The Kids Cook Monday – April 11, 2011 “The Dairy Factory”

Genetics is a funny thing. My sweet tooth was definitely passed down to my daughter Alessandra as we both love ice cream and sweets. We don’t eat it very often, but we do like it a lot. Over the weekend we purchased an ice cream maker to make our very own ice cream at home for fun and for control of the ingredients. After making two types of ice cream, I can say that this was the best $50 I spent in a long time. It’s so easy, and the best part is the ice cream tastes very good and you can adjust how much sugar or other ingredients you put into the ice cream.

The first batch was vanilla ice cream, using a recipe from Avec Eric’s (Eric Ripert) cookbook. The flavor of a real vanilla bean is amazing. This recipe is a very rich custard based ice cream, but the sugar is quite low. Only 10 tablespoons of sugar, far less than many other recipes. Here is the best part, you can subtract the sugar content to your desire. Nobody is going to stop you, and that is the beauty of cooking at home. This was our test batch, and it was the best vanilla ice cream I have ever had. Using only milk, powdered non-fat instant milk, one vanilla bean, a little cream, egg yolks, and some sugar it was great. We froze the ice cream after we pulled it from the ice cream maker and enjoyed several hours later.

Next project was something a little healthier and something specifically for Alessandra. She likes strawberry yogurt so we planned to make a strawberry frozen yogurt using a David Lebovitz recipe. You can find the recipe here:

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt – David Lebovitz
About 1 quart (1l)

French yogurt is astoundingly good and I suggest you use a good-quality, whole milk or Greek-style yogurt for best results.

1 pound (450g) strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
1 cup (240g) plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Slice the strawberries into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with the sugar until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring every so often.

Transfer the strawberries and their juice to a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt and fresh lemon juice. Pulse the machine until the mixture is smooth. If you wish, press mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.

Chill for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Very easy to make, and you can adjust the sugar to your taste. This was our first batch using the recipe so we stayed true to it, and it’s very good. (In the next batch I am going to reduce the sugar by 25% to see how a low sugar version tastes). The fresh strawberries make it so good and it really makes a difference. We did strain the yogurt and strawberry mix to take out the seeds to resemble ice cream.

After she cut the strawberries she lost some interest in cooking this evening. I think a tough day at school for Alessandra made for a tired afternoon. Plus, how many 4 year olds want to cook on a weekday? Never-the-less, she wanted to keep on going. she poured the sugar on the strawberries and stirred with a determined grip, and then shook the bowl to blend the sugar and strawberries together to coat the fruit. Alessandra came back after the mixture rested, and saw the lovely strawberry juice she helped create. 

When we blended the yogurt, lemon juice, and strawberries in food processor she came alive. The cyclone of strawberries was mesmerizing for her, and she just cracked up with an honest laugh. Watching her blend the strawberry yogurt together was so cute and I never get tired of her being excited and having fun. Afterwards, she mentioned that “she was happy because she was cooking”.  The numerous tastes of strawberry didn’t hurt either. 🙂 A great couple of days in the kitchen with Alessandra.

The Budding Cook

  The Strawberry Yogurt   The Finished Product

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