Frozen Assets

Rushing about, trying to finish two week’s worth of work in just the few days preceding my trip to Paris, I practically had one foot out the door when I got word from my boss. Although she had just as much on her plate as well, it seemed like high time to begin a new project: A “supper club,” bringing us one step closer to a full-service restaurant. After years of only creating prepared foods for takeout, this would be a huge change for all of us at the restaurant, and I couldn’t respond fast enough to express my enthusiasm. The problem was, naturally, our first dinner would be scheduled for the week I would be away. Big, fat, bummer.

Still anxious to get in on the action, I simply couldn’t keep my hands out of the project. With my embarrassment of riches in the way of fresh berries, and my mind still fixed firmly on frozen treats, I proposed combining the two for a seasonal, crowd-pleasing, and easy make-ahead dessert. How could you say no to an offer like that?

Using only a touch of coconut milk to add creaminess, this concoction is heavy on fresh raspberries, bursting with pure fruit flavor. Accented with a touch of lemon zest to add brightness and some much needed acid, it’s a refreshing end to a summer meal, just what I thought this supper club needed.

But don’t you know, life isn’t that simple. While away in Paris, that dinner never came to fruition, and those pints remained frozen solid in the back of the freezer, just waiting for their time to shine. Happily, that time has now come, and I can even be a part to help serve it! Our first supper club is now scheduled for this Thursday, and while I realize it’s rather last minute, I would love to invite anyone in the area. Interested? Check out the details and RSVP!

Should you find yourself halfway around the country, or world, for that matter, don’t fret. You can still enjoy this delightful raspberry ice cream anyway; it’s just too good not to share.

Raspberry-Lemon Ice Cream

3 1/2 Pounds Raspberries
6 Tablespoons Arrowroot
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Zest of 3 Lemons
3/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Cups Coconut Milk
1 1/2 Cups Light Agave Nectar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

*This makes 3 quarts, more than the average household ice cream maker can process at once, so you will either need to scale down this recipe as desired, or plan to churn it in batches.

Begin by tossing all of your berries into a blender or food processor, and completely puree them. Pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the solids. Set aside.

In a large pot, first whisk together the arrow root and salt. Add in a small splash of the seedless raspberry puree, and whisk it thoroughly to make a thick paste. Once you’ve gotten out any lumps or dry clumps, add in the rest of the puree, along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut milk, and agave. Set the pot over moderate heat, and stir occasionally, until the mixture thickens significantly and comes to a full boil. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the vanilla. This amount of ice cream base will take a long time to cool, so simply make sure you whisk it every 15 minutes or so, to prevent a skin from forming on top, until it’s just barely warm to the touch. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, and let chill thoroughly in the refrigerator before churning according to your ice cream manufacturer’s directions.

Transfer the ice cream into air-tight containers, and let freeze solid before serving, at least 3 hours.