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Darienne

Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

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9 hours ago, sweettreateater said:

The information in underbelly is great!

 

I particularly liked the 'Discussion' section in Basic Ice Cream Examples, where you showed how a change in the recipe can result in unexpected deficiencies, but then how to counter that effect by changing other parts of the formulation. It really demonstrates the crucial balancing act that ice cream-making is! And it really helps make clear what each part of the formulation does.

 

One thing that I would personally really like to see is an entire posting on Solids: how to calculate them from your ingredient list, how to add them in when needed, how to counter them when they come in too high. I find the whole Solids component the trickiest part to understand well. It was covered in How To Build a Recipe but I wouldn't mind seeing more, especially how to manipulate the percentage.

 

For instance, how would you get enough solids if you were making a watermelon ice cream? You need a ton of watermelon juice to get enough flavor (because it's a relatively non-intense juice next to say, lemon), but then how do you maintain a high enough solid percentage without diluting the flavor?

 

 

Good idea about a post on solids. I planned to make half of the post on sugars about solids, but it ended up seeming like too much information. So yeah, maybe solids gets its own section.

 

The calculator Jo links to is good. I’d love to include excel or google docs spreadheets on the blog, but I don’t know how to program them. And the thought of trying to learn pretty much defrosts my freezer.

 

If anyone’s a spreadsheet whiz who has tips or is interested in taking on the project, please let me know.

 

There’s also a subscription-only calculator at dairyscience.info, and also a bunch of purchasable spreadsheets (they do consultancy for commercial ice cream production)—I’d like to make something with that kind of functionality, tailored to artisanal ice cream, and make it freely available.

 

Right now I mostly just muddle through the math. Which is a bit annoying, because almost every ingredient that you change will change more than one of the variables. For example, if you decrease the milk, you’re decreasing milk fat, milk solids nonfat, and total solids, but you’re lowering the total volume of the recipe, so the relative values of these ingredients might actually increase. 

 

Since I’m basically using grade school math, this process sends me around in circles a couple of times until the values work out

 

 

Re: watermeon ice cream. That’s a great example, and one I haven’t tried. My first thought would be to make a sorbet … which doesn’t solve all the problems, but definitely helps get the most out of the delicate flavor. For ice cream, I’d make an eggless base, no more than 12% fat, use additional stabilizing and emulsifying ingredients, and add a lot of milk powder to get the solids up (think of this as turning the water portion of the melon juice into skim milk). 

 

Then I’d experiment with ways to get the watermelon flavor intense enough. I’d play with mixing a portion of straight watermelon juice with some reduced watermelon juice. And I’d almost definitely add some acid, like lemon, which brings out a lot in that flavor.

 

Then you have to account for the sugars. I’ll get into this more when I post about fruit flavors. I have a table of typical sugar makeup of fruits. 

 

Watermelon is typically 9% total sugars, 1.6% glucose, 3.3% fructose, 3.6% sucrose. So you can figure out the total number of these sugars your adding, and subtract from the various sugars to compensate (notice that watermelon contains the exact sugars I use in the base recipe). 

 

Most of that is just arithmetic; the more interesting problem becomes getting a vibrant, 3-dimensional watermelon flavor. I think it will take some experimenting, but I’m pretty sure you won’t get it with a very rich, custard-based ice cream.

 

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Notes from the underbelly

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Interesting Sugar post on underbelly.

 

I have quite the sweet tooth so I never think ice cream is too sweet. I only know it's too sweet when it won't stay frozen in my -10 freezer! ;) That's actually happening right now with a coffee ice cream I just made. Even I think it's too sweet. Just kidding.

 

I've been using corn syrup for quite a while but have been curious to try a different kind of invert sugar. I found a smaller sized example (22 oz) of Trimoline for $7.25 at lepicerie.

 

Would you say that the DIY formula for invert syrup on your site is equivalent to a commercial product like the one just mentioned? Is there any difference with the homemade one?

