Friday, August 15, 2008

Lemon ice cream and coconut cookies

Last summer I bought an ice cream maker from Home Depot for about $20. It is very unsophisticated as it uses ice and salt - the old-fashioned way. Still, it makes great ice cream and in large quantities. My husband's favorite food group is dessert, ice cream in particular. I've tried quite a few ice cream recipes and this is one of the best. It is super smooth and creamy with a fresh lemon taste. The cookies are basically flattened coconut macaroons and they use up the egg whites left over from the ice cream - I really dislike being wasteful. I also served bananas with Dulce de Leche that was leftover from an apple pie I'd made. In the photograph above the ice cream is very soft as it is straight from the ice cream maker. My husband can never wait until it is frozen properly.

A note about eggs: Please try and buy organic cage free eggs whenever possible. It is a very simple way to promote cruelty free food production. I buy most of our eggs from a farm animal rescue - they sell the eggs to raise money for the animals. There are also several local farmers that keep chickens for eggs only and the animals are very well cared for. If a had to choose between traditional non-cage free eggs and going without any eggs, I would go without.

Both recipes are adapted from Gourmet magazine. The original recipe used the cookies to make ice cream sandwiches, but I served them separately.

Lemon ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I used 1 tablespoon)
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Bring cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and zest to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Whisk together yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl and then very slowly add the cream mixture, whisking to combine. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, until custard is thickened slightly and registers 175F on an instant read thermometer (do not let it boil!). Immediately strain through a fine mesh sieve into a metal bowl and quick chill by placing in a laregr bowl with ice and cold water. Stir occasionally until cold, about 20 minutes.

Churn mixture in an ice cream maker until partially frozen, about 15-20 minutes. Then, still churning, add the lemon juice in a slow strean and continue to churn until frozen, about 10 minutes. Keep in a sealed container in the freezer.

4 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325F. Line baking sheets with parchment. Butter and flour baking sheets. Note: I used "Reynold's Release", the non-stick aluminum foil instead of the parchment. I didn't butter or flour the foil and it worked fine. If you do use non-stick foil please recycle it!

Stir together the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl, then stir in coconut. Spread level tablespoons of coconut mixture into 3-inch rounds, 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake cookies for about 20-30 minutes until lightly browned. Keep a close on eye them so they don't burn. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes and then cool on racks.

I know these recipes look convoluted but they are really not too hard. If you go step by step you should be okay!

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