A day to stew (and smell!) over the ingredients, most of which I had never used before! I went back and forth between a few ideas, but eventually settled on one. Oh wait, my ice cream maker bowl isn't in the freezer. Oh, I need to chill the ice cream base ahead of time! ...and I'm dog-sitting this weekend. Eek. Can I add some hours to the day??
I really wanted to play with the grains of paradise, which are described as being spicy, peppery grains with hints of citrus, cardamom or nutmeg depending on who was talking about them! I decided to use them to flavor an ice cream, and then pair it with something sweet. The sweet? A blueberry crisp, studded with dried tart cherries and a little bit of Szechuan pepper just to make it a little interesting :)
Blueberry Cherry Crisp with Grains of Paradise Ice Cream
Recipe by Shannon
Serves 2-3, easily doubled for an 8 or 9" sq pan
For the crisp filling:
2 1/2c blueberries (fresh or frozen, unthawed)
1/4c dried tart cherries
2T coconut sugar
pinch of salt
1/8t Szechuan peppercorns, crushed
2-3T flour (AP or white whole wheat)
For the crisp topping:
1/4c flour (AP or white whole wheat)
1/4c coconut sugar
2T butter, melted
3T (heaping) yogurt (I used a goat's milk yogurt)
For the ice cream:
1 can light coconut milk
1/2c coconut sugar*(or white/brown sugar)
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1t-1T coarse cracked grains of paradise
1T arrowroot (or cornstarch)
For the crisp:
Preheat the oven to 400deg.
In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients and mix well so the berries are evenly coated with flour. Pour filling into a 4"square dish.
Add oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. Stir in melted butter and yogurt and stir until mixture comes together. Sprinkle over fruit.
Place baking dish in the oven and bake for 20-25min, until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden. Let crisp set for ~15min after baking. Serve warm or room temperature, with Grains of paradise ice cream.
For the ice cream:
Reserve 2-3T coconut milk.
To a medium saucepan add coconut milk, sugar, salt, vanilla bean and grains of paradise. Heat slowly until mixture just comes to a boil. To the reserved coconut milk, whisk in arrowroot (make sure there are no lumps). Remove paradise coconut milk from the stove and stir in arrowroot slurry. Let cool (refrigerate, can be prepared ahead of time... if you have time!!).
When the base has cooled, it's ready to churn in your ice cream maker (according to manufacturers directions), making sure to strain the mixture before loading it into the bowl. Serve with blueberry cherry crisp.
*If you're making this ice cream to eat on its own, I'd use 3/4c white or brown sugar
Anyone have fun plans for the weekend??