More than December 31 or January 1 or the spring Solstice, it’s the month of May that kicks my literal arse on the YOLO front (<a sentence I never thought I’d write). Throw into the equation that I’m turning 30 in 25 or something days, and i’m mentally clambering to sign up for every challenge, run every marathon and make my life the minimalist dream of Internet fame. Last one is a joke. I can’t imagine a life without small clutter piles.
Silly me. Self-discovery is a lifelong climb with many plateaus and many (or is it a few?) mountain lake rewards. I started many projects. Toyed with them compulsively and gave myself a hard time when it wasn’t all I thought about. It was supposed to be fun work that became less fun and more of just work. Anyway, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s okay if I tuck away some hobbies/fun work and don’t return to them. All we’re ever trying to do on this planet is to make an impact and not to sound morbid but totally doing it anyway – I’m sure more that 10 people would REALLY miss me if I dropped off the face of the Earth in a minute (<a sentence that does nothing for my anxiety and thus, one I should have never written). In conclusion of this paragraph, I don’t have a long list of accomplishments. I wear my blue camp shirt that says “we are enough” in an umbrella and sometimes I believe it. I just have a blog I tell a few people about. Maybe you’ve read it? Har har.
I put a few words in a Word document last year after reading a cookbook that moved me in a direction that felt like anything was possible. Every time I share another recipe on this blog, it feels like there should be a more permanent space for these ideas. On the other hand, I feel I lack the readership to even approach a publisher with a pitch (I knowwwwww – but it’s important for $$$ things). Heidi J Swanson of 101 Cookbooks says to buy a binder and collect all your ideas in it. I mean she has read 101 cookbooks and written more than a couple of her own. She must know! So come today, this is going to be thumbtacked to my to-do list. I don’t know how or what or the shape of this book will be but it’s been on my mind so I thought you should know.
Happy birthday month to me!
This recipe is based off my adaptation of a Serious Eats frozen custard recipe I shared using blackberries. You can do this with any and all fruit but if you’re using a fruit with a higher water content (berries, for example), drain out some of the water by macerating them. It’s just a fancy word for sprinkling them with sugar and then draining and reusing whatever water it releases. I got two 220 gms/8oz containers of crème fraîche for sale last week so I made this version using it. If you can’t find it in your part of the world, here’s a recipe sharing how you can make it. If that’s not your jam either, just substitute heavy cream.
Makes enough for 2 or 4…or 1.
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 cups crème fraîche
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp rosewater
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large mango (1 cup), pulp removed and pureed
- 1/ cup raw pistachios and/or extra virgin olive oil, to top
Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water up to the halfway mark. Place a smaller bowl into it (it should nest in the ice water without drowning in it) with a fine mesh strainer over the top and set beside the stove.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan until smooth. Add the crème fraîche, milk and rosewater and whisk to combine. Cut the vanilla bean in half and spilt it with a pairing knife. Using the back of the knife, scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add the salt.
Place the saucepan on medium heat and whisk constantly for about 15-20 minutes; until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon*. Don’t leave the contents unattended or un-whisked because the eggs will cook ruining your chances for a silky smooth custard. Once the custard has thickened, take it off the heat, while still whisking. Pour the custard through the fine mesh strainer in the bowl sitting in the ice bath. Whisk the custard until it cools sufficiently; about 3-4 minutes. Wipe off the underside of the bowl and chill the custard in the fridge overnight. It will thicken and Overnight is best but if you’re short of time, 4 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 mango puree in the final 2 minutes. Freeze the custard for an in a freezer-safe container until it firms up but still has that smooth custard texture. Serve cold with pistachios or fine olive oil.