There’s nothing like ice cream to take the edge off the double dip of heat and humidity on summer’s dog days. If you need to sharpen your technique or draw inspiration for your flavor, look no further than this cookbook from Portland’s beloved Salt & Straw ice cream company.
Opening with how-to and bases, author Tayler Malek continues to chapters on the store’s favorites (think Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon), the brewers series (imperial stout milk sorbet with blackberry jam), flower series (dandelion bitters sorbet with edible flowers), berry series (Meyer lemon blueberry buttermilk custard), farmers market series (caramel corn on the cob), and several with holiday themes (such as Thanksgiving’s cranberry-apple stuffing, where chunks of stuffing are swirled into celery-soda ice cream).
Tantalized? Give it a test drive with their foraged-berry sherbet below. Clarkson Potter. $25.
FORAGED-BERRY SHERBET (Makes about 2½ pints)
1 pint (12 ounces) super-ripe mixed berries (you can sub frozen mixed huckleberries and blueberries)
½ cup boiling water
½ teaspoon malic acid or 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups sorbet base, very cold (see below)
½ cup heavy cream
Put the berries in a blender and add the boiling water, malic acid, and salt. Blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Refrigerate (blender jar and all) until cold.
Add the sorbet base and cream to the blender and briefly blend to combine well. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and turn on the machine. Churn just until the mixture has the texture of a pourable frozen smoothie.
Transfer the sherbet, scraping every last delicious drop from the machine, into freezer-friendly containers. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface of the sherbet so it adheres, then cover with a lid. It’s okay if the parchment hangs over the rim. Store it in the coldest part of your freezer (farthest from the door) until firm, at least 6 hours. It will keep for up to 3 months.
SORBET (OR GELATO) BASE
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon xanthan gum*
¼ cup light corn syrup
Stir together the sugar and xanthan gum in a small bowl. Combine 1¼ cups water and the corn syrup in a small saucepan. Add the sugar mixture and immediately whisk vigorously until smooth (but don’t fret over a few lumps). Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store in the fridge until cold, at least 4 hours, or up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 1 year. (Just be sure to fully thaw it and stir well before using it.)
*Xanthan gum helps prevent ice crystals from forming. Available on the web from Bob’s Red Mill and Hodgson Mill.