes: The cake tastes best on the day it’s made. I felt it got a little more wet the next day and the day after that. It still tastes good. I don’t like refrigerating cakes so I just covered the cake pan with plastic wrap and left it on the kitchen counter.
I used slivered almonds to make the almond meal, in a coffee grinder. You can either grind them into a flour or leave some almonds bits in the mix. I found that the almond bits gave the cake great texture.
You can soften the goat cheese by mixing it with a teaspoon or two of milk or cream.
- 2 ripe peaches, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp + 1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
- 83 gms unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup goat cheese/69 gms, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 152 gms/1 cup brown rice flour
- 58 gms/1/2 cup coarse ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Turn the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease it with butter. Dust the greased pan with brown rice flour.
Mix the cut up peaches with the spices and 1 tsp sugar in a large bowl and let it all sit covered on the kitchen counter for 2o minutes.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar with a hand blender or wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar is almost all combined with the butter. Add the softened goat cheese, egg and vanilla extract into the mixture and whisk until they’re all combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the brown rice flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture into the wet mixture in the large bowl and stir only until no streaks of flour remain. It might be thick and a little lumpy, but that’s okay.
Add the cake mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread it our into an even layer. Strain some of the juice released by the peaches into a cup. Pick out the peach bits (best part!) from the bowl and stick them into the cake batter using your fingers.
Place the cake pan into the oven and bake it for 10 minutes before turning down the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for another 50-60 minutes until the edges and top of the cake browns and a toothpick stuck in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool completely before digging in.
Long live Summer! Have the best Fall. It’s going to be great*, I hear.
I remember laying on the bed with my sister and grandpa at his old house in Parra. We squeezed together with us children along the side that touched the wall. He told us stories as our eyes met the roof, tracing shapes and projecting creatures he let us imagine. We might have heard these same stories before but when you’re young, repetition doesn’t get old. It’s comforting. He told us the Goan folk story of Attulem Bittulem, the two sisters who blinded a tiger with their sneezes. His version was a little different. Sneezes turned into farts and I only realised this much later. When he got to a part of the story where they unleash their fury to scare away the tiger, we turned giddy. Our little bodies were ready to shake with laughter, as if we’ve never heard his sound effects before. That day was a little different. We all started laughing and my grandfather’s arms laughed too. His arm bumped into my sister’s face anf that was enough to make the loose tooth in her mouth pop right out. She realised what had happened and didn’t keep quiet about it. I remember Babdi apologising and me laughing and all of us interrupting story time to go take care of that tooth. It was its time to fall.
I remember wearing my first pair of jeans. They were were ill-fitting, hand-me-down pants but I had to start somewhere. We had guests over. It was early afternoon and I was headed to my Maths or French tuition just up the road. I wore those jeans reluctantly. I figured this was some big day in the life of this growing up thing. Up to that time jeans were just something the cool kids wore. I felt out of place; like those pants didn’t belong on my body. That day I had a burst of confidence brought on by the fact that our guests had a son (I have no recollection of who these people were but I do know there was a boy. Grosss!). I walked up the stairs, said hello to the guests (queen of cool, obviously) and walked out the door to practice my (actual) French. It was the first time I really, really missed my grandfather. This was the first of many firsts I knew he would never see. He died when I was 10. At that age, I had no idea how to feel grief. For me grief was all about words adults would say that would half-convince me that I was supposed to be sad and yet, I couldn’t. I was 14 now and I finally understood real loss; over denim.
People, animals and things have come and gone more often since then. Each time is confusing. The missing hits me out of nowhere. My mind lingers, pauses and overwhelms and I can’t tell which will come first. On Thursday I stopped at one of my favourite cafes before going to work. I had some rare time to spend reading my book and I grabbed it with some caffeinated brew they spoil you with. Life and Charles Schulz had other plans. I sat on the sofa and my heart opened to the whims of this silly dog that writes novels on his typewriter and looks nothing like a beagle. I couldn’t help but relate Snoopy to my own four-legged friend back in Goa whom we lost to old age and illness last week. Two days after she (I imagine) sprinted through the puppy fields of the universe, I knew I would really, really, really miss her. And I do. I am so happy that ice-cream loving, chickpea-eating girl got to be ours for 18 years.
We ate a lot of jelly (what Americans call Jell-O) and custard while growing up. Sometimes mashed in with cake and other times fresh fruit. I thought it was about time I taught myself to make the not-from-a-box custard because a) SO easy b) Yum. So I did. And then I froze it. And added blackberries I picked from the side of the road on my day off.
This is frozen custard but if you’d like to skip the frozen part completely, just chill it overnight until it sets and eat it with the blackberries.
Adapted from Serious Eats
- 1 pint blackberries + 1 tbsp of granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pour the blackberries into a small bowl and toss them with the sugar. Cover the bowl with a plate and let them sit on the counter for about an hour. Once the sugar has managed to soften the berries, use the back of a spoon to partially mash them up. Pour out some of the liquid from the bowl into a cup. You can use this juice to top the custard with later.
Fill a large bowl with ice up to the halfway mark to make an ice bath. Place another bowl in it with a strainer over the top. You will use this to cool the custard.
In a small saucepan, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar and corn syrup until combined. The mixture will turn pale yellow and you won’t see as much of the sugar granules. Pour in the heavy cream and milk and mix well. Place the saucepan on medium-low heat and whisk constantly for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon*. Make sure not to leave the contents unattended/un-whisked because the eggs will cook, thus ruining your chances for a silky smooth custard. Once the custard has sufficiently thickened, quickly take it off the heat, while still whisking. Pour the custard into the strainer and whisk allowing it to pass through the strainer and into the bowl sitting in the ice bath. Stir the strained custard till it cools a bit and then place the bowl into the fridge. Chill the custard for a couple of hours or overnight. Overnight is best but if you’re short of time, 2 hours will do. I like it when the custard is almost of pudding or soft whipped cream consistency.
Pour the custard into your ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions for 15-20 minutes. Add the blackberries in the final 2 minutes. Freeze the custard for an in a freezer-safe container for an hour until it firms up but still has that smooth custard texture. Serve it cold with more fresh blackberries and the juices you may have saved from earlier.
*Dip a spoon into the custard and let it coat the back. Run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the line is clean and it holds its shape, the custard is ready. According to Serious Eats, the temperature you’re looking for is 170F.