Tag Archive | dessert

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

Note: This was supposed to publish last week. Technology and I had a falling out, so I apologize to anyone who was miffed it didn’t show up, but I think we’re good now.

When it comes to homemade ice cream I think it is vital that everyone has a really really good vanilla ice cream base. Not only because vanilla ice cream is yummy on its own, but also because once you have a good vanilla base you can add all sorts of stuff to it to make a million flavors. But if your base isn’t good it doesn’t matter how many beautiful raspberries you add, or chunks of double brownie it just won’t have the quality you want.The Thick Gel in this recipe helps to create a really smooth ice cream that freezes with small crystals to retain a superior mouthfeel.

So…that said here is my favorite recipe, for now, for vanilla ice cream base.

vanilla ice cream

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

2 cups half and half

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup white sugar

3 Tablespoons Thick Gel (5 Tablespoons Ultra Gel)

2 Tablespoons peach jam (I use my Jam in a Jiffy Jam. And yes it needs to be peach as that flavor is very delicate and highlights the vanilla. If you don’t have peach then omit entirely. The flavor won’t be as rich, but it will work out)

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar and Thick Gel and mix thoroughly. Move to a large saucepan and combine with all remaining ingredients. Stir well to make sure all ingredients are completely integrated. Warm over medium heat until mixture just starts to thicken. You need the heat to activate the Thick Gel but you do not want to boil the mixture to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and pour into a container. Refrigerate over night. Remove vanilla bean before pouring mixture into a churn and processing as per manufacturer’s directions.

When it comes out of the churn the ice cream will be soft. This is the perfect time to stir in any extras you want, then move the ice cream to the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

Today (May 15th) is National Chocolate Chip Day. This whole food holiday thing always amuses me, but the very most when the food in question is something I really love, and chocolate chips are something I really love.

So in pondering a recipe to share for such a wonderful food holiday I went back to the classic chocolate chip cookie. What I want in a chocolate chip cookie is a delicate balance of a crisp edge that gives with a satisfying chew and a soft chocolatey center. Then, just to make things hard, I want a cookie that I can keep over night or freeze while maintaining the same qualities because as much as I love my chocolate chip cookies I know better than to eat the whole batch at once. With all of this in mind I went to work with a few adjustments to the recipe, again. Often I put Ultra Gel in my cookies and I do love what it does, but this time I worked with Thick Gel. I get the cookie I want and a cookie that will keep, all good things in my book. And I’m never unhappy to find another recipe to use Thick Gel in. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons Thick Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup unsalted butter, soft

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet, but if milk chocolate is your thing I’m not judging)

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, Thick Gel and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Seriously, give it 3-4 minutes, even as many as 10, light and fluffy! Add egg, additional yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients in three batches, mixing to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Now the hard part: put the whole thing into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Some folks will say as long as overnight. I personally don’t like that and find the resulting dough to be very stiff to work with without getting much benefit from that much chilling. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I like these cookies big so I use a two ounce disher and can put about 8 per batch. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pan for 2 minutes and then remove to cooling racks. Serve warm, or cold, or freeze any option is a good one!

Easy Whipped Key Lime Pie

I got a few questions asking for more information about my key lime pie, so I thought I’d expand on the wonders of key lime pie a little. A traditional key lime pie is made with egg yolks, key lime juice and sweetened condensed milk. The idea is that the acid ‘cooks’ the egg and the whole thing forms a delicious emulsion which sets in a graham cracker or crushed nut crust. I like traditional key lime pie. However, it takes a bit to set and if you are at all concerned about the raw egg it can be a turn off. So a few years back I created a key lime pie that is based off of the flavors of the original but with a lighter texture and no egg. In this case Ultra Gel steps in to hold the emulsification together and whipped cream adds lightness.

Now, one of the other fun things with this recipe is that you can get creative with other citrus flavors. I’ve replaced the lime juice with lemon juice and a couple drops of food coloring for a fun pink lemonade pie (pictured below), and substituting orange juice makes for a fun orange dream flavored pie. I expect pineapple would be good too, but I haven’t tried that one yet.