 

Really enjoying the underbelly blog. You do a great job of summarizing and explaining concepts, especially the "trade-offs" with formulation changes. A lot of other blogs and books offer a lot more detail but with less clarity.

 

 

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Thanks sweettreat. Good question about the commercial Trimoline. I'll guess that it has a higher percentage of inverted sugar, and so its differences from table sugar will be a bit more pronounced. When you make it yourself, you can get about 85% invert syrup ... the rest is just sucrose syrup. Manufacturers probably have a few more tricks (like chemical or enzymatic catalysts) that let them invert more. The other possible variation is the water percentage. I'm not sure what's in the commercial product. The DIY version has whatever water level you want. The hotter you cook it, the drier it will be. I cook to 235–237°F, which gives a bit under 20% water. This is dry enough so that it doesn't add too much water to the ice cream, and so that it has a long life in the fridge, but not so dry that it's completely annoying to work with.

 

Edited to add: please feel free to ask questions like this in the comment section on the blog, also. It will help me clarify this stuff for everyone.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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On 6/15/2016 at 8:13 AM, paulraphael said:

Re: watermeon ice cream. That’s a great example, and one I haven’t tried. My first thought would be to make a sorbet … which doesn’t solve all the problems, but definitely helps get the most out of the delicate flavor. For ice cream, I’d make an eggless base, no more than 12% fat, use additional stabilizing and emulsifying ingredients, and add a lot of milk powder to get the solids up (think of this as turning the water portion of the melon juice into skim milk). 

 

Then I’d experiment with ways to get the watermelon flavor intense enough. I’d play with mixing a portion of straight watermelon juice with some reduced watermelon juice. And I’d almost definitely add some acid, like lemon, which brings out a lot in that flavor.

 

Then you have to account for the sugars. I’ll get into this more when I post about fruit flavors. I have a table of typical sugar makeup of fruits. 

 

Watermelon is typically 9% total sugars, 1.6% glucose, 3.3% fructose, 3.6% sucrose. So you can figure out the total number of these sugars your adding, and subtract from the various sugars to compensate (notice that watermelon contains the exact sugars I use in the base recipe). 

 

Most of that is just arithmetic; the more interesting problem becomes getting a vibrant, 3-dimensional watermelon flavor. I think it will take some experimenting, but I’m pretty sure you won’t get it with a very rich, custard-based ice cream.

 

I also think a sorbet would be better. It seems like the problem could be in ensuring sufficient solids. Besides sugar, what could you add to increase the solid percentage?

 

With lemon sorbets, the flavor is so sour that you have to add a lot of sugar and I guess that takes care of the solids but that much sugar might overwhelm the watermelon...

 

I usually strain when I make sorbets but maybe if I didn't, that might increase the solids enough without hopefully detracting too much from the final smoothness.

 

I like the idea of reducing some of the watermelon juice.

 

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Pastry chefs often add milk powder to citrus sorbets. You could say this technically makes it not a sorbet, but it stays sorbet-like. I think industrial makers add things like maltodextrin. It's a sugar with a high molecular weight that adds practically no sweetness ... it's more like a starch. It also has very little effect on freezing point. I haven't played with this because I'm sure there are better ways to get solids. I'd go with powdered milk first.

 

Also, I said "watermelon juice" above but should have said watermelon puree. I suspect this would get some added flavor and color in addition to some solids.

 

If you experiment with reducing some of the watermelon let us know how it goes. I'd like to know what that does to the flavor.


Notes from the underbelly

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5 hours ago, mgaretz said:

Being lactose intolerant, I would hate to order a sorbet and discover hours later as I am in gastric distress that milk powder was added to it.

 

That being said, polydextrose could also be used to add solids without sweetness. 

 

I think a restaurant would have to put a notice on the menu. Vegetarians also want to know if there's gelatin in the sorbet.


Notes from the underbelly

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On 6/20/2016 at 7:37 AM, paulraphael said:

If you experiment with reducing some of the watermelon let us know how it goes. I'd like to know what that does to the flavor.

