Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Berry Bounty

So, I mentioned that Phin and I went strawberry picking over the weekend. It was hot and sweaty work, but very rewarding. Farm-picked, ripe, local berries smell and taste unbelievably good. In fact, they taste like strawberries, unlike the mutant-sized cardboard-like berries that you can get at the supermarket most of the year.

Fleeting berry perfection

Just look at these perfect jewels!

Anyway, given that berries that are picked when they are actually ripe have a very fleeting shelf life, both Phin and I had big and immediate plans for our berry hoard, which also included raspberries and blueberries that we bought at the farm stand.

Phin's lovely Bumbleberry Tart!

Phin made a Bumbleberry Tart. I helped by making a Pate Sucree crust, which he filled with a freshly made blueberry compote and then topped with a crown of fresh berries. No recipe was used.

Since it's officially summer, I decided to pull out the ice cream maker. Last year I made, but did not blog about, Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream. So, here it is.

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream!

1lb strawberries, hulled and chopped
1Tbsp vodka (or other liquor)
3/4 c sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Optional 1 cup sliced berries to mix in at the end 

Stir sugar and vodka into the strawberries and leave it macerating for an hour. Or do like I did and stick it in the fridge overnight. Puree the strawberry sugar mix with the sour cream, cream and lemon juice. Chill thoroughly and churn according to you ice cream maker directions, adding in the optional berry slices near to the end. Do your best to resist eating all the ice cream right out of the machine. Fini!
This recipe, which is from my favorite ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop, was designed for mediocre, supermarket berries. So using perfectly ripe and flavorful berries made this ice cream explode with strawberry flavor. And the sour cream adds just the right tang to make sure it's not cloying.

After a very sweaty 5k trail run at a historic farm nearby, this was dinner last night. Seriously folks, I ran a personal worst 5k time. It turns out that I like the idea of trail running much more than I actually like running cross country, but what really did me in was the heat even though I was well hydrated. Live and learn. Ice cream was the perfect tonic.

Essence of Strawberry...mmmmmm

And everything tastes better when served in a pretty champagne glass, no?


Clio said...

The flavour (and appearance) of real strawberries compared to supermarket ones is unbelievable. I usually buy organic strawberries as well and that also ups the flavour considerably. You settled it, I am gonna grab me some berries at a fruit stand today and eat pounds of them for supper, maybe with some creme fraiche. Yum.

Clio said...

Wow, now I'm really hungry! These strawberries look beautiful!

Don't feel bad about your 5K time! My runs this week have been abyssmal, too-- I feel like I'm dehydrated five minutes into the run! Yuck!

Clio said...

firstly, i LOVE that book. and i have been a strawberry stalker the past few weeks, with strawberry milkshakes being dinner at least twice...just last weekend. :-) my ice cream maker is coming out this weekend as well, and i may try this recipe with my strawberries...