Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Hi dear readers!

Hope everyone has been enjoying the summer and had an excellent 4th of July.

I went up to the cottage, per usual, and had an amazingly relaxing time with family and much good food (remember doughboys?) You can find more of my 4th of July cottage foods here and here and here.

This year I borrowed my Aunt’s ice cream maker to whip up a recipe I submitted to the Hudsonville ice cream company’s Pure Michigan flavor contest. Sadly, I didn’t win. BUT- my family thought the ice cream was delicious and totally should have won (ok, my emphasis added).

So, what is it? Creamy buttermilk ice cream with lots of lemon zest, swirled with Michigan blueberry pie filling and dotted with cinnamon-sugar pie crust pieces.

Yup, drool.

Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

So, want to make it??

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Buttermilk Ice Cream~ Erin's DC Kitchen

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To swirl in pie crust and pie filling, transfer to a large bowl and fold gently with a spatula

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

(Special thanks to my photographer brother, Jeffrey Smith, for the awesome photos!)

Well, I kinda failed to write the recipe down 😦 and time has passed and most of it has left my mind. But I’ll sketch it out below, the parts I remember, and then you can fill in the blanks by comparing other recipes or using your best judgement.

Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

  • 6 to 8 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (really don’t remember if this is right)
  • pinch of salt

For the blueberry pie filling

  • 1 heaping cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • dash of water
  • 1/4 tsp or so cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • single pie crust, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, baked and broken into pieces

For the pie filling: Lightly smash berries and combine with all over ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until boiling, stirring often, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. Mixture will naturally thicken. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

For the ice cream: Combine the buttermilk, cream, salt, and lemon juice and zest in a large saucepan and heat until just bubbly but not scalded. Stir in sugar and continue stirring until heated through and sugar is dissolved. Temper the egg yolks with a bit of the warm cream mixture, then quickly whisk in the rest of the cream mixture. Add to a large ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacture instructions.

Once ice cream is frozen, but still a little soft and creamy, remove from maker into a large bowl. Gently fold the broken pie crust pieces into the ice cream. Next, dollop the pie filling across the top of the ice cream and gently fold that in, turning only 2 or 3 times max (you want swirls, not to fully mix the berries in, resist temptation to overstir!). Freeze for another 2 hours, of until fully set.

Enjoy!

-Erin

Snowquester, or, Experiments on a Rainy Day

Hi friends. How many of my dear readers live in the DC area and were bombarded with news reports about “Snowquester”, the biggest snowstorm of the year.

Well, then you already know Snowquester was more of a Snowtease. Despite being letdown by a dismal amount of snow accumulation, my husband and I were determined to do our Snowquester baking experiment.

Aunti Anne's Pretzels At Home

Last night, we went to the grocery store to stock up on the essentials, beer and snack food. Of course. We saw a box of Auntie Anne’s make-it-at-home pretzel mix and thought, yes, this we must try.

DIY Auntie Anne's Pretzels

So, since we are both at home today rather than work (snow is deadly, remember) we busted out the box and got to baking for an afternoon snack.

How to Roll A Pretzel

How to roll a pretzel

We topped them with salt, cinnamon sugar (included in the kit), and also tried Old Bay and Cajun seasoning on a couple others.

Auntie Anne's Pretzels at Home

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

My take on the do-it yourself version of Auntie Anne’s is this, 1) it’s not as easy as it looks at the mall, 2) it’s really messy and 3) there is no way two adults can consume the amount of pretzels this kit makes, so do this at home with kids or a group. Actually doing this with kids seems like a nightmare due to the mess factor and many steps. You should see our kitchen after two adults tried this.

Most importantly though, how do they taste? Although our pretzels were sometimes uniquely shaped, they more or less tasted like the real thing. The thinner ones were not as good.

This one tasted the best, notice it is proportionally shaped?

Homemade Pretzels

You were better because you were pretty. It’s true.

Classic, buttered with no salt- my favorite. 🙂

Did anyone else out there do some Snowquester baking? Let me know!

– Erin

Peanut Butter Thumbprints

Sigh. Is the busyness of the holidays catching up with anyone else? I’m feeling exhausted as I write this, and the mental list of things I need to do before heading to my parents is causing a bit-o-anxiety.

Peanut Butter Thumbprints

I had a thumbprint for dessert. It didn’t bring me inner peace…. but it was tasty.

Anyways, you aren’t here to listen to me complain- you are here for recipes!!!

Yesterday I posted a new cookie recipe I added to my arsenal; today, I’m going back to a traditional family one. These thumbprints have the right amount of peanut butter and a chewy, yet melt in your mouth texture. I find some p.b cookies to be dry and have a weird, crumbly mouth-feel that is off putting. Don’t worry about that here, just worry about how many ‘extra’ Hershey Kisses you’ll be popping while mixing up the dough.  I recommend not skipping the step of rolling the dough in sugar. This makes the cookies a little sparkly and contributes to the pleasant texture. Just some friendly advice 😉

Peanut Butter Thumbprints

Peanut Butter Thumbprints

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 18-24 unwrapped Hershey kisses
  • small bowl of white sugar for rolling dough

Preheat oven to 375°. In an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar for 3 minutes. Add in peanut butter, egg and vanilla and continue beating on medium speed for another 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  With the mixer running on low, gradually add in the dry ingredients to the wet.

Using a small spoon, scoop out dough and roll into 1 1/2 inch (or so) balls. Roll the balls in the white sugar, then place on a lined baking sheet.  Bake for 6-7 minutes, until the cookies are lightly cracked on top. 1 or 2 minutes into baking, quickly remove the cookies from the oven and gently press down a Hershey Kiss on each, put back in the oven and finish baking.

