Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wrinkled Blueberries...

What do you do with blueberries slightly past their prime, but still too beautiful to toss? Make a quick blueberry syrup!

What do you do with several egg yolks that have been hanging out in you fridge for a couple days? Make vanilla ice cream!

Product utilization is a very large part of a successful kitchen- at work I'm constantly thinking about what I can do with left over cake scraps and the last of the fresh huckleberries (or blueberries, or raspberries, or strawberries). Naturally, this practice has translated into my own personal kitchen and everyday life. I hate throwing out food- it's wasteful and expensive...but most of all, using every last bit of something provides me with an excellent challenge. It's exciting to see what I can come up with based on the odds and ends I find hiding in my fridge and cupboards.

So, without further ado, I give you- ice cream made from left over yolks (excessive humidity in the area forced me to test an obscene amount of meringue recipes), and syrup made from slightly wrinkly/mushy blueberries.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Makes about 1 quart.

1 cup milk

A pinch of salt

3/4 cups sugar

2 vanilla beans

5 egg yolks

2 cup heavy cream

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Reserve the bean pods- I throw them into a big Mason jar with organic sugar. Shake the jar around every couple days then use the vanilla sugar for other baking/culinary projects. The aroma and subtle vanilla flavor is hard to beat on cookies...or anything for that matter- go crazy!

2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Chill thoroughly and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

Basic Blueberry Syrup

1 cup blueberries
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 cup water

In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan stir together the sugar and water. Add blueberries, turn the heat up to medium and bring the liquid to a simmer while stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the berries have split open. Continue cooking/reducing the mixture until it becomes thick and syrup like. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Serve cool or warm.


Annie & Nate said...

I have the same sensibilities as you about not wasting food and finding different ways to use leftovers and remainders from the fridge.

Unfortunately, I never have remainders of blueberries. They simply disappear after a few days. I wonder where they go?

Katie said...

What a beautiful color and you can never let things go to waste that is when some of the best food is formed.

Joy the Baker said...

That is one heck of a way to get use out of dying things in your fridge! I'm so impressed!