Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blast from the past

It's pretty obvious to anyone that I have a sugar problem. You've been spared the gory details lately (aside from yesterday's slip up) as I've been posting so much baby food, but don't let that fool you. I've just had a freezer stocked with Klondike bars and Ben and Jerry's, not to mention the constant stream of Nutella flowing out of my cupboard. I know that passing this sweet tooth on to Jude is highly likely. I know that isn't good. I'll do my best to keep him from becoming a sugar addict, which is easy right now. As long as he prefers savory to sweet foods, I'm happy to oblige. But mama has to make a treat sometime! Since it's summertime, it had better be ice cream.

Last summer I made ice cream constantly. The summer before that I made a lot of ice cream, too. This year I've been seriously slacking in the frozen treats department. I do believe that this ice cream makes up for it. I wanted to try two new things this time. 1. Make an ice cream without any sugar. You know, so I won't feel so guilty feeding it to the boy. And 2. Make a fruity flavor I've never made before.

The latter part was easy, since all I've been craving lately is Chelo's Banana Berry Pie. I worked there for an embarrassingly long part of my youth, and that pie basically fueled my double shifts. It's the stuff summertime dreams are made of. I figured since I can't have a slice or six when I need a fix nowadays, I can make it into ice cream.

Making sugar free ice cream was another issue. I refuse to use sugar substitutes, so I had to try out a juice concentrate. Cascadian Farms makes an organic grape juice concentrate without any added sugar (it's what I use for my Baby Cakes) so I started there. Subbing juice concentrate for sugar isn't such a big deal, really. You just use about 3/4 of a cup in place of every 1 cup of sugar. I was just concerned that the water in the concentrate would make for icy ice cream when what I want creamy ice cream. I figured that little trick out. The other thing about fruit ice creams is that I hate chunks of frozen fruit. It's like chomping on rocks. Hence the pureeing steps below. If you like chunky fruit in your ice cream, by all means, fork mash it, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Banana Berry Ice Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup half and half
1 can of organic grape juice concentrate, thawed and divided (see below)
1 ripe banana
1 cup mixed berries (I used blueberries, strawberries, and cherries)

Take your can of grape juice out of the freezer and stand it up on one end in the fridge overnight to thaw. This will give you a layer of juice at the top and a layer of thick concentrated grape sludge (for lack of a better word) at the bottom. When you are ready to make your ice cream, pour off the juice and reserve for another use. Measure out 1/2 c. of the sludge into a large bowl. Whisk in cream and half and half until well blended and place bowl in the fridge.

Set up your ice cream maker. If using the KA attachment, make sure it is locked closed and set to the lowest speed. Otherwise, follow your ice cream maker instructions:) Pour in the cream mixture slowly and set a timer for 20 minutes.

Puree banana and set aside. Puree berries and set aside. Once ice cream has mixed for about 20 minutes, it should be reaching a soft set. Pour in the banana puree and half of the berry puree. Continue mixing the ice cream for another 5-10 minutes until it begins to firm up. Turn off machine and fold in the remaining berry puree. Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container to freeze, or serve immediately.

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