Brown butter peach milkshake + steps for browning butter

Adapted from Chocolate with Grace

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Browned butter will change your life. Have you made it before? It took me a while to get it all figured out, but I’m sure glad I kept trying. Brown butter is one of my weaknesses and I want to make (ahem, eat) everything that includes brown butter. When I found myself with many pounds of fresh Georgia peaches, I knew a milkshake would be needed. And then I found a milkshake that included brown butter… so it was a must! It’s fresh and full of peachy goodness with an incredible depth of flavor from the dark brown sugar and bits of caramel like browned butter. Have fresh peaches? Make this milkshake.

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Here are my tips for brown butter – if you haven’t had it before, be warned. You may find yourself like me, hopelessly addicted. For this recipe I browned 6 tablespoons of butter, which is an easy amount to do – normally I brown one stick (8 tablespoons) at a time. Place a stick of butter in an 8 or 9 inch pan (do not use nonstick). I start just above low heat, and increase only of needed. Remember to go slowly. If the heat is too high you will just burn it. Don’t rush – be patient. Keep your eye on it. Butter goes from brown to burned very very quickly. First the butter will melt and become foamy. Then the foam will disappear and it will become translucent. I like to begin stirring it at this point and adjust the heat if necessary. Slowly the butter will begin to turn a light caramel color, with little bits at the bottom. Keep stirring and watching closely. Soon the butter will be a nice caramel color with brown bits. Do NOT let it become black – if it does, start over! Once it’s the right color, pour it into a bowl. You don’t want it to sit in the pan it cooked in, as it will continue to heat and turn black. It should smell lovely at this point. And there you have it – browned butter! It’s seriously amazing. For this recipe, pour a nice tablespoon into the peach puree and stir thoroughly to incorporate the butter (include some of those tasty brown bits) into the puree. Then continue with the recipe below. I hope you enjoy brown butter and this milkshake as much as I do.

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Ingredients

1 1/2 T brown butter

Peach puree* (between 1/2 and 2/3 cup)

3 to 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

1/3 cup milk

2 T dark brown sugar

Fresh peach slices for garnish, optional

Directions

 Brown the butter (see above for more detailed instructions) and make the peach puree. Mix together while still warm and let cool completely.

Add the peach puree with brown butter, ice cream, sugar and milk together in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass, top with fresh peach slices, and enjoy immediately.

*To make Peach Puree, heat 1 heaping cup of diced peaches (I used two medium peaches), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool to a warm temperature. Blend in a blender until smooth. Cool completely before use.

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Roasted strawberry milkshake + how to recognize a recipe worth making

From Food52

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This milkshake rocks my world. Let’s just take a moment and really let this soak in. Fresh picked strawberries roasted with sugar and lemon slices. Roasted, I said. Buttermilk, just to kick it up a notch. Premium vanilla ice cream. And refreshing mint. Are you drooling yet, or is it just me?

Besides this amazing milkshake, today I’d like to discuss my path to recognizing a potentially good recipe. Recipes are everywhere and how can you tell what to try? I’ve definitely made some that will never be repeated, but generally, most things I make are good. Some things we eat are great. And some are downright amazing (like this milkshake!). When I first began cooking at home, I leaned on recipes from popular websites. I never made anything that didn’t have great reviews – and I would read a lot of the reviews, as there can be so many great hints in the comments section. So that’s how I first started. Making recipes that lots of other people rave about. After doing this for several years, certain aspects of cooking became natural, or perhaps, more instinctual. I learned a lot – about methods, ingredient combinations, and what we like. I still read reviews (again, comments are often so helpful), but I do not rely on a rating system to determine whether or not I want to try a certain recipe. So now what do I do?

Now, when I read over a recipe, I take several things into account. First, the ingredients. Are they costly? Are they easily available? Are there a lot? Do they include things that my family tends to like? If they are too expensive (have to stay on budget!), too exotic (I don’t have time or money to purchase more exclusive ingredients that I can’t easily find at the local supermarket), or include things we generally don’t enjoy, I usually avoid it. Or perhaps the ingredients aren’t in season (then I save it for later). For me, preparing and cooking a meal needs to be somewhat quick, so if there are too many ingredients that require prep work (chopping, slicing, precooking), I will generally avoid it. Second, I look at the directions. If it is a long process, maybe I’ll save it for a weekend when my husband is home and can help take care of our 2 year old daughter. Or maybe it’s way too involved and I won’t even attempt it. Only if the recipe appears really good will I save it for when I eventually have more time. Now, after cooking at home for 5+ years, the amount of work involved has changed, or rather, all the practice has paid off. Something that appeared time consuming three years ago is now a piece of cake. Third, I look at the combination of ingredients. Sometimes they include all things we enjoy – this usually indicates a recipe sure to please. Sometimes there’s something funky thrown in that I am willing to try.  Sometimes, there is no way I’m convinced to give it a go, which leads me to my next point – consider the source. Some random Pinterest post? Maybe not so trustworthy. An author or blogger whose food I have made a lot and come to love? Yep, I’ll take a chance on one of those recipes, sure thing. Find a blogger or chef who you relate to. Get the cookbook, read the blog, and try out some new stuff. Last, and most importantly, learn from your choices. Take risks, learn from them. Maybe you’ll discover the wonder of watermelon in a green salad or how putting vegetables in the oven adds a depth of flavor that only roasting can achieve. Learn from your mistakes. Maybe you can’t stand fennel – find a substitution. Keep trying until you get it right (can you say crepes? Fourth times the charm!). Learn to recognize key ingredients you love, and expand from there (hint: black sesame seed ice cream, coming soon).