 

I made a watermelon sorbet and reduced some of the puree.

 

Since I wasn't sure how the reduction would alter the flavor, I reduced only half the puree, and I reduced that part 20% by weight. So the entire amount of puree was reduced by 10%. After reduction, the smell was a little odd and non-fruit like, though the taste was different than the smell and was OK. It's hard to say if reducing affected the flavor but it didn't ruin it either.

 

Overall, the finished product was quite good, taste-wise. The watermelon flavor came through pretty strong. It was a little on the too- sweet side, though. I felt that there were some defects too: it froze a little too cold and ended up too hard right out of the freezer, and the texture was a little crumbly. Once it warmed up, the texture was good and the crumbliness went away.

 

Anyone have any ideas what would cause a crumbly texture in a sorbet? Since the sugar level was comparable to other sorbets I've had success with (particularly strawberry), my guess is the watermelon sorbet was lacking solids. I also used corn syrup as the invert.

 

I opted not to strain it, hoping to retain some extra solids but maybe that is not enough. I am definitely thinking about trying either some nonfat milk solids, or get some stabilizers to try. I wanted to try it with as few extra ingredients as possible but I think a thin juice like watermelon might need a little help. I might get some dextrose as well, to add some FP suppression without adding sweetness.

 

Here was the formulation I tried:

 

(start) 30 oz fresh watermelon puree, unstrained
(final) 27 oz watermelon, after reducing half of it by 20%
8.25 ounces sugar
4.70 ounces of corn syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1/16 tsp pinch of salt

 

Edit: I checked and my strawberry sorbet actually has more sugar in it (37% of total weight vs 30% of total weight). That could partly explain the difference in hardness.

 


Edited by sweettreateater (log)
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Here's my current template for sorbets. I believe there's room for improvement; after some more experimenting this summer I'll do a sorbet post. 

No matter what, all fruits are different, and so this can't be anything more than a general suggestion (this will be pretty close for berries, way off for lemon).

 

I'm glad you did that experiment with reducing some of the watermelon. It sounds like it didn't hurt. I'd be curious to know if it made much positive difference.

 

Crumbly textures are always the challenge with sorbet. You get them because there's just so much water, and therefore so much ice. There's no milk fat making things creamy, and there are usually far lower solids levels displacing and controlling the water. I have yet to make sorbet that's as creamy as ice cream, but it's definite goal. 

 

 

 

For approx. 1000g final product:

 

-70% (700g) puree (after hulling, pitting, straining, etc.) you may need up to 33% more than this in whole fruit.

 

-Total sugar, including sugar from fruit (measure or use chart) should be 18%

    Sugar composition should be:

    -0-30% sucrose

    -40-70% dextrose (reduce or eliminate if using alcohol)

    -20-30% trimoline

    (I’ve been using more and more dextrose, since it’s least sweet and suppresses freezing the most)

 

-Water for syrup:

    -30% minus weight of added sugars 

 

-Stabilizers:

    -0.2 to 0.3% of sorbet stabilizer blend:

    4 :  2 : 1 : 1

    LBG - guar - lambda carrageenan - kappa carrageenan

    for 1000g: 1.5g LBG, 0.75g guar, 0.38g lambda carrageenan, 0.38g kappa carrageenan

 

-0.07–0.1% salt

 

-In citrus flavors, up to 3% / 30g nonfat dry milk

 

-In herbal flavors, up to 0.7% / 7g herbs

 

-up to 1% / 10g lemon or lime juice to balance acidity (optional; taste puree)

 

-1% / 10g fruit brandy optional in fruit flavors

or for alcohol-centric flavors:

-up to 7% 80-proof booze (no more than 3% pure alcohol)

 (reduce water to equal amount)

 

-total solids should be 33%

    -fruit solids: see chart

    -sucrose / glucose solids: 97%

    -trimoline solids: 82%

    -glucose syrup solids: 63%

 

**********

 

 

-disolve all solid ingredients into water (pre mix stabilizers into sugar).

