Saturday, June 21, 2008

Strawberries Galore!

It's Strawberry season in my part of the world! I went to a u-pick farm this week and got a bit carried away. They were ripening in abundance. I managed to pick 14# of strawberries and 3# of fresh asparagus. Then I spent the better part of the week washing, hulling, slicing, freezing, jammin, baking, and whew, finally gelato making strawberries!


I will start with the gelato, well at least a version of gelato. I believe that most true gelato recipes call for whole milk, sugar, cornstarch and then the flavoring (fruit, chocolate, etc.). I wanted a lighter, less fat recipe and found one at Cooking Light. Lowfat buttermilk is substituted for the whole milk, resulting in only .8grams of fat per 1/2 cup serving! I decided to give it a try, but first, out to purchase an ice cream machine.


I have been wanting one of these babies since I can remember. When I was young, I have fond memories of our neighbors making homemade ice cream with an ice cream maker that everyone would take turns cranking. Man, I thought they had it all. What a luxury to make your own ice cream. I believe they made peach ice cream. Anyway, out to purchase my machine. I decided on the Cuisinart ICE-25 Classic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker.


It will make 1.5 qt in 20-30 minutes and requires no salt or ice. Just
keep the insulated bowl in the freezer and you can prepare your own
frozen dessert or drinks anytime. What could be better!
I wanted to add a twist to mine, so I steeped some of my ginger mint plant in the sugar syrup. The taste in this batch was
not as strong as I would like, so next time around I will use
a bit more and steep it in the fridge overnight. One tip, have
your mix nice and cold before you put it in the machine for best
results.


This gelato is like a creamy sorbet. It is best if you put it
in the freezer for a few hours after making in the machine, then
let it sit on the counter about 10 minutes before serving.
The recipe makes enough for 2 batches. In the second batch I added broken up pieces of chocolate graham crackers and finely chopped fresh ginger mint about 5 minutes before the mixture was ready. Yum! Chocolate and strawberry! I have more strawberry related posts, but for now, here is the gelato recipe.

Strawberry Ginger Mint Buttermilk Gelato

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
handful of ginger mint
5 cups quartered strawberries (about 4 pints)
2 cups low-fat buttermilk

Preparation
Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add the ginger mint. Cover and let steep till cool or refrigerate overnight. Strain out the mint.Pour into a large bowl.


Place strawberries in a blender, and process until smooth (I put mine in the food processor and pulsed til they still had some small bits in the mix). Add strawberry purée and buttermilk to sugar syrup; stir to combine. At this point you will get the best results if you refrigerate the mixture.


Pour the strawberry mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. It took me 30 minutes. Transfer to a freezer container and chill at least 1 hour.

Yield
8 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Nutritional Information (without the graham crackers)
CALORIES 134(5% from fat); FAT 0.8g (sat 0.3g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.1g); IRON 0.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 1mg; CALCIUM 48mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.7g; SODIUM 17mg; PROTEIN 1.6g; FIBER 1.7g

Adapted from Cooking Light, JULY 2001
























The finished product, ready for the freezer!




This is the ginger mint. I purchased the plant at Whole Foods.

Here it is with the chocolate graham crackers and fresh mint leaves!

1 comment:

recipes2share said...

The mint sounds great!