Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Boysenberry Bonanza: Ice Cream and Macarons

What a difference 4 days make! We made a quick trip to watch our nephew compete in the Junior National Volleyball Championships and came home four short days later to a bounty of boysenberries. This is our first year of full production off our 3 thornless boysenberry plants, staked up to the fence along our driveway (making it a bit difficult to park during the blooming summer months!). They were just dripping with berries, yielding 8 pints upon our return. Every two days since then I am able to pick another 3-4 pints. So I have been getting creative with this boysenberry bonanza.

Not one to waste such deliciousness, and being short on time initially, I processed the majority of that first batch berries using the IQF method. IQF stand for individual quick freeze and involves placing the berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freezing them until hard. This allows you to pack them in a large Ziploc bag without them sticking to one another.

I also combined the berries with Blenheim apricots that I picked up at LJB Farms to make an apricot-boysenberry crisp for a 4th of July fete. Every year I get one lug of Blenheims and make the most wonderful apricot-vanilla jam. Blenheims ripen and have a limited window of time of about 10 days each June/July, so I have to watch closely for their availability. (I think someone needs to figure out a way to lengthen that season!!!)

But the real winners so far in my boysenberry fest were served at last Sunday’s family dinner. I made homemade boysenberry ice cream and boysenberry macarons. Not sure what got into me, as the weather was very hot and baking wasn’t really the smartest thing to do, but I had a yen for macarons, so there you go. I can think of worse things to do on a hot day but the end result, and a grateful family, made it all worth it.

The ice cream had a rich custard base with a pronounced boysenberry flavor. Not too sweet, with a thick creamy texture, one scoop was more than enough, particularly paired with the macarons. The macarons themselves were a basic almond meal cookie, tinted purple to match the ice cream with a boysenberry buttercream filling. The macarons actually turned out correctly with the appropriate “foot,” however the almond meal should have been more finely ground, as you can see and taste the larger bits (which is a culinary no-no). 

I am gathering up enough in my freezer to make some jam and pies sometime soon. I estimate another two weeks of berry picking and I can have my driveway back. Meanwhile, we are enjoying that ice cream….

Fresh Boysenberry Ice Cream

4 cups fresh boysenberries
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup lowfat milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar

Rinse the boysenberries and place on paper towels to dry.

Blend the boysenberries in a blender until smooth. Pour the puree into a chinois (or old-fashioned strainer) to remove seeds. Clean the chinois for later use.

Heat the cream and milk in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. While the cream heats, beat the egg yolks with the sugar with hand or stand mixer, until color changes to bright yellow.

Once the cream mixture is simmering (not boiling), remove from heat and pour a slow stream of hot cream into the egg mixture, beating constantly during the addition.

Return the resulting mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until 185 degrees or when a finger dragged across the back of a wooden spoon leaves a path. Pour the mixture through the chinois to remove any eggy bits and then blend with the boysenberry puree. Pour into a bowl and chill until thoroughly cold.

Place mixture into frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and process according to instructions.

1 comment:

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