-bring to a simmer and remove from heat

-if using herbs, cover and let cool at room temp for 30 minutes

-chill at least 4 hours

-blend to break gel into fluid gel

-strain any herbs from syrup

 

-puree and strain fruit / add any citrus juice / alcohol. chill.

 

-mix syrup and puree; spin in ice cream machine

-draw at -5°C / 23°F

-harden in freezer

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Notes from the underbelly

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Thanks for posting your sorbet formulations - super helpful!

 

18% sugar by weight seems fairly low - does that correspond to a Brix reading of 18 as well?

 

Also, I've mostly made sorbets without using a simple syrup, to try to avoid diluting the fruit flavor intensity. Is there any advantage to using the simple syrup vs just dissolving the sugar right in the puree overnight? Now that I think of it, I'm guessing you would kind of need to do it if you are using stabilizers...

 

Started the base for Bing cherry sorbet today - the Bings are really good this year. According to Migoya, cherries are 19% solids, so I was planning to not strain the puree to try take advantage of the "free solids". But as I was pureeing the last half, I heard the distinct sound of a pit being chewed up so I ended up having to strain about half the the puree to avoid getting bits of the stone in the final product. But hopefully there is still enough solids in there.

 

 

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On 6/20/2016 at 10:37 AM, paulraphael said:

 I think industrial makers add things like maltodextrin. It's a sugar with a high molecular weight that adds practically no sweetness ... it's more like a starch. It also has very little effect on freezing point. I haven't played with this because I'm sure there are better ways to get solids. I'd go with powdered milk first.

 

Is this the same thing as tapioca maltodextrin?  Or are there other types of maltodextrin? 


Edited by cwfenn (log)

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There are other types of maltodextrin. The tapioca version is usually used for solidifying fats (like in instant cake recipes, or experimental dishes). The other kind I've seen comes from brown rice or corn. I don't know the functional differences; I've just heard about it being used to boost solids in industrial ice cream.

 

Edited to add: I just looked around and it doesn't seem like there are any functional differences.

 

Edited again to add: There ARE functional differences. You might have to talk to reps at the manufacturers to sort them out. Here's a bit of info.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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After a lot of years' trying, I think I've finally made a good chocolate ice cream. This is by far the hardest standard flavor, and one that's usually just ok—if you're looking for both intense chocolate flavor and good texture. 

 

The basic principles for were

-very good chocolate (I used Michel Cluizel Vila Gracinda single origin, 67%)

-very good cocoa powder, to increase the chocolate content without excessive amounts of cocoa butter (I used Michel Cluizel dutch process)

-low milk fat, to compensate for the added fat from chocolate (I went to 10% milk fat)

-no eggs. no need for yet another fat source

-all added sugar in the form of trimoline and dextrose. These sugars soften the ice cream, fighting the cocoa butter's hardening effects.

-lecithin as an emulsifier, since there are no eggs

-a stabilizer blend that's tweaked to get the texture right.

 

The results are pretty insane. My only complaint is that it's a bit like pudding when it melts in your mouth, but I'm not sure what to do about that. It IS pudding.

 

Formula for about 1L:

 

460g (1 cup 7 oz) whole milk
45g trimoline

 

50g  cocoa powder (best quality)

65g dextrose powder 

3g soy lecithin
1.2g salt
1.2g locust bean gum
0.6g guar gum
0.6g lambda carrageenan

 

130g (4.7 oz) bittersweet chocolate (best quality, 67–72% cocoa solids, chopped or in pastilles / chips)
240g (1 cup) heavy cream
10g vanilla extract (optional)

 

(Add trimoline to milk. stir together powdered ingredients. add to milk in blender, blending on highest speed for a minute. add chocolate. blend on high for 2 minutes to emulsify. briefly blend in cream and extract. cook to 80°C. homogenize for one minute in blender. chill. It's going to be very firm after aging. Zapping with the whisk attachment of a stick blender will thin it enough to spin in the ice cream machine) 

 

I'll do a more thorough post on chocolate on the underbelly blog. Maybe after a couple of minor tweaks.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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2 hours ago, mgaretz said:

According to many sources, and confirmed by my own experiments, to get really intense chocolate flavor you add some espresso powder.  Given your quantities I'd go with 5 gr and see how like it.