So here’s something a little different for your next Christmas party. I particularly like to serve it up in tart sized crusts for a great appetizer that is a little sweet and a whole lot of sassy.

pink lemonade pie IMG_2097

Easy Whipped Key Lime Pie

1/4 cup key lime juice (or other concentrated citrus juice)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbsp Ultra Gel

2 cups whipped stabilized whipping cream (I always use the Ultra Gel recipe 1 pint cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla to taste, 1/2 tsp salt and 1-3 tsp Ultra Gel)

Combine juice, sweetened condensed milk and Ultra Gel until well blended. Fold in whipped cream and pour into a graham cracker pie crust. Top with additional whipping cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This is also really good frozen.

Cornaby’s Apple Pie Bars and Perfect Pie Crust

When it comes to fruit filled pies there are many opinions about how much pie crust there should be in relationship to how much fruit filling. My sweet husband is a filling man. He wants a thick layer of fruit filling and enough crust to carry it along. I’m more of a middle ground girl. I want enough pie filling to be interesting but I hate it when all my fruit filling spills out of my crust because there’s not enough crust or the pie crust is too weak.

This is where apple pie bars, or other slab pies really, enter in. This recipe takes advantage of the Apple Pie Filling recipe we gave you a bit ago for a wonderful pie filling that bakes up perfectly, and uses Ultra Gel to help give tenderness and hold to a flaky, buttery crust. This recipe cooks very evenly and the resulting pieces keep the apple pie filling in place and are the perfect eat with one hand breakfast! For a lovely compliment try a little caramel ice cream or a poof of Ultra Gel Whipping Cream.

apple pie bars

Cornaby Apple Pie Bars

6 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes

1 cup shortening

3/4 cup water, + a little as needed

2 quarts (4 -4.5 cups) apple pie filling

egg white

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and Ultra Gel, mix well. Add butter and shortening and cut into dry ingredients until the consistency of coarse meal. Add 3/4 cups ice water and toss until water is incorporated. Add additional water if necessary to bring dough together. Turn out and knead 5-10 times. Do not over knead. Split into two pieces and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

When cooled roll out the first piece of pie crust large enough to form to the bottom and sides of an 11×17 inch jelly roll pan. Transfer dough to pan and trim sides. Prepare top pie crust as bottom crust. Fill bottom with prepared apple pie filling, add top crust and crimp edges to seal (use a little water or milk if needed, but generally the dough sticks together really well). Whip egg whites to a froth and brush pastry surface. If desired sprinkle with coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar. Vent top crust by making decorative holes with a sharp knife. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until top begins to brown. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Refrigerate anything that doesn’t get eaten the first night and serve cold for breakfast!

Canning with Ultra Gel and Thick Gel

I love this time of year when so many fruits and vegetables are ready for harvest! My kitchen is quickly filling up with things that need processing: tomatoes, squash, peaches, beans, apples. It just keeps coming! Not that I’m complaining, mind you. :)

So one of the big questions we get this time of year is how Ultra Gel and Thick Gel can be used in canning, and, even more specifically how they compare to products such as Clear Jel.

Clear Jel, like Ultra Gel and Thick Gel is a modified food starch. It has been on the market for many years and is often available through online resources and at Amish stores. However, many people find Clear Jel difficult to locate and hard to use, as well there is concerns about whether or not Clear Jel contains GMO products.

Now, backing up a bit, the first question when it comes to any of these products is: Why do I need to use modified food starch anyway? Can’t I use flour or cornstarch?

The problem you get with some traditional thickeners and methods is that they do not thicken canned goods evenly or consistently. Relying on only natural pectin, for example, means a different result with each batch of fruit, so you often end up cooking a canned product for a lot longer than you really want to, ending up with mushy fruit and loss of flavor and health benefits, in order to get your product to set. As well, pectin breaks down over time and products begin to weep and break apart so you’ll have some sections which are very juicy and some that are over thick.

When dealing with flour and cornstarch they do not thicken evenly, so the processing heat does not move through the bottle evenly and may or may not be able to kill all bacteria, yeasts and molds. As well you can see the same weeping and spotty thickness problems that you see with pectin.

Thick Gel and Ultra Gel are unique in the canning world because of how evenly they thicken products and because if their very high stability under acidic conditions, high heat, and their freeze/thaw stability. This allows for safe canning of items such as soups, sauce, pie fillings, jams and just about anything else which traditionally calls for Clear Jel, flour or cornstarch. These starches have been tested in commercial laboratories and are canning approved by the Utah State Extension service.

