Orange Creamsicles

Summer may be months away, but you’d never know it by looking at the thermometer. It’s sunny and warm and only March! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. As a matter of fact I’m celebrating by making Creamsicles!

Blood oranges, vanilla custard, and Cara Cara oranges are layered to make these Creamsicles..

Blood Orange Layer:
Mix together
2 cups Blood Orange juice
1/3 cup honey

Vanilla Custard Layer:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and milk just to a simmer. In a bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar, and vanilla for 2 minutes until doubled in volume.
In dribbles, pour a little of the warm cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Once you’ve incorporated about half of the warm cream, pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take only 1-2 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Strain and cool completely.

Cara Cara Orange Layer:

2 cups Cara Cara orange juice

Layering:

You can use Dixie cups, Popsicle molds, styrofoam cups, even silicone cupcake molds to form the creamsicles. You will also need wooden Popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks.
Pour at least 3 tablespoons of juice or custard into your mold for the first layer. Freeze for about 45 minutes before adding the second layer. Make as many layers as you like in varying thicknesses. Insert your stick in the center when the creamsicle is partially frozen.
Allow to set up in the freezer overnight.

Unmold by peeling off styrofoam or paper cups. If using molds, they can be dipped in warm water for a few seconds to loosen.

Tastes like summer!

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel has the ability to take an ordinary dessert and elevate it to extraordinary. The addition of sea salt…sublime!
Who would guess that it takes only 15 minutes to make at home?
Served over ice-cream or alongside pie, you have a quick and easy dessert.

Equipment you will need:

Medium saucepan with high sides
Heatproof spatula
Candy thermometer (optional)

Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 stick of softened unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons Fleur de Sel or coarse salt

In a small saucepan over low heat, add cream and salt. Stir to dissolve and set aside.

In a saucepan, add the sugar, water, and corn syrup. On medium heat, gently stir to dissolve the sugar, taking care not to splash up the sides of the pan.

Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat to high, stop stirring, and attach a candy thermometer if using one. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Continue boiling until mixture turns a rich caramel color and registers 300F on the thermometer. Remove from heat.

Color should look like this.

Add the butter, then the cream. It may bubble up slightly, so take care.

Continue stirring off heat, incorporating the caramel with the butter and cream until you have a nice rich color.

Allow to cool. Store covered in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Decadently delicious!

 

 

Basil Ice Cream

In the summer when basil is so abundant , instead of the usual pesto, why not try making something different? Basil Ice-Cream from Claudia Fleming, the former pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern in NYC may just be the perfect choice.

Basil Ice Cream

Start by making a simple sugar syrup
1-1/2 cups water to 2 cups sugar
Bring to a simmer in a saucepan to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.

Fill a small bowl with ice water and set aside.

Blanch 2-1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves in a pan of simmering water for 30 seconds.

Remove the basil with a slotted spoon and quickly plunge into the ice water to retain their vibrant green color.

Drain the leaves, lay them out on a paper towel, and blot to remove the excess water.

Puree the basil in a blender with 1/4 cup of the simple syrup. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine 3 cups milk, 1 cup cream, and 3/4 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer.

In a bowl, whisk together 12 egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and add a little to the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep the yolks from curdling. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk a little at a time, whisking as you pour.

Return the custard to the stove and cook it over low heat, stirring constantly.

Cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Let cool completely and then stir in the basil puree.

Strain the custard. Mix in 1/2 T. vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Chill for about 4 hours.

Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Yield: 1 Quart

Tastes like summer!