Many of our flavor concepts are first, based on seasonality; second, a specific technique; and of course we are generally striving to push the envelope with flavor pairings and techniques alike. And then there are concepts like this week where we just want to make whatever it is that we want to eat. I mean, we’re definitely staying true to seasonality, and that means most things, such as berries, are only around for so long. And this week, we’re talkin’ blueberries. Local blueberries Ripe blueberries that are the kind of blueberries dreams are made of…at least my dreams. And this is an ice cream flavor that I want to sit down and destroy…I craved it before I even attempted to make it. If you are into what I’m about to show you, then I’m pretty sure you’re going to have similar sentiments. Let’s get this on, with this weeks flavor – Cream Cheese Blueberry with Candied Lemon.
Cream Cheese, from Swiss Valley Cooperative in Luana, Iowa. This is a full flavored cream cheese with a nice tangy note to it. Also, extremely dense. Why cream cheese? This is my flavor jam, and I have all glutinous instincts in motion. It’s the Wisconsin in my blood. It’s that I know what this ice cream will taste like after I incorporate this block-o-cheese into the ice cream. So that’s what I’m doing here. The cream cheese is incorporated into our organic cane sugar base during the cooking process. Next, the whole reason designing this flavor ever came about…
Blueberries! Local blueberries from our very own Midtown Farmers. Before finding these blubes, I hadn’t decided how exactly I would get them into the ice cream. These were very ripe and sweet, almost past their prime, but perfect for juicing and making a syrup. And after a taste, I knew that was my approach. I smashed them with a potato masher and then brought to a simmer. Then, strained the juices through a fine mesh strainer. Next, sugar is added and the juices are simmered down. Blueberry syrup? Check. I layered it into the cream cheese ice cream during packaging.
Next I worked on making the candied lemon. I toiled with idea of making a cream cheese lemon ice cream base, but in the end, I wanted a little texture differentiation, and chewy candied lemon just seemed right. It is right. In preparation, the lemons are first peeled and julienned. The rind can be quite bitter, so I first blanch the rind in boiling water for a 20 seconds or so and then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. I repeat this 3 times, each time changing out the water. Now that the bitter oils are removed, the rind is simmered in a simple syrup of sugar and water until translucent. The candied rind can be used as is, or I like to toss them in sugar, so they don’t all stick together. The candied lemon get tossed into the ice cream during the churn. Some of the candied lemon start to break down in the ice cream, creating little pockets of intense lemony goodness.
Are you into what I just showed you? – rich cream cheese ice cream studded with candied lemon and laced with an intense blueberry syrup. It’s my jam and it’s what I want to eat.
Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 8/2/13 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!