Friday, August 2, 2013

Honey Ice Cream and Bonus Recipe! Beekeepers' Fan-Favorite Rhubarb Dessert by Christy!

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's weekly food section often includes great recipes using honey and their July 25, 2013 issue was no exception.  Melissa McCart's article on "extreme ice creams" included a thyme-infused honey ice cream that I made here, with a few changes.  The first is that the original recipe seems to call for 2 teaspoons of salt, which is way (way!) too much (think it must be a typo).  I cut that back to 1/2 teaspoon.  I also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to help bring out the honey flavor.  Next time I make this, I'll use lavender or basil or mint  instead of thyme (less extreme, but much more delectable!).

And keep reading!  Christy shared the recipe for her award-winning rhubarb dessert that took the fan favorite prize at the Burgh Bees & Beaver Valley Beekeepers' Association annual picnic this year.  Thanks, Christy!

Fair warning:  the recipes in this post aren't for those on a diet! :)

Honey Ice Cream
Published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 29, 2013 and adapted from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book by Jake Godby & Sean Vahey.  I've adapted further!

1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon fresh herb, minced (basil, mint or lavender recommended)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks

Combine the honey and minced herb in a bowl and let it infuse for at least two hours or overnight.  Fill a large bowl with ice, place a smaller bowl inside the larger bowl and then fill the larger bowl with water to make an ice water bath.  Place a strainer on top of the smaller bowl in the middle.  In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk and salt and, stirring occasionally, bring to just under a simmer--don't boil!  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.  Whisking constantly, gradually pour about 1/2 of the cream mixture into the eggs and then transfer the egg/cream mixture back to the sauce pan and turn on medium heat.  Using a rubber spatula, stir constantly, being sure to get the bottom and sides so that the mixture doesn't scorch.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the custard coats the spatula and begins to steam--again, don't let this boil.  Remove from heat and stir in the honey/herb mixture, combining well.  Pour the mixture through the sieve over the bowl set in ice water and let cool, stirring occasionally.  When cool, refrigerate the custard for at least two hours (or over night).  When the mixture is very cold, put it in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.  When processed, place in a separate container and freeze until it solidifies.  Makes 1 quart.

Beekeepers' Fan-Favorite Rhubarb Dessert by Christy
Haven't had a chance to make this myself yet, but had a taste at the picnic and it's creamy and delicious--a great use of rhubarb!  It comes from the April/May 2008 issue of Taste  of Home magazine called Cool Rhubarb Dessert by Maxine Smith.  Christy adapted the recipe so that it uses honey.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 cup minature marshmallows
1 1 /2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, butter and walnuts and press into an ungreased 13x9 inch pan.  Bake for 20-25 until lightly browned.  Cool while making filling and topping.

In a large saucepan, combine the filling ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about five minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Cool and pour over crust.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream until thickened.  Add confectioners' sugar and beat until soft peaks form.  Fold in marshmallows and spread over rhubarb layer.

In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over cream layer; sprinkle with coconut.  Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cutting.  Yield:  16 ample servings.

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