Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CSA week 19 - Strawberry kalamata ice cream

If you didn't read all the way to the end of my post on the Coral Gables Food and Wine Festival (and I wouldn't blame you a bit if you didn't), you missed the strawberry/tomato/black olive parfait that was being offered by the Miccosukee resort. I liked the flavor combination a lot so stole it for an ice cream recipe.

The parfait didn't have any pieces of olive in it and, at first, I wanted to infuse the flavor they way they did, but, not really knowing how to do that, I thought it would add an extra layer of uncertainty to an already risky recipe.

Instead I just took a simple strawberry ice cream recipe and mixed in some chopped olives. I can go for elegant next time once I know what I'm doing. I chose kalamata because I wanted a black olive that a) I could reliable get and b) was unmistakably fruity in flavor and had a substantial meaty texture. All I did was give them a good rinse to get the brine off, but I just found a video cooking demo for an olive cobbler that simmers them in port and sugar to get a more cherry-like flavor out of them. Interesting idea, but it kind of seems like cheating.

The ice cream recipe comes from the Perfect Scoop, and like I said, it's really simple. Slice up one pound of strawberries (two pints exactly, I found) and macerate them in 3/4 sugar and a Tablespoon of vodka or kirsch for an hour. Then put the berries and the expressed juices into a food processor with two cups of cream and a good squeeze of lemon. (Lebovitz actually uses one cup cream and one cup sour cream which would be dandy if I was just making strawberry ice cream. But sour cream plus black olives equals topping for bad nachos to me which I hoped to avoid evoking here.) Process until not quite smooth, chill and churn. This actually makes more than would fit into my standard-sized churn so I had to do it in two batches. Once that was done, I mixed in a good-sized handful of chopped olives, gave it a night in the freezer and here you go:



As you can see, the texture isn't as creamy as I usually get. This is more of a Philadelphia style ice cream so that's to be expected. You can also see lots of olives. I think I went a little overboard. With the strawberry flavor damped down by the cold, the olive is a little more prominent that I wanted. That said, the flavors do work very nicely. Actually, I seem to be the least happy with it of everyone whose tried to so far as it's getting rave reviews. I should have taken some notes when I had some this afternoon as I'm having trouble describing the flavors evocatively at this remove. I'm going to have to get technical instead. You've had strawberry ice cream--I don't have to describe that. This is a fairly mild rendition that supplies mainly low notes with a deep berry flavor and the rich creaminess. The olives themselves have fruity middle notes with salty highlights here and there. Does that make sense? Maybe I'll try again later.

2 comments:

kat said...

I get the whole sweet & salty thing & would probably like it but olives in ice cream still just sounds so weird to me

billjac said...

That's why I billed the ice cream as "strawberry with added fruit flavors" to my coworkers so they could try it without preconceptions.

There's actually not a lot of salt since I did get most of the brine off. It really is the two fruit flavors matching, no different from strawberry/banana. Now green olive ice cream would be a whole different thing.

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