Monday, October 12, 2009

Recipes Piled a Mile High

My husband and I have been caught up in a flurry of home repair, renovation, and basically doing chores we've been putting off for the last decade or so. Inevitably, when such projects are underway, tempers flare, arguments escalate, and harsh words are tossed around. It came up - the harshest word of all - "packrat."

What? Me? A packrat? Just because we have more bookshelves than chairs, just because we have books in boxes and books in drawers? That doesn't make me a packrat. I neeeeeed those books. The same for all my sewing supplies, fabric stash, unfinished craft projects, kids' kindergarten art work, and, oh, no, not another chocolate stash! Well, I can declutter with the best of them. I'll toss' art work. They won't care.

I must confess, though, that I do have a wee bit of a tendency to hoarding when it comes to recipes. Why is it so hard to toss a recipe? Even if I ripped it out of a magazine ten years ago and have never made it. I might make it someday, so I'd better save it, right? Especially if it's got luscious, tempting pictures to go with the recipe.

In the spirit of purge that's flowing in our house right now, I decided to go through my folder of ripped-out-of-a-magazine recipes and do some culling. Calls for a box of pudding? Toss. I'd never get my family to eat it? Toss. I own the cookbook that has that recipe in it? Toss. But then I came to one that had a full page picture of ice cream and blueberries nestled in between halves of a biscuit with a lovely sauce drizzling down over the top. Rather than toss, I'd make it, blog it, and then be able to toss with a free conscience. Plus I still had more blueberries to play with!

The only downside to this excellent plan was that when I looked at the recipe accompanying the gorgeous photo, it was basically a biscuit recipe and you bought ice cream to put in there. Waaaaah! I wanted a blueberry ice cream recipe! So I had to sort of invent my own. And now that I've taken my own pictures I'm totally going to toss that other recipe. Even though their pictures were better. Maybe I'd better hang onto it, just in case I want to try for a redo later....

Blueberry Tallcakes

Your favorite biscuits or shortcakes
Blueberry Ice cream (recipe follows)
Fresh berries
Berry syrup or liquor for drizzling

Blueberry Ice cream

2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
2-3 Tbsp Blueberry or blackberry liquor*

1- Toss the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate, stirring every 30 minutes.

2- Place the blueberry mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

3- Pour 1 cup of the cream into a large mixing bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer on top of it. Have an ice bath prepared in a larger bowl (several inches of ice + water) to cool off the custard.

4- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

5- In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and pinch of salt. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and warm the cream mixture, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and little bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan.

6- Pour the warmed cream in a steady stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and set it over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly and coats the spatula ( drawing a finger through it should leave a line).

7- Immediately pour the custard through the strainer into the cold cream. Set the bowl into the ice bath and stir. Pour in the pureed blueberry mixture and stir till thoroughly mixed and cooled. Cover and refrigerate the custard at least 4 hours or overnight.

8- Stir in the liquor and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

* I used Creme de Cassis and it did impart a very distinct blackberry flavor to the ice cream. My next quest - making blueberry liquor from my leftover Blueberry Lighter Fluid!


sarah said...

Hahah! Oh mom. How true. That fear of "But maybe I'll need it..." has been running wild between sam and I. He's got all his old home work from college. Does he get excited and throw out his 50 note books? No. He might need them someday...

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Oh Lynn, no worries - I too am a "closet" (no pun intended) packrat & hoarder - ESPECIALLY with recipes as well :) Love those tallcakes!!

Hang in there with all the projects and busyness!!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I am a throwaway person but will admit that sometimes I have thrown aways something that I felt I needed further down the road:D To soothe myself a hearty helping of this would certainly help.

grace said...

ruby tuesday used to have a strawberry tall cake that i LOVED, but now it's gone. this is far superior. needless to say, i'm thrilled by what your purging spree has inspired!

Maria said...

I love all of your blueberry posts!

NKP said...

I'm a packrat too. :)
I love that you made your own ice cream for it! (The first time I made blueberry ice cream I left them whole... yep, little hard bullets all through the ice cream!)