Enjoy!

– Erin

Question of the Day: How do you cope with holiday stress?

Christmas Holly

Oh, by gosh, by golly, it’s time for mistletoe and holly. Thanks for the intro Frank, these treats deserve it. 🙂

Christmas Holly

Sticky, gooey, marshmallowy Christmas holly. Nom nom nom.

Christmas Holly

This recipe is first up on my list of oldie-but-goodie family recipes that I break out every Christmas. These treats are really easy to make- one pot on the stovetop is all it takes!

Don’t these add a lovely pop of color to Santa’s Christmas Eve cookie plate? He’s coming soon, stop reading this and go get in the kitchen!! 😉

Cookies for Santa

Red decorators frosting made the ‘berries’ on this holly treat, but you can go with Red Hot cinnamon candies if you wish.

Christmas Holly

  • 1 stick (1/4 lb) butter
  • several tablespoons green food coloring*
  • 35 large marshmallows (standard package)
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • red frosting or red cinnamon candies

In a large pot, melt butter and marshmallows together, stirring often. Once smooth, add in vanilla and food coloring, stir. Dump in the cornflakes 2 cups at a time and mix well to coat. Drop by the tablespoon full onto greased, wax paper. Dot the holly with red candies while hot, or, wait until cooled and dot with red frosting to make berries.

Enjoy!

– Erin

*Note: You will need to use A LOT of food coloring, it almost seems like an unholy amount. But if you want a nice, deep green, don’t hold back!

Split Pea Soup

My childhood memories of food are strong. Each season had a special dish my mom would make only at that time of year. If you really love something and it only comes around once a year, I guess it makes a big impression on you. 🙂

This soup is a signature from my mother’s kitchen every Fall. It gets a punch of flavor from smoked ham hocks. They are a must!  Don’t skip ’em, not even bacon is a suitable substitute.

It does take a while to simmer on the stove, but it is so worth it.  I remember walking by it several times over the course of what felt like an entire afternoon, checking to see what progress the peas has made. Time seems to crawl when you are young; it definitely doesn’t take a whole afternoon to make this hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup!

Now in my kitchen, the turkey towels make an appearance between October and Thanksgiving.  I love them very much. It’s my way of welcoming Fall, alongside a bowl of this lovely soup.

Homemade Split Pea Soup

  • 1 lb green split peas
  • 2 large meaty ham hocks (1 1/2 lb)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots

Place the ham hocks in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts of water. Simmer very low for 1 hour, skimming fat off the water occasionally.  Remove the ham hocks and pull the meat from the bones, set aside. Keep the water, and add more to it if it cooked down to less than 2 quarts.

Rinse the peas and add to the water, along with the onions, carrots, celery and herbs. Bring to a low boil, then decrease heat and cook on low, slowly, for 1 to 2 hours- or until the peas, carrots and celery have all dissolved into the soup (minimal chunks left behind). Cook with the lid off because you want some of the water to evaporate, which helps the soup get really thick.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir the meat in 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers, yum!

Enjoy!

– Erin

Apple Cider Cake

Fall and hot apple cider go together like chocolate and peanut butter, so how about hot apple cider cake! Yes please.

I went to go visit my sister in law this past weekend in Charlottesville and brought her and her husband some of this cake. My father in law snuck a piece before we got there and happily proclaimed “It’s so appley!”  I doctored a spice cake mix with my homemade chunky applesauce and cinnamon apple butter in place of oil.

My whole apartment  smelled heavenly while this baked :-). Right after you pull the cake out of the oven, you pour a glaze of apple cider and brown sugar on top. This makes it so moist, I almost want to call this a spoon cake!

Moist, delicious, and oh so appley.

What else is there to say? You’ve got to try it!

Apple Cider Cake

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup chunky applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 tbl brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13 pan and lightly flour the bottom.  In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, applesauce and apple butter and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for 32-35 minutes. Remove from oven and evenly pour the hot apple cider glaze over the cake.

For the glaze: While the cake bakes, mix the apple cider and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Heat through and keep warm until ready to use.

Enjoy!

– Erin

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite way to doctor cake mix?

A Pinch of Joy Pancakes

Last month was my birthday. My little sister sent me a very adorable set of heart-shaped measuring spoons. I love them; she knows me so well! I finally used them last Sunday to whip up some whole-wheat pancakes for the husband and I- big weekend breakfast yumminess :-).

I absolutely love the warm and nutty taste you get when baking with whole wheat flour. These pancakes are simple, but shine because of the whole wheat flour and buttermilk. Of course a helping of real maple syrup doesn’t hurt!

You could stir in some applesauce, cinnamon and clove to make apple pie pancakes, or fresh banana slices and chopped walnuts for banana bread pancakes.

A special weekend breakfast is just a whisk and a pour away with this recipe. Your loved ones will appreciate it.  Enjoy!

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbl sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbl vegetable oil
  • Optional: cinnamon, ground cloves, applesauce; chopped nuts and fresh fruit slices; chocolate chips and Nutella

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, vanilla, egg and vegetable oil. Add the wet mixture to the dry at once and stir gently with a fork, just until moistened. If the batter is too thick, add in a little more buttermilk.

Pre-heat a skilled over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray and a little vegetable oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle and spread outward into a circle shape. Use more if you want really big pancakes. Cook until bubbles come up in the center of the pancake and the edges are browned. Flip. Cook the second side for less time. Makes around 6 regular sized pancakes.

Enjoy!

– Erin

Question of the Day: What is your favorite weekend breakfast item, french toast? pancakes?