01 August 2013

The Icecreamists

We all have a story about THAT kid.  The mean, rolly-polly boy who makes your dog bark.   The kid who is always trying to sneak a peak at the girly magazines in the 7-11.  The kid who always manages to be first in line at the ice cream truck, even though he was the last one to arrive.  He can turn the most simple phrase into a dirty joke.   He scores a near perfect in the epistemology of a serial killer.   You look at him and think, "One day he will be in jail and I pray I am alive." Now, imagine that very kid becoming obsessed with that ice cream truck and turning it into a passion, a deranged and magical passion.  Meet Mark O'Connor.

Like French cookbooks, I am a sucker for ice cream books.  They all tend to follow that siren's call of summer; bright colors, sun-drenched backgrounds, piles of ripe fruit, blond children.  You know the drill. There is not a single blond child in The Icecreamists.  The ice cream is dark and rich and decadent, with whiskey and cigars instead of picnics. 

I am fond of ice cream in winter filled with pumpkins, cranberries, and eggnog.  I never met an ice cream that I didn't think would be greatly improved with a libation.  Mark O'Connor is a kindred spirit.  He became renown for an ice cream called Baby Gaga, made with human breast milk.   Lady Gaga was not amused.  Neither were the London health inspectors.   At roughly $28 a scoop, however, it quickly sold out.  Before you ask, the answer is, Yes! the recipe is included in the book, but with the new name, Baby Googoo and the proviso to have the proper blood tests done before consuming breast milk.

No we are not giving you that recipe, but this rather lovely elderflower sorbetto.


1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup superfine or granulated sugar
1/2 cup elderflower syrup, plus extra for drizzling
juice of 1 lemon
sprigs of mint to decorate

1 pour the water into a saucepan and add sugar.  Place over low heat and bring to a boil, whisking often, until the sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, continue to whisk until the liquid turns to a syrup.

2. pour the sugar syrup into a heat proof bowl and set aside for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature.  For more rapid chilling, fill a sink halfway with cold water and ice and place the bowl of mixture in it for 20 minutes.

3. Whisk the elderflower syrup and lemon juice into the sugar syrup.  Cover and refrigerate, ideally overnight, until thoroughly chilled (at least 40 $.)

4.  Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufactures instructions,

5.  When the churning is complete, use a spoon or spatula to scrape the sorbetto into a freezer-proof container with a lid.  Freeze until it reaches the correct scooping texture (at least 2-3 hours.)

6.  Drizzle a little elderflower syrup over each portion and finish with a sprig of mint before serving.

Seriously, who is he kidding, toss a shot of  St. Germain over the top and enjoy.

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