Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Eats Sheet: Key Lime Ice Cream

Time for some epicurean indulgence. Two years ago at our wedding, among the many gifts (one of which we're sure has been re-gifted continuously since it was bought circa 1985) was an ice-cream maker. It sat in my parents basement for a year and then on top of our kitchen cabinets for a few months. Finally, last year I inaugurated it with a chocolate, peanut butter, and banana creation. Since then, the summer months at our house have been occasionally sweetened and cooled with some frozen goodness.

When my in-laws came to visit recently, I wanted to make something special. Our kitchen had an abundance of strawberries and limes from a recent costco trip, and it wasn't too hard to make the logical conclusion.

The Dinosaur BBQ has a fantastic key lime pie. I think it goes well as a postlude to a dinner of Charcoal BBQ Chicken or Mojito Chicken. I also like to do it with a coconut crust rather than traditional pastry. I thought that I might try to adapt the key lime pie base to an ice cream recipe. I did try it, and it worked.

Basically, you finely grate the peel of one lemon (zest, as somone who is culinariosophic would say), and squeeze out the juice of three lemons. You combine this with your regular ice cream base (mine is egg yolks, sugar, milk, cream, and sweetenede condensed milk) and freeze it. I also stirred in a bunch of sliced strawberries before I froze it. It was good, but the frozen berries were a little too hard to really enjoy the juiciness. I think it would be better to save the berries chilled, as a final topping next time.

Key lime ice cream may be a semi-misnomer, because I did not use any key limes, just regular persian limes. But then again, the Dino's key lime pie recipe actually calls for regular limes. All in all, I think my experiment turned out quite well. Limes are not (that I'm aware of) a very common ice cream flavor. Ice cream tends to go for chocolate and caramel flavors, while the fruits are reserved to the sherbets and the sorbets. But lime ice cream ought not be so unheard of. The sweet acidity of the limes is balanced, but not outweighed by the richness of the cream. The result is refreshing and a perfect companion to any summer BBQ.

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