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Two Uses for Heavy Cream

28 Nov

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I did. We were invited to eat with our downstairs neighbor, and she did the vast majority of the cooking. So I didn’t have to lift a finger. Glorious!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. Just not when I have to, you know? I’m sad to say reverse psychology works very well on me. I’ll happily bake fun desserts all day long until someone needs me to make something for a birthday, or until I’m told I’ll have to cook for Thanksgiving. Then I shut down, and get all pouty, and refuse to do it. But if nobody is hungry, we’re running low on eggs, and there are already 3 different desserts made, I’ll be puttering around in the kitchen trying to put something together. Go figure. I’ve never liked Keanu Reeves or Sarah Jessica Parker or Kiera Knightley for the same reason: reverse psychology. Everyone else does (or did). Plus they’re irritating.

But that’s beside the point! The point IS Thanksgiving is for giving thanks. What am I thankful for? A lot of things, most that go without saying: family, friends, Penzey’s, Nielsen-Massey, my 14.6 pound (no joke!) cat. I am most especially thankful for TASTEBUDS! Think about it. Just where would we be today without tastebuds? The world would be bleak and depressing, that’s for sure.

My fondness for my tastebuds was ratcheted up to very high levels the day after Thanksgiving when I made Key Lime Pie Ice Cream. Fabulous, amazing, delectable ice cream. And it tastes exactly like key lime pie. Right down to the texture. Plus, it contains frozen sweetened condensed milk. Take it from me, that is a VERY good thing. I’ll have to do some more experimenting with sweetened condensed milk in my ice cream, because it does interesting things to the texture. And either the condensed milk or the copious amounts of lime juice I used is preventing the ice cream from freezing into a hard brick, another bonus in my book.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. It was taken from Cooking Light, but another blogger fattened it up a bit, and then I fattened it up even more. And you’re getting my version. I love me some calories. Life is too short to diet, am I right?

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Adapted from Sugar Cooking

Ingredients
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 cup bottled lime juice (can be key lime juice if you want to be technical, I just used regular lime juice)
* 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
* Graham crackers. As many as you like. I used about 4 cookies, coarsely crumbled
Directions:
Combine the first three ingredients. Pour mixture into the freezer bowl, and freeze ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. After about 20 minutes of churning, add the graham crackers, a little bit at a time. Add as much as you like. You’ll be able to see the mixture-to-cookie ratio and make adjustments as you see fit. Finish churning the ice cream, transfer to your ice cream containers and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Serve with additional graham crackers and key lime wedges, if you like. Or just eat it plain.
See? SUPER EASY. Not even very many ingredients. The only thing that may cause a problem is you need an ice cream maker. It looks just like vanilla ice cream with graham cracker bits, and since I neglected to get pictures of yesterday’s batch of ice cream, here’s pictures of my previously posted batch of vanilla ice cream.

Ice Cream!

I love my pint containers. They’re adorable!
I’m also making creme brulee today. I’ve adjusted the recipe to get a better custard, so I’m updating. Use this recipes to impress those around you.
Creme Brulee

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and whole egg in a medium bowl.

3. Put cream, milk, and extracts in saucepan over medium heat. Heat until just below boiling. Tiny bubbles should come to the surface on the edges, and it will be very hot to the touch. Remove from heat.

4. Add a small amount of the hot cream mixture to the eggs to heat them up without scrambling them.

5. Add the rest of the cream mixture and stir thoroughly.

6. Put your ramekins in a baking pan. Divide the cream and egg mixture evenly between ramekins.

7. Add enough hot water to the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

8. Bake for about 1 hr or until set. This can take longer, depending on the depth of your ramekins, so you just have to check on them when time is up. If they are still liquidy, put them back in for a little longer.

9. Cool to room temperature, then chill in fridge.

10. When ready to serve, spread 1 tsp sugar on each custard. Broil or use a propane torch. When the sugar has turned brown and bubbly on top, they are ready.

These are a few of my favorite things!

5 Mar

Sometimes I am a complainer. Ok, a lot of times I am a complainer. I am working on that. But in spite of all my complaining, I love a lot of things and people. A la Sound of Music, here’s a few of my favorite things:

1. Rain
2. Sleeping
3. Sleeping while it’s raining
4. Texas
5. North Carolina
6. Pine Trees
7. Green Eyes
8. Sunflowers
9. Sugar Cookies
10. History
11. Reading
12. Snail Mail
13. Inside Jokes
14. Jokes in general
15. My brothers
16. Me mum
17. Libraries
18. The smell of freshly cut grass
19. The smell of watermelon
20. Musicals

Quite a list, isn’t it? And I haven’t even scratched the surface! I like life, and I like practically everything that goes on around me. And I like that I’m easily satisfied. :) You know what else I like that I haven’t yet mentioned? Creme Brulee!

Creme Brulee is a delicious French dessert. It’s a nice creamy custard topped with a crunchy burned sugar topping and is often sold in fancy restaurants for a ridiculous price. Want to know a secret? It’s super easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. And, if you own a propane torch, you get the added bonus of setting fire to the top yourself!

The following ingredients and directions were compiled from various recipes (including Food Network and Framed) and previous experience. If I’m winging it, you know it’s easy! Also, you can vary the extracts for different flavors, and to put your own spin on things. This is best made a day in advance so the custard has time to chill in the fridge and allow the flavors to meld.

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and whole egg in a medium bowl.

3. Put cream, milk, and extracts in saucepan over medium heat. Heat until just below boiling. Tiny bubbles should come to the surface on the edges, and it will be very hot to the touch. Remove from heat.

4. Add a small amount of the hot cream mixture to the eggs. This is tempering. If you add all the hot cream to the eggs, it will scramble them. And that is not creme brulee.

5. Add the rest of the cream mixture and stir thoroughly.

6. Put your ramekins in a baking pan. Divide the cream and egg mixture evenly between ramekins.

7. Add enough hot water to the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until set. This can take longer, so you just have to check on them when time is up. If they are still liquid-y, put them back in for a little longer.

9. Cool to room temperature, then chill in fridge.

10. When ready to serve, spread 1 tsp sugar on each custard. Broil or use a propane torch. When the sugar has turned brown and bubbly on top, they are ready.

Serve this and impress your friends and family! Serves 6-8 people, depending on size of ramekins.

Note: The creme brulee is still cooking. I will come back and add photos. I just wanted to go ahead and get this posted.

Yum!