I found out about Winos and Foodies' yellow food blogging event in support of Livestrong Day, and it sounded like a great idea and certainly something I'd be proud to be involved with. I talked with my husband about the different ideas I had, but I could only really come up with one food type that really "worked" for me: ice cream. It was the only food that I knew would be able to showcase the color in the way I wanted it to be showcased. Also, it was an excuse to play with the ice cream maker. At first I planned to make a lemon ice cream that would be served inside lemons. That was okay, and honestly the ice cream is really good and easy, but it still wasn't my ideal. The shade of yellow was very, very pale, and I was afraid that it wouldn't come out right in the pictures. The serving vessels would be very yellow, and they're certainly edible. Still, I wanted the food itself to be yellow. What is more yellow, what more exemplifies yellow, than saffron? I knew I had a recipe somewhere for saffron ice cream; I was going to make it and it was going to be good. I made it. I told my husband that I had made it. He did not smile. He did not do a little happy dance in celebration of saffron ice cream. Instead, he frowned. "I thought you were going to make the lemon ice cream," he said, sounding horribly hurt and disappointed. "You should make that instead." It turns out that even though I only made the lemon stuff once, and that was years ago, he really liked it. I decided, "Well, I guess that's twice as much yellow," and decided to make them both and submit the combination as my entry.
The two ice creams come from very different sources, and therefore are very different ice creams. The saffron ice cream is wonderful. It's a traditional ice cream base, full of eggy goodness. I had to substitute soy milk for the milk, because we don't keep regular milk in the house, but that doesn't seem to have affected the ice cream at all. The texture was just about as perfect as I could have wanted, and it held up after several days in the freezer which many homemade ice creams do not. The flavor is divine. It can't even really be described, delicate and floral but not at all overwhelming or "girly." I loved it. The lemon ice cream is also very tasty, but it's very different. There are no eggs. It is very simple to prepare, so simple in fact that you don't even need an ice cream maker. The lemon flavor comes through beautifully, which is probably why my husband was so fond of this particular item. The following are the recipes as I prepared them; I didn't make many changes.
Ice Cream 1: Saffron Ice Cream (makes approx. 1 quart; approx. $8.77/qt)
(Recipe Source: Weinstein, Bruce. The Ultimate Ice Cream Book. William Morrow and Company, New York, 1999 p. 122)
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 1/4 cups turbinado sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Ice cream maker
- Combine the saffron and soy milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Beat the sugar into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow.
- Add the flour and salt.
- When the 30 minutes has passed, return the milk to a simmer.
- Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over low heat.
- Stir constantly with either a whisk or a wooden spoon until the mixture has thickened slightly. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL.
- Strain the mixture into a large vessel that will fit into your refrigerator.
- Stir in the cream.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Lemon Ice Cream (serves 6, approx. $0.93/serving without using lemons as serving vessels)
(Recipe Source: Poole, Shona Crawford. Ice Cream. Conran Octopus Group, London, 2001)
3 juicy lemons, unwaxed
6 oz confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons ice water
- Hand mixer or whisk
- Citrus juicer
- Using your grater, grate the zest from two of the lemons.
- Squeeze the juice from all three lemons with your juicer.
- Combine the lemon juice with the zest and sugar; mix well.
- Whip the cream with 3 tablespoons iced water until it forms soft peaks.
- Whisk in the sweetened lemon juice.
- Turn the mixture into a shallow freezing tray of container, cover and still-freeze for several hours or until firm.
- If you wish to use the lemon containers:
- Collect several lemons and slice in half.
- Hollow out the insides of the lemon. The easiest way to do this is to juice them first, then pull out the spent solids manually. Don't discard the juice; you've worked hard to get it! Reserve it for another use; if you're like me it won't take long to use it.
- Fill the insides of the lemon halves with the unfrozen whipped cream.
- Still-freeze in your freezer until firm.