So, to recap: Consider the ingredient list, but don’t be afraid to take a chance. Make sure the directions are not overwhelming for your situation. Consider the ingredient combination and be sure to keep in mind the trustworthiness of the source of your culinary explorations. Practice, and most importantly, learn from what you do.

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Now back to this milkshake. I knew I would make this recipe the instant I glanced it over. Fresh strawberries? Yes. Roasted fresh strawberries? Hell yes. Buttermilk? Different, but why not – it’s great in pancakes, as it adds a little tang. Ice cream? That’s the whole point of a milkshake. And mint? Hmmm, haven’t tried it in a milkshake (until now), but it’s not uncommon to be paired with fruit.  So I very eagerly tried this recipe. And I have never tasted a better milkshake.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

For the roasted strawberries:

1 pound fresh strawberries (from the market if you can get them), hulled and halved

3 to 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar, depending on sweetness of berries

Pinch of salt

4 to 5 thin lemon slices

For the milkshake:

1 pint good vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup good-quality buttermilk*

Leaves from 3 healthy mint sprigs

Roasted strawberries

Directions

First, roast the strawberries: Heat oven to 375° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat (the rim is important: the berries will release a lot of juice!), and toss the berries with the sugar right on the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, and lay the lemon slices evenly over the top. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the fruit is soft, has released its juice, and the juice has started to thicken just slightly. Remove the lemon slices and let cool completely. These can be made a day ahead.

Then, make the milkshake: Pile everything in a blender and blend! Feel free to add a little more buttermilk if you like a thinner consistency. Pour into glasses and serve.

*don’t have buttermilk? Make your own! Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar in one cup of milk. Let stand for five minutes, then use according to recipe directions.

Mango ice cream

From Epicurious

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This family loves ice cream – so an ice cream maker was an almost necessary purchase for this summer. And because it’s mango season and I’m making everything mango, ice cream was inevitable. I went all out for this recipe. Homemade mango purée, a custard base, and caramelized mangos swirled throughout. Does it sound good? Because it tastes even better. It’s creamy, it’s rich, it doesn’t lack in mango flavor, and the little bits of caramelized mango are just the cherry (mango?) on top. 

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Yield: about 1 quart

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups canned mango purée or about 3 small mangos, puréed

3/4 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole milk

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

For caramelized mango

1 fresh mango, cut into a small dice

1/3 cup sugar

Directions

Slice mangos and purée in a blender, if you’re making your own (you want about 1 1/4 cups, but a little extra never hurt). Stir together mango purée, coconut milk, cream, corn syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl until combined well.

Bring milk just to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a large pinch of salt in a bowl, then add hot milk in a stream, whisking. Pour custard into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in mango mixture until combined well.

Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (to remove any strings from mango), discarding solids, and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill custard, covered, until very cold, about 4 hours, or overnight. 

Freeze custard in ice cream maker. 

About 30-45 minutes before your ice cream is done, finely chop one mango. Melt the sugar in a pan over medium high heat, until light golden. Add the chopped mango, and cook until caramelized. Be patient, and keep the heat up. The sugar and mango will combine. If you let it cool too much, the sugar will seize up (but you can heat it up and melt it). 

About ten minutes before your ice cream is done, add the caramelized mango. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 12 hours.


Vanilla ice cream Alton Brown style

From the Food Network

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It’s that time of year and ice cream is calling my name. Loudly. And what better flavor to start with than vanilla? Especially when fresh strawberries are waiting in the fridge. This ice cream is so decadent and is perfectly simple. While this mixture does require cooking (a must if you really want to make good ice cream), there are no eggs, so this ends up smooth and creamy rather than custardy. Oh, you like custard ice cream? Don’t worry, I’ll get there soon!

I purchased an ice cream machine (check here) to use. Why? First, it is a rather inexpensive piece of kitchen equipment. Second, it can be used for gelato and sorbet as well (ummm, yes please). Third, it allows me to work less (no hand cranking here, but go for it if you want!) yet still create a quality dessert.  Lastly, by making my own ice cream, I can control what ingredients are in it. Simply, ice cream is maybe eggs, sugar and some type of cream (plus your flavorings). All pronounceable things. Look at your favorite grocery store ice cream and you will likely find many many more (undesirable) ingredients.

So back to this vanilla ice cream. Eat it plain.  Add homemade cookies. Eat it with pie. Enjoy it with a slice of cake. Throw on some sprinkles (a la toddler style). Or maybe add some strawberries. Whatever you do, eat it slowly, close your eyes, and enjoy life a little more while you do.

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Ingredients

2 c half-and-half

1 c whipping cream

1 c sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Directions

Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a frying or candy thermometer to inside of pan. (see note below) Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate mixture overnight to mellow flavors and texture.

Freeze mixture in ice cream freezer according to unit’s instructions. The mixture will not freeze hard in the machine. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 to 3/4 times, and reached a soft serve consistency, spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.

NOTE: If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from the heat. Do not let it boil.