 

 

I'd think that would be an interesting hack to compensate for less-than-stellar chocolate. I really don't want to add something like espresso powder to the good stuff.


Notes from the underbelly

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Every now and again, you land upon a kitchen gadget of awesomeness that is beyond nirvana. OK maybe not that far, but pretty darn close.

 

Let me first say good pistachio paste is neither available or cost effective in my area. I tried every way possible way using my blender to make decent, smooth paste, without success.

 

Fellow eGulleter "Gap" (also a local for me) suggested I fork out and invest in a Premier Wonder Grinder, and Indian style Wet Grinder. I have no connection to this company, other than a happy user. There are other makes/models which all (probably) do a similar job.

 

Here is the result of pistachios vs grinder:

https://youtu.be/n5vvRC-N3nU

 

What you see is pure pistachio and a tiny bit of coconut oil (ie: 1 tsp to get it started). Absolutely incredible...silky smooth.

 

And apart from the pistachio paste, I have already found it makes the best pesto, amoungst several other things...

 

Time to dig out those pistachio recipes for some back to back taste tests...

 

Cheers

Luke

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Has anyone tried making pistachio paste with a vitamix or similar blender? I make nut butters all the time in mine, and contrary to what I was told, get results that are as smooth as anything from the store. Results depend somewhat on the oil content of the nuts. Almonds (which are similar to pistachios) need a little added oil to blend smooth. But pecans and walnuts have more than enough on their own. 

 

I wouldn't want to do this all day ... these blenders are irritatingly loud, and a bit of a pain to scrape out. I got a silicone spatula that's the right size for contours of the jug, and I use earplugs. For once a week or so it's pretty painless.


Notes from the underbelly

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2 hours ago, Luke said:

Fellow eGulleter "Gap" (also a local for me) suggested I fork out and invest in a Premier Wonder Grinder, and Indian style Wet Grinder. I have no connection to this company, other than a happy user. There are other makes/models which all (probably) do a similar job.

 

I can verify that the wonder grinder makes perfectly smooth pistachio butter. I bought one for the same reason, although an upgraded one http://indichocolate.com/products/chocolate-refiner made to run for longer periods.

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13 hours ago, Luke said:

Every now and again, you land upon a kitchen gadget of awesomeness that is beyond nirvana. OK maybe not that far, but pretty darn close.

 

Let me first say good pistachio paste is neither available or cost effective in my area. I tried every way possible way using my blender to make decent, smooth paste, without success.

 

Fellow eGulleter "Gap" (also a local for me) suggested I fork out and invest in a Premier Wonder Grinder, and Indian style Wet Grinder. I have no connection to this company, other than a happy user. There are other makes/models which all (probably) do a similar job.

 

Here is the result of pistachios vs grinder:

https://youtu.be/n5vvRC-N3nU

 

What you see is pure pistachio and a tiny bit of coconut oil (ie: 1 tsp to get it started). Absolutely incredible...silky smooth.

 

And apart from the pistachio paste, I have already found it makes the best pesto, amoungst several other things...

 

Time to dig out those pistachio recipes for some back to back taste tests...

 

Cheers

Luke

 

Luke - glad to hear that it worked out for you 

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I rarely make ice cream and to be honest I can't even recall the last batch I made, its recipe or the flavour it was. However, I have a Breville Smart Scoop machine and an elderly friend who told me the other day that her favorite ice cream is Orange Pineapple. I asked if she meant sorbet or sherbet and she said no .. ice cream. I, like the sometimes generous fool that I am, said .. oh I will make you some of that (soon).

