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Posts tagged ‘honey’

meyer lemon sherbet with honey

In my running list of potential ingredient combinations, ice cream with quinoa was probably—no, definitely—near the bottom.

But there we were on a Friday at 9 a.m., me and 20 high schoolers, happily munching homemade lemon sherbet studded with quinoa from the bottom of our paper bowls. I’d brought the grain and dessert to share with students at my alma mater Laguna Blanca, the plan being to talk a little about food and blogging and offer first something healthy and breakfasty (quinoa as cereal!) and then something sweet. In the frenzy of serving they ended up together, but what better lesson for young cooks than that making food is often a happy accident?

I’m still a young cook myself, and ingredient adventures are no small part of my kitchen. Often the idea is not wholly my own: a month or so ago I was making a pasta casserole with one of my fellow apprentices when he suggested topping the dish with thinly sliced potatoes. Pasta and potatoes? Together? I tried (unsuccessfully) to veil my skepticism, but I was the one swallowing my words when we cut into our steaming casserole with its perfectly crisped potato topping. Who knew?

This lemon sherbet is also the product of experimentation, particularly since I ended up making four batches over the course of last week. Some of you may remember the birthday ice cream maker I purchased for my mom back in October (an ulterior motive gift to be sure), and since my servings of iced desserts usually near half the quart, I decided to play around with ice cream and gelato’s svelter and oft-ignored cousin, sherbet. Made with milk instead of cream, sherbet falls somewhere between ice cream and sorbet, and using Jeni Britton’s ice cream-making method it is nothing short of delicious. The base for my final batch came out of the fridge a tad too tart, but as it was a bit late to add more sugar I spooned in some Avocado-blossom honey. Not quite as odd as potatoes on pasta, but a happy experiment nonetheless.

Meyer Lemon Sherbet with Honey

Meyer lemons have a characteristically mild and fragrant flavor which works wonderfully in sherbet, but I’ve made this recipe successfully with limes and other citrus so feel free to use what you have on hand. The same goes for the milk—I use 2%, but you can easily substitute according to preference.

3 cups milk

1/3 cup sugar

zest of three lemons

1 Tbsp cornstarch

3 Tbsp cream cheese

juice of five Meyer lemons

3 Tbsp honey

Whip cream cheese in a large bowl and set aside. Combine milk, sugar, and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium heat and slowly bring to a simmer. Dissolve cornstarch in a separate cup with a little of the milk from the pan, then pour into the main mixture when it begins to boil. Stir for a minute or so on the heat until the sherbet base thickens slightly, then pour onto the cream cheese and whisk vigorously until mixed. Set in the fridge or freezer to cool.

Juice your lemons and set aside. When the sherbet base is fully cooled, stir in honey and lemon juice a little at a time, tasting after each addition. When your base is the perfect combination of tart and sweet, freeze in your ice cream maker or follow these instructions for freezing your sherbet as a granita.

sweet and spicy vanilla chai

Aphids. Job searching. Plant morphology exams. Rain. For all life’s minor trials and tribulations, there is but one foodie equivalent to the bubble bath: Chai.

Chai latte, to be precise. My chronology of chai began with Starbucks (ubiquitous purveyor of fancy drinks), and it was a “tall soy chai, no water, in a personal cup” that my mother asked for every Saturday morning as we began our weekly round of shopping. I joined her (with my own personal travel mug) all through high school, but like all who begin their specialty journey with Starbucks it wasn’t long before I was going more gourmet. Soon my sister and I had discovered the Garden Market, which featured a steaming mug of sugary chai with creamy, frothy foam. That chai (and several others along the way) led me to an important discovery: my favorite drink did not begin, as you might imagine, with tea. Sad to say, I was a die-hard fan of chai powder.

One of the benefits of chai powder (other than an insane sugar rush) is that it makes the chai latte as easy as boiling a pot of water. As a college freshman I drank chai lattes in bed, in class, as late-night snacks and morning pick-me-ups. I drank them so often, in fact, that my desire for chai began to wane. Years passed with only the occasional Starbucks visit when I went home, and then, when powdered chai was all but forgotten, I passed a display of chai latte powder in Trader Joe’s last week.

It was a spur of the moment purchase with consequences that shook our small apprentice world. The initial can of powder was gone in two days, and the following two we bought followed shortly after. When Pim gave me a box of Chai spices after a macaron class I began doctoring my insta-latte, and soon I was adding milk, vanilla extract, honey… and somewhere along the way I made it back to tea. Now I sprinkle just a light dusting of powder in my chai, and if nothing else it offsets the 5 tablespoons Phillip and Sara Lieber put in theirs.

Sweet and Spicy Vanilla Chai

black tea (loose or bagged)

milk

1 tsp chai spice blend (star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves)

honey

vanilla extract

1 tsp chai latte powder

Brew your black tea in a teapot or mug until strong. Remove teabag or leaves and add milk, chai spice blend, vanilla extract and honey for desired sweetness. Sprinkle chai latte powder on top, stir or froth, and enjoy!

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