The pictures are lovely, absolutely delish!

Unknown said...

I am a hoarder too--especially when it comes to books...and recipes...oh dearie. but these look quite yummy!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

I suffer the same problem when it comes to recipes. I go through them every so often, but never manage to throw m/any away!

Love the tallcakes! (particularly love the idea of adding creme de cassis to the ice cream, too. Naughty but oh-so-nice!)

Anonymous said...

hmm. Did I spark the pack rat debate? So sorry.
But I find hoarder pack rats tend to pair off with thrower-outers. A yin yang thang!
Blueberry ice cream and a biscuit tower sounds like peace and love food to me!

Melinda said...

sorry...above comment is from me.

Barbara Bakes said...

I'm not a packrat with most things, but I am definitely a recipe packrat. If you come up with a great organizing tip let me know! The ice cream looks delicious!

Aggie said...

I'm such a pack rat too!
This dessert looks fantastic! I love love love blueberries!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! You have a great one! Am going to take a look around some more now... :)

Chocolaty Lifestyle said...

what a wonderful recipe! Remainding about summer.. :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I am also a pack rat. In fact, I'm going to pack away this recipe so I can make it!

Abby said...

You are a blueberry QUEEN! But this is so beautiful!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Hey Lynn we will be in Lynnwood next weekend. Being a foodie any recommendations on absolutely outstanding restaurants. Will also be at Pike Market?

The Blonde Duck said...

I feel you. I love ranches, just not the dirty sweaty in cute clothes part.

CaSaundraLeigh said...

And I thought I was the only one who has WAY too many recipes :-) Maybe I should start making one a day to possibly get through them all in my life!! Love the blueberry tallcakes!

We Are Not Martha said...

I am the same exact way!!! I have sooo many magazines that I've been swearing I'll go threw and organize the recipes into a nice binder (I bought one and everything! Over a year ago!), but i never do it. Need to get my butt in gear!


Elle said...

Must be something in the air...I cleaned out a bunch of old magazines and recipes in the food section of ancient newspapers yesterday. My strategy is to pile them up for 5-6 years, then just toss them without looking at them because what I don't know is headed for the trash won't bother me or something. The general idea still bothers me, but every once in a while I'm in the right mood...and then out they go!
Glad you made this your own way...lucious with the large ball of berry ice cream and fresh berries, too.

kickpleat said...

I think everyone has packrat tendencies, don't they?? Regardless, I think these biscuits look amazing. Even more amazing that you made blueberry ice cream.

Homemade Heaven said...

After our kitchen makeover I was also forced to re-visit some of my old recipes. Funny how I can throw away things that belong to others with gay abandon but when it comes to recipes and magazine cuttings I hang on like my families future is dependent on it!
I am so glad you blogged the ice cream - summer is just around the corner and I have already dusted off the ice-cream machine.

Jacque said...

LOL, I hear you on hoarding recipes (and cookbooks). If I never got another new recipe or cookbook, I would still have recipes to last me the rest of my life, no problem.

Yours looks like a keeper. I'm just imagining when the ice cream softens up and starts to melt a bit... yum!!

Jamie said...

I really like all your blueberry posts. I have several bags frozen in my freezer that I need to use. Blueberry ice cream sounds heavenly. And I'm definitely a recipe packrat.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I appreciate you coming by for a visit. I love to bake so I'll be checking out some of your recipes.

MansTouch said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe, it seems very delightful. I'll definitely try this at home.
Paris Cooking Classes

Katrina said...

Too funny, Lynn. I have a hard time throwing certain things away, too. I might...someday. Maybe when my husband starts calling me horrible names like "packrat", too. ;)
YOUR recipe looks de-lish!

Jamie said...

You have me laughing out loud because you have described both our "discussions" in which the word "packrat" does find its way every now and then and you have perfectly described me! And I have been going through my folders of clipped recipes too :-)

This dessert is gorgeous and way too tempting! Perfect!