Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Grapefruit Creamsicle

I'm going to go ahead and get it out of the way first thing in this post: I really don't think there is anything Hugh can't do. It borders on ridiculousness, honestly. Fortunately, I am the beneficiary of his overall awesomeness, so you will hear nary a complaint from me. 

Hugh loves ice cream. He also loves projects. And I love Hugh. So for his birthday this year, I bought him an ice cream maker. Due to our busy schedules and my (extreme) particularities about what I will and will not eat over the last three months, he didn't have an opportunity to give it a spin until our holiday break. 

Then came the lengthy endeavor of deciding what to make first. Finally he settled on a recipe from December's Bon Appetit for Grapefruit "Creamsicle." The gist of the recipe is you make grapefruit sorbet and put it in a pan beside store-bought vanilla ice cream, then when you scoop them out together they taste like a creamsicle. 

Except, if you've ever met Hugh, you can guess that there would be no store-bought vanilla ice cream in this equation. If he was taking the time to make the sorbet, he would take the time to make the ice cream, too. What can I say? We like processes around the White Hot house. 

 Grapefruit Sorbet whirling away in the ice cream maker. 

Now, knowing vanilla ice cream has a custard base and that custard can be a bit tricky if you've never made it before, I was giving preemptive pep talks that he shouldn't be too worried about it and it might take a few tries to get it just right. You know, making sure his ego didn't take too big of a hit if it didn't turn out. 

Oh, Catherine, when will you learn? Hugh's dessert was complete perfection. Seriously, the vanilla ice cream was the best I have ever had, the sorbet was wonderful, and, side-by-side, they were like a little revelation of tart and creamy deliciousness. 

So, moral of the story, ice cream making is not going to be the thing at which Hugh does not excel*. Also, you should make this dessert, stat. It's worth the space an ice cream maker will occupy in your cabinet. 

Grapefruit "Creamsicle"
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Grapefruit Sorbet
makes 1 quart

1 1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated grapefruit zest
1 3/4 cups fresh ruby red grapefruit juice

Bring sugar and 1 cup water to boil in small saucepan. Stir just until sugar is dissolved and remove from heat. Stir in grapefruit zest and juice. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, until cold (Hugh started the vanilla ice cream while this was chilling). 

Process mixture in ice cream make according to manufacturer's instructions. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

Spread sorbet into half of 8x4x2 1/2" loaf pan. Spread 1 quart vanilla ice cream (recipe below) to fill the other half of pan. Cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. This is how it looks:

Note: we found this dessert was even better the second day. 

Vanilla Ice Cream
makes approximately 1 quart

1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat whole milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean using a paring knife. Add seeds and vanilla bean pod to milk mixture. Whisk to make sure sugar has dissolved, then cover and remove from heat. Let mixture steep for 1 hour.

Set up an ice bath by placing a 2 quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the smaller bowl and add cream to smaller bowl. 

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks together. Whisk in some of the warm milk and vanilla mixture, stirring constantly. Add warmed yolks and milk mixture back to the small saucepan. 

Cook over low heat, constantly stirring and scraping bottom of pan, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let boil. 

Strain the warm custard into the heavy cream. Stir mixture over the ice until mixture is cool. Add vanilla extract. Chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours. 

Remove vanilla bean pod and freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. 

Eat it up!

*Mandy and I are always jokingly (kind of) trying to come up with things that Hugh won't be good at. In five years we have come up with nothing. Nothing. Wtf, frinternets?

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