 

I checked out recipes online and for that particular flavour they are all over the map - custard base, whipped cream base (uncooked), sweetened condensed milk base, fresh pineapple, canned pineapple, orange concentrate, fresh OJ, even Orange Crush .. on and on .. no consistency.

 

I don't want to waste days (and a lot of ingredients) trying to experiment too much with this but a promise made with me is usually a promise kept so I want to at least start with a good idea of what might be the best way to get those flavours combined in the simplest manner to produce a tasty rich and creamy (identifiably) Orange Pineapple ice cream.

 

Another issue is that while this machine is a good one (for home use anyway) the container is rather small and one shouldn't add more than 3 cups of liquid total ... and most of the recipes were for amounts much larger (but not a nice multiple) than that. Some I thought I could reduce in scale and cutting in half went ok till I got down the list of ingredients and then I would encounter things like having to decide if I stay with 2 egg yolks (which was for the larger recipe) or cut an egg yolk in half to get 1 1/2 or 1 3/4's of an egg yolk for a reduced volume.

 

I am not a big ice cream fan myself and Orange Pineapple doesn't especially tick all my boxes so I would prefer to be able to make only 1 batch and not have leftover base to have to dispose of in some manner. Serves me right for opening my big mouth .. but I need some help here, friends ... hoping someone may help me find a simple recipe (or basic technique) that might work and turn out rich and creamy - and have some depth/balance of Orange Pineapple flavours.


Edited by Deryn (log)

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I can't help with the recipe, but I will recommend that you make enough custard base that you don't have to try dolloping out fractions of egg yolks.  I think I froze my leftover base for a later ice cream. If you don't want it, maybe you could make another batch for this elderly friend, or use said base in another dessert altogether. I know you've indicated that you'd rather not do that, but can't the base be used in some baked goods that you do?

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

I can't help with the recipe, but I will recommend that you make enough custard base that you don't have to try dolloping out fractions of egg yolks.  I think I froze my leftover base for a later ice cream. If you don't want it, maybe you could make another batch for this elderly friend, or use said base in another dessert altogether. I know you've indicated that you'd rather not do that, but can't the base be used in some baked goods that you do?

 

Thanks, Smithy. Hadn't thought (doh .. not sure why not) of conceptually/physically separating the 'base' from the 'added flavourings', probably since I kept looking at recipes just for Orange Pineapple (or Pineapple to which I figured I could add Orange or Orange to which I figured I could add Pineapple) and was taking them as the whole recipe that perhaps had to be done just as prescribed to succeed. Your idea however should work if I go with a custard base (though if I freeze that isn't it essentially 'ice cream' anyway?). Then I guess all I have to do is figure out how to put together the fruit element to add to it and churn it up.

 

Frankly making ice cream here with the temperatures rarely even hitting 70 degrees (and when they do there is invariably one of our famous winds to cool it down on the 'feels like' scale) just hasn't been a priority for me this summer. But, I know some people like ice cream regardless of the weather (or maybe they are pretending we are actually having a summer .. who knows).

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1 minute ago, Deryn said:

<snip>

Frankly making ice cream here with the temperatures rarely even hitting 70 degrees (and when they do there is invariably one of our famous winds to cool it down on the 'feels like' scale) just hasn't been a priority for me this summer. But, I know some people like ice cream regardless of the weather (or maybe they are pretending we are actually having a summer .. who knows).

 

I certainly understand that!  It's been mostly cool and wet here too.  I haven't been inclined to bring my ice cream maker out of storage yet, although the beautiful stone fruits - and plenty of rhubarb in the stores - are making me think it's time regardless of the temperature.  

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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      4. Return puree to saucepan and simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for an hour.  Color should deepen and the mixture should thicken slightly, but do not allow it to scorch.
      5. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cool.
       
