This past Sunday I left for Maine for a month. I know I’ve mentioned this in a few previous posts, but I figure it’s time to tell you that my blog may be slightly different for a few weeks. I’ve been preparing for a while trying to have a nice “back log” of recipes so that my blog stays alive, and I also have 4 outstanding guest posts planned! I feel so grateful that my fellow bloggers are so giving and willing to help out.
The Theatre that I am working for houses us in an apartment with a full kitchen, but I didn’t know what supplies would be in it, or how much time I’d even have to be baking. Now that I’m here, I can report that there are a few old measuring cups and a hand mixer, but I am glad I didn’t come here needing to bake every day. The last thing I feel like doing is trying to find lighting, ingredients and inspiration while I’m also in 8 hours of rehearsal a day and adjusting to a new city. (I will probably end up baking at some point this month though, as two of my cast mates have birthdays while we’re here and I can’t resist giving b-day treats!)
Anyway- my first “on the road” post is a recipe from the “Frugal Feast” dinner party I had over the weekend. It consists of creamy and fluffy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with a perfectly salted Caramel Sauce. Now I know we maybe be transitioning out of Ice Cream season, but this was too good not to share. (Also it was 80 and humid the day I made it. )
- 3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream (or the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk) and the vanilla extract.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. (Overnight!) When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use (I stuck mine in my sugar container,) and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 TBs Salted Butter- cut into small pieces
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- Make sure all your ingredients are ready to go before you begin. Have the cream in a measuring cup and the butter in pieces near the saucepan.
- Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. *A somewhat easier method involves mixing ½ cup water in with the sugar. It takes a while longer to caramelize, but the sugar is less likely to burn!
- As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.
- Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.
- Add the Sea Salt. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.