Saturday, October 4, 2014

Corn corn corn

I'm the worst blogger ever--I always post about recipes *after* the season has passed for that particular ingredient. I just can't keep up!

So while you may not be able to make these awesome sweet corn recipes this year, bookmark them (yea Pinterst!) and save for next year.

Last month the boy and I were obsessed with sweet corn. So we tried a corn and tomato gazpacho and TWO different kinds of sweet corn ice cream. Yes, ice cream, all inspired by the corn and blackberry flavor I tried once at Jeni's ice cream.

You ready to see all our cornilious dishes?

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

Beautiful, isn't it?!?


The recipe is incredibly simple, and basically has you blend together corn, yellow tomatoes, yellow peppers, and white beans to create a beautiful and creamy yellow gazpacho. Mine isn't quite so yellow since I used a red tomato, which gave the soup this gorgeous orange hue. I topped it with some raw corn kernels, chives, and a drizzle of my best olive oil (cilantro would have been wonderful)!

While the soup was incredibly refreshing and light, I felt that the flavor was a bit 1 dimensional and not as corn-y as we were expecting. Maybe the red tomato is stronger in flavor than the yellow recommended, but the corn provided more texture to the soup than flavor. Which is fine--but again, just not what we were hoping for. I love the idea, but I think the recipe might need a bit more tweaking for my taste buds. But check out the original recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon and feel free to experiment if you're looking for a great late summer/early fall soup. 

Sweet Corn and Blackberry Ice Cream

I first tried corn ice cream at Jeni's ice cream, which was so unexpectedly delicious. It's hard to explain how good it is. Yes, you can taste the corn. But somehow, with the cream and sugar, it's absolutely perfect.


Naturally, I became obsessed with making it at home. The boy would make a weird face every time I mentioned it, and then months later (when I finally got around to making it) he couldn't get enough!


The recipe calls for making a black raspberry jam to swirl in the ice cream, but I used blackberries instead. It wasn't only delicious, it was beautiful!


Oddly enough, though, the boy was a little bummed with the swirl--he felt that the mild corn flavor was masked by the berry sauce. Which is partly true. If you don't mind losing a bit of the corn flavor, swirl away. But if you want to enjoy the pure corn flavor, feel free to not add the sauce or top your ice cream with it instead.


I basically made the recipe as written (you can find it here on Saveur) with a few "big" changes:
  1. In step 1 of the recipe, after heating the milk, cream, sugar, etc with the corn kernels and leftover cobb, make sure to steep the corn in the milk for about an hour at room temperature. (Steep means to turn off the heat and let the pot sit.) There was barely any corn flavor in the milk after 4 minutes, so I don't know why anyone would want to remove the corn at that point. The extra hour made a HUGE difference in the corn flavor.

  2. For the sauce 1/2 cup sugar to 1 cup of berries was disgustingly sweet (for me). I'd cut the sugar in half, at least. Just add sugar to taste.
Was this ice cream delicious? Yes. Abolutely! But I prefer the texture of custard-based ice creams, and I just wanted more corn flavor.

Sooooo a week later I made another corn ice cream. This recipe not only used 3 times the corn compared with the Jeni's recipe (3 cobs instead of 1), it also had you blend the corn kernels into the ice cream instead of discard them. What whhhhaaaaaaaaaaaat! This might be the corn ice cream I was looking for.

ULTIMATE Sweet Corn Ice Cream

If you want to taste sweet corn in your ice cream, make this recipe. It's incredible. It'll even border on too much corn flavor when you make your ice cream base (I won't lie--I didn't like it at this point and started to worry), but do not freak out. The flavor mellows drastically once you churn and then freeze the ice cream.

But one thing that won't mellow: the gorgeous yellow hue!


And because the corn flavor is so robust in this ice cream, topping it with a berry sauce nicely compliments the flavor instead of overpowering it.


Yours in indulging her midwest love of sweet corn,
Jacqueline

Ultimate Sweet Corn Ice Cream, adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

Ingredients

Corn ice cream
3 ears sweet corn, kernels removed and corn milk scraped from the cob (hot tip: use a bundt pan for this, see here), cobs reserved
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blackberry sauce
Cook blackberries in a small saucepan with sugar, to taste, and mash with a fork until cooked and tender. Serve as is, or strain to remove the seeds.

Directions
  1. Place corn kernels (and any excess corn milk), corn cobs, cream, milk, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow mixture to steep for 1 hour.

  2. Remove cobs from the milk mixture, pour into a blender and puree. Strain the mixture through a sieve and pour back into the saucepan. Heat mixture on medium to medium high heat until scalding.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar and whisk together until light and fluffy.

  4. Once the cream mixture is scalding, use it to temper the egg yolk mixture. Slowly add 1 cup cream to yolk mixture, whisking to prevent the mixture from scrambling. Add in another cup of cream.

  5. Add the tempered yolk mixture to the saucepan and whisk. Cook on medium heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure to constantly stir the bowl as you do not want to cook the eggs, but instead make a thin custard.

  6. Strain the ice cream through a sieve into a mixing bowl (you can line it with cheesecloth if you prefer). Place the bowl into an ice bath and stir in vanilla extract.

  7. Cool until the mixture is at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours (overnight).

  8. Freeze ice cream according to your machine’s manufacturer’s instructions and serve with blackberry sauce or fresh berries.

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