Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strawberry Frozen Dessert

This is probably a little premature, but I am in the midst of making this easy no ice cream maker required strawberry frozen dessert. I call it dessert because it has cream and yogurt in it so it doesn't seem to qualify as frozen yogurt but isn't strictly an ice cream either. Right now I just whisked the mixture that had been in the freezer for several hours and could have drunk the entire bowl down, so if you loose patience remember you can always just call it a milk shake!

For some reason I've never realized that honey was not allowed by vegans, which I only mention because since my experimenting to come up with a maple syrup cake it's gotten me into a maple syrup phase. In truth I've been in a maple syrup phase since I first tasted the stuff. Right now with strawberries in season I just really enjoy how the mellow, rich sweetness of dark maple syrup sets off the tart sweet sourness of the strawberries.

Macerating a quart of strawberries in a few tablespoons of maple syrup is just such a wonderful thing, simple and after an hour or so in the fridge gives you a wonderful strawberry maple "juice" perfect for soaking into a biscuit or some nice sponge cake along with the berries and some whipped cream, ice cream or something luscious, cold and non dairy.

Here's what I've got so far.

Clean, stem, cut in half 31/2-4 cups of strawberries. Place them in the bowl of a large food processor with 5 tablespoons of maple syrup (I like grade B but use what ever you have or prefer), 1/3 cup red wine and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Puree.

Pass the puree through a fine seize to remove the seeds.

In another bowl whisk together 1 cup heavy Cream and 1/2 cup yogurt until peaks form. It should be fairly stiff.

Add the strained puree, mix well and place in a metal bowl and place in the freezer. After about an hour the edges should have frozen, but the middle will still be liquid, whisk it all together again to spread out the ice crystals to make it an even consistency and place back in the fridge.

It should be done and ready to serve in 4 hours.

Before serving take it out of the fridge and let warm up a bit.

I'll up date this later when I see how it works out. Update: I whisked it again at hour 5 and it was creamy deliciousness and could be served, it held it's shape but was still creamy and soft, but had a n ice crystal quality to it that I found refreshing. It's cold sweet sour strawberry hit just the right note for me and with the addition of sweetened whipped cream and strawberries macerated in maple syrup I think it would make a dynamic combination, but if you want to you could certainly add a tablespoon or 2 more of the maple syrup.

All in all my conclusion is that if you were to make this in a larger flat baking tin (say 10 x10) instead of using a bowl like I did it would freeze quicker and you could have yourself a cool summer treat in a few hours. I also think you don't need to take it out and whisk it, you could just let it be and I believe the result would be creamier and more ice cream like - damn , guess I 'll have to make it again.

Oh and lastly, if you do end of leaving it in the freezer longer and it becomes too granita-like, just let it sit out for 10 - 15 minutes it should soften up and be luscious once again.

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