Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blueberry-Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches



My best friend from school came to visit this past weekend.  She has quite the sweet tooth, is known for the adorable cupcakes she makes, and also loves baking and decorating.  We're living across the hall from each other next semester...the amount of cupcakes that will be baked, decorated, and finally consumed is too much for me to calculate.  Math was never a strong subject of mine, so I'm not even going to try. Just know that it's A LOT.

I promised my friend that I'd let her be the first "guest" on my blog.  So, she came up with the idea to make these awesome blueberry-mint ice cream sandwiches, using a chocolate whoopie pie to sandwich the ice cream together.  Sounded like a good idea to me at the time she proposed it...


Actually making these things was QUITE the process.  To be more specific, making the ice cream was the real challenge- the whoopie pies were baked and cooling on wire racks in no time at all- since I don't actually own an ice cream maker.  We decided to the use the old coffee can method (it actually does work, I've made ice cream successfully several times in the past like this) as an alternative.  But for some reason...the ice cream was just NOT freezing or cooperating with us.  Neither of us had ever had this much trouble with making ice cream before, so it was a bit frustrating, but after a whole lot of effort and time, the ice cream sandwiches were made...success!  If you have an ice cream maker...please take advantage of it.  You'll be finished with this recipe in about an eighth of the time it took us.

The original mint ice cream recipe we found called for three (!!!) cups of mint.  This was no problem to obtain, given that the mint plants in my backyard have actually taken over the entire thing, but using this much mint led to an ice cream that was way too overpowering, as we found out.  I think reducing the mint required to half would be more than sufficient.  The blueberry sauce made the ice cream a beautiful purple color, and added a hint of tartness that was just delicious.


Thanks to Alie for a fun weekend and a new recipe!  Enjoy!

Blueberry-Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients

For the Blueberry-Mint Ice Cream
adapted from Simply Recipes
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (divided in two)
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup (reserve for blueberry sauce)
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For the Whoopie Pies
recipe from Epicurious
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

To make the whoopie pies, begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. 

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a standard electric mixer, beat the shortening, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract until well blended, about two minutes.  Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls (I used a cookie scoop to ensure uniformity) of cookie batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them three inches apart, as the cookies will spread during baking.  Bake in the oven, one sheet at a time until the cookies are slightly puffed but still soft, about 9 minutes.  Cool on the sheet pans for ten minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. 


To make the ice cream, begin by placing the mint leaves in a saucepan with the milk and 1 cup of heavy cream.  Heat just until steaming, remove from the heat, and let stand, covered, for thirty minutes.  Repeat this step after the thirty minutes, but instead only let the mixture stand for fifteen minutes.

While the mint is infusing, prepare the remaining cream over an ice bath.  Pour the remaining cream into a metal bowl, and then place this bowl into a larger bowl full of ice water (make sure there's lots of ice!).  Set a wire mesh strainer over the top of the smaller metal bowl, and set aside.

Strain the milk cream mixture into a separate bowl using a wire mesh strainer, getting as much liquid from the mint leaves as possible.  Discard the mint leaves at this point.  Return the milk-cream mixture to the saucepan, and add 2/3 cup of sugar and salt, and heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves.  Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together.  Gradually pour the cream mixture into the eggs.  You want to do this slowly while whisking the eggs so that you temper the eggs, and don't end up scrambling them...this is very important!  Return this mixture to the saucepan, and heat once more.  Stir the custard constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard has thickened enough to completely coat the back of the spoon, about ten minutes.



Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cold cream (the ice bath set up). Chill the custard thoroughly in the ice bath for twenty minutes.  At this point, if you have an ice cream maker, freeze the custard according to your ice cream maker's instructions, or proceed to use the coffee can method.  


To make the blueberry sauce, combine the blueberries and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar together in a saucepan.  Heat the blueberries and sugar and stir until the blueberries begin to resemble a jam and have thickened slightly, about ten to fifteen minutes.  Allow the blueberry sauce to cool completely before folding it into the slightly softened mint ice cream.




To assemble the sandwiches, place a scoop of slightly softened blueberry-mint ice cream over one chocolate cookie, and place another chocolate cookie on top.  Press together sightly, and eat right away, or freeze until you're ready to eat.  Enjoy!



7 comments:

  1. What a lovely recipe :) I have never heard of that coffee can method before which i find really interesting as i too do not have an ice cream maker, a world of possibilities have just opened up! Your sweet little sarnies look delicious :)

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  2. lovely photography, these look great! but what about the ice cream? doesn't it melt?

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  3. These look so tasty! And very addictive :)

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  4. Procrastobaker- thank you :) The coffee can method is all I used to use to make ice cream, although I recently jumped at the chance to buy an ice cream maker when I saw it on sale! Nevertheless, the coffee can method works using the same idea behind an actual ice cream maker, so you're guaranteed to get results!

    athriftyfoodie- thanks! the ice cream did melt eventually, but what ice cream doesnt? Freeze the sandwiches until you're ready to eat them!

    Lucy- they were tasty! give them a try!

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  5. Yes! what a great ingredient pairing! I really want to try making these! We're hosting an online seasonal potluck and July is blueberry month! If you'd like to link your recipe, we'd love to have you! http://bit.ly/eLlgG2

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  6. Thank you Betsy, I'll link my recipe!

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  7. Looks very nice to eat. I like it. This blog was very nice. Thanks for sharing this kind of ice cream. Keep it up. Freight Audit

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