Oh, hello, do you want to find out if my blueberry gelato ever came to be? Yes friends, yes it did and it was incredible. It was Hagen Daaz good. It was ‘pay-an-arm-and-a-leg’ gourmet good. If I do say so myself that is.
Last summer I remember seeing a recipe for roasted blueberries and thinking, “what a waste of fresh fruit!” Oh, how naive I was. In reality, especially when you need to use up last year’s crop because you were a tad over-zealous with your picking (4 gallons people, who needs that many blueberries??) or you picked too many and they’re all going bad. Again, 4 gallons. I also love the flavours roasting brings out, it’s sweeter, caramelier (not too caramely of course) and in general makes it look like you tried a lot harder than you actually did.
I found the roasted blueberry custard recipe with anticipation of simply freezing the custard but there were two problems. I only had 1 egg (I needed 3) I didn’t want to go get more eggs, (mind you this was after my first gelato attempt) and most importantly, I wanted more than ‘4, petitely’ as my serving. No offence Deb. Thus my gelato adventure began.
First lesson: ice cream needs a lot of eggs . Gelato does not. That was easy. If you’re up to date with my journey of gelato bases we’re where I finished the salted caramel right now. Conveniently that took me so long that my roasted blueberries were completely cooled, all I needed to do was make another base. It’s really amazing how easy something is once you’ve done it a few times already. In fact, whipped up the blueberry lavender gelato together in a third of the time it took for the caramel. I wish I was kidding.
Now, you’ve probably calculated quite a few hours of labour by this point. I’ve never been good at math and stop paying attention as soon as an equation is required of me. Anyways, my remedial skills aside, I knew that I had gone this far, I might as well turn these into sandwiches. It was a no-brainer to choose gingersnaps as the base, and don’t a ask me how such a seemingly random pairing worked out so well on my first try. I also may have not wanted to bother with an ice cream machine, opting to simply pour my gelato into a lined baking dish for easy ice cream cutting. Becaues let’s face it, has anyone ever used an ice cream machine and have it frozen light and airy? Mine as exclusively frozen into an icy block. I figured I would skip the hardware and turn it into a block immediately. Whereupon I would cram it between two equally enormous generous cookie slabs. The result, a delicately flavoured, fresh and surprisingly well balanced ice cream sandwich. It only took me all day, but it was so worth it.
I realize, most people don’t have deranged priorities like myself, spending all day making ice cream. Perhaps you lovely folks have jobs and a life?? I’m not shying you away from this undertaking, but I would suggest breaking it up into a few days as it is a very time consuming treat. Each component can be made up to 3 days in advance. Any longer and I don’t think the cookies or gelato would be as fresh.
Roasted Blueberry Lavender Gelato
Adapted from epicurious.com
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 4 cups
• 1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar, depending on berry’s sweetness
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 cup whole milk
• 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
• 2 cups blueberries
• 3 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon fresh lavender
• 1 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 450˚
2. Place blueberries into heat-proof casserole.
3. Sprinkle with lemon juice, sugar and lavender, bake in oven until juices begin oozing, about 15 minutes.
4. Let cool and set aside.
1. On medium heat, stir sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan.
2. Let sugar melt and turn into caramel, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Whisk in milk and cream.
4. Whisk over medium heat until gelato base thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
5. Add purred blueberries and stir to combine.
6. Let mixture chill before adding to ice cream machine, at least 2-3 hours, more if time permits.
7. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to parchment lined container – ideally one size smaller than pan you’re baking cookies in.
8. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
Gingersnap Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches
Adapted from Anna Olson via foodnetwork.com
I don’t really know how much this serves as they were eaten in various sizes…I would bet you can feed up to 10 people comfortably.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup fancy molasses
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, molasses and ginger until evenly blended. In a separate bowl, stir dry ingredients together. Add to butter mixture and stir to incorporate.
2. Preheat oven to 350 °F and line a baking tray with parchment paper, spread dough onto parchment. A wet spatula or wet fingers helps the dough spread without sticking too much.
3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes and cool completely on baking tray before removing. Let cool completely before cutting for sandwiches.
1. Measuring cookie approximately 2×3″ in size, cut 2 out roughly the same size. Place over top of ice cream and cut shape out.
2. Layer together to create even sandwich. You can trim the sizes for tasting precision.
3. I know this is a fairly rough way to assemble cookies, in reality you can always make the cookie dough into balls (bake for 12-15 minutes) and simply scoop your ice cream into round cookies.
I wanted the classic frozen ice cream sandwich look and have had some serious oozing issues with my cookies in the past. Do whatever speaks to you!