Thick Gel and Ultra Gel can be purchased through the Cornaby’s Website, or through Amazon. Locally they can be found at your local Associated Food Stores, Bosch Kitchen Centers and Harmons Food Stores.

Recipe Conversions: If recipes are given by weight instead of volume use the same weight of Thick Gel or Ultra Gel to Clear Jel.

1 Tablespoon Clear Jel=3/4 Tablespoon Thick Gel=2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 Tablespoon Thick Gel=2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Thick Gel apple pie filling

Canned Apple Pie Filling

Yield: 8 servings per quart

For one quart or one pie:

3 ½ cup blanched peeled and cored cooking apples sliced ¼” thick

¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (opt.)

½ cup cold water

¾ cup apple juice

2 Tablespoon bottled lemon juice

1 drop yellow food coloring (opt.)

3 Tablespoons Thick Gel OR 6 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

For seven quarts:

6 qts. blanched peeled and cored cooking apples sliced ¼” thick

5 ½ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg (opt.)

2 ½ cups cold water

5 cups apple juice

¾ cup bottled lemon juice

7 drops yellow food coloring (opt.)

1 cup Thick Gel OR 2 ½ cup Ultra Gel

 

Peel, core and slice apples; place in water containing ascorbic acid. Blanch no more than 2 quarts at a time for 1 minute in boiling water and keep warm.

Combine sugar, spices, water, apple juice, lemon juice and coloring in heavy 10-12 quart pan. Bring to a boil and gradually stir in Ultra Gel with a wire whisk – If using Thick Gel, combine listed Thick Gel with enough additional apple juice to form a thin slurry and whisk into boiling liquid. Cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Fold in drained apple slices. Fill jars, leaving ½” headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately in water bath canner for 35 minutes (sea level). Add five minutes processing time for elevations of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and ten minutes for elevations from 3,000 to 5,000 feet.

Nutrition info/serving: 128 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat 33 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 30 g sugar, 0 g protein, 2 mg sodium

Zucchini Banana Bread

It is some kind of shared delusion that everyone in Utah who gardens plants summer squash. We all do it, even knowing that very shortly we will be in squash upto our eyeballs and desperately trying to decide what to do with it all. Fried, baked, roasted, creamed, shredded…you try everything. This recipe for a zucchini banana bread is one of my favorite uses for all that squash, and it takes care of a handful of overripe bananas all at once. Win win right?

So as I have 7 squash on the counter and can’t make them all into bread…what should I do with the rest of them?

Zucchini Banana Bread

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups grated, peeled, seeded zucchini

1 cup mashed overripe bananas

2 Tbsp Ultra Gel

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup applesauce

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup nuts (optional)

Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add squash, banana, Ultra Gel, oil and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; then add to creamed mixture. Do not over beat! Stir in nuts if desired. Place in greased and floured bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour. Yield: 4 medium loaves.

This recipe freezes really well. To freeze, cool loaves entirely and wrap in cling wrap and aluminum foil. Label with date and freeze.

Jam in a Jiffy – Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which is a lovely time for us. An unofficial kick off to summer and a chance to spend a few days together, as well as the very important duty of remembering those who have gone before us. One of the nice things about the long weekend is the chance to do some special cooking. My Bunneh has been as busy as can be making ham and chicken stock, steaks and rotisserie chicken. My job was to come up with the sides and the dessert.

The dessert I settled on was a brownie ice cream pie with raspberry topping. Raspberry prices are dropping but I wanted something even easier. Going to my freezer I spied my containers of jam in a jiffy raspberry jam and decided that would make easy and yummy topping. When it all came together I was happy with the results. I think we could have added a little whipping cream for the lightness and pretty factor, but without it it was pretty darn good too.

So there you have it…jam in a jiffy freezer jam, not just for sandwiches!

raspberry brownie pie

Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie

1 large brownie mix

2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

1 cup raspberry jam in a jiffy freezer jam

Make brownie mix according to the box directions, adding 2 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to the mix for extra moisture and tenderness. Pour into two 9 inch pie plates and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Layer softened ice cream on brownie pie and remove to freezer for a minimum of four hours.

Cut and top with freezer jam, serve immediately.  Add whipping cream as desired.