      Apple filling:
      1. Peel, quarter, and core the remaining 500g of apples. Slice on a mandolin to about 1/8th inch thickness. Place sliced apples in a large bowl of cold water while slicing remaining apples.
      2. Once apples are sliced, drain water and add the juice from the remaining lemon, as well as the remaining 50g of sugar, over the apples. Stir to coat.
       
         
       
      Assembly:
      1. Remove pie base from the freezer.  Dock with a fork and brush on egg white.  Place back in the freezer and allow to set for for about 5-10 minutes.
      2. Pour the entire recipe of apple butter into the pie base and even out with an offset spatula.
      3. Arrange apple slices over the apple butter.
      4. Remove remaining pie dough from the freezer and cut designs in while still cold. Transfer to the surface of the pie and seal overhanging edges.  Trim excess dough.
      5. Brush top pastry with egg yolk (beaten with any remaining egg white) and bake in a 365˚F oven for 60-70 minutes.  Crust should be shiny and golden brown.
      6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from tin.
       
      Some notes:
      The reason for using salted butter is I think the flavor incorporates a little better into the mix than if I were to use unsalted butter and added salt.  That being said, you could do that instead, though your recipe would then have 7 ingredients The addition of apple butter here takes the place of the normal apple pie filling, which is usually thickened with cornstarch and is typically quite sweet.  By using the apple butter, I push the flavor of apple forward beyond what you would find in a typically apple pie.  Also, the apple butter acts as a glue of sorts so that my slices are always clean, so no need to resort to adding thickeners or extra sweeteners. I'm always looking for a way around blind baking, and using an egg white seal has worked out very well for me. The egg white creates a water-tight layer between the crust and the filling, so no matter how wet my filling is, the crust will always bake crispy and won't get soggy for as long as the pie is around. Feel free to change this up as you see fit.  Obviously you can spices to this (I recommend cinnamon, clove, and cardamom) but the beauty of this pie is that it's really not necessary.  Although at first blush it may seem one-noted, the harmony between the flaky, almost savory crust and the bright and refreshing filling is one that doesn't need any help, in my honest opinion.  

       
      So there you have it! My 6-ingredient apple pie, sure to become a go-to for me, and hopefully for you as well!
       
    • By ResearchBunny
      Posted 6 hours ago Dear EGulleters,
      ResearchBunny here. I've just found you today. I've been lolling in bed with a bad cold, lost voice, wads of tissues, pillows, bedding around me. I spent all of yesterday binge-watching Season 2 of Zumbo's Just Desserts on Netflix from beginning to grand finale. I have been a hardcore devotee of Rose Levy Beranbaum since the beginning of my baking passion -- after learning that she wrote her master's thesis comparing the textural differences in cake crumb when using bleached versus unbleached flour. I sit up and pay attention to that level of serious and precision! While Beranbaum did study for a short while at a French pastry school, she hasn't taken on the challenge of writing recipes for entremets style cakes. That is, multi-layer desserts with cake, mousse, gelatin, nougatine or dacquoise layers all embedded in one form embellished with ice cream, granita, chocolate, coulis. After watching hours of the Zumbo contest, I became curious about the experience of designing these cakes. Some of the offered desserts struck me as far too busy, others were delightful combinations. I was surprised that a few contestants were eliminated when their offerings were considered too simple or, too sophisticated. So I'd like to hear from you about your suggestions for learning more about how to make entremets. And also, what you think about the show. And/or Zumbo.
      Many thanks.
      RB
      ps. The show sparked a fantasy entremet for my cold. Consider a fluffy matzo ball exterior, with interior layers of carrot, celery, a chicken mince, and a gelatin of dilled chicken broth at its heart!
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
    • By pastrygirl
      Anyone have a favorite recipe for chocolate cake using semisweet chocolate?  My usual chocolate cake recipe uses cocoa, but I have some samples of chocolate I want to use up for a workplace party.  Yes, I could make brownies or ganache frosting, or chocolate mousse or chocolate chunk cookies, just feeling like cake this weekend ...
    • By onemorebitedelara.com
      Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart?  If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?  
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