Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kettle Corn Ice Cream

I know it sounds strange. But, if chocolatiers can put bacon in chocolate, then why can't we use salty/sweet kettle corn in ice cream?

I have been playing with the idea of Kettle Corn Ice Cream for quite some time and I approached Huck (LFM, Huck's Kettle Corn) about the idea and he was all for it! I just needed the right time to unveil this marvelous concoction and when the Boulder County Fair opened this month, I knew the time had arrived.
Ice Cream and Kettle Corn, two fair favorites all in one... My only problem was trying not to eat it all before we actually had to sample it out.

I knew I wanted to infuse the custard base with the popped kernels, but I was not sure how well the actual popcorn flavor would hold up to the dairy and the eggs.
It turns out, it works beautifully! The taste is subtle with a hint of salt and sweet, then it finishes with a nice popped corn taste.

This was a huge hit at the market this weekend and it was a home run for me, on so many levels.

Look for the recipe and the photos in The Longmont Times-Call in the next few weeks, ( as soon as it appears in the paper I will provide the link) Update: Kettle Corn Ice Cream

Note: If possible, make the custard the day before you plan to churn and freeze it. The corn flavor improves with time (8-24 hours).

Kettle Corn Ice Cream

3-4 cups of Huck’s Kettle Corn (Longmont Farmer's Market)
3 cups whole milk
1 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2-cup sugar
4 egg yolks

Place the Kettle Corn, milk and the heavy cream into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat. Strain and reserve liquid.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine.

Temper* the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about a third of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours (this is called proofing, and ice cream custard improves with time) or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.
Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.

*Temper-Slowly add small amounts of hot liquid to eggs while whisking. Tempering slowly, allows the eggs to increase in temperature without scrambling them.

See you at the Market!

Chef Deb T
*Canning classes w/ Ann Zander - CU extension of Boulder County,
August 20, 2009 ( more dates TBA)
Class schedule:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grilled Colorado Artichokes and Behrmann Farm

Last week, Susie (volunteer extraordinaire) and I, had the opportunity to visit Behrmann Farm and check out their crop of Colorado Grown Artichokes.

I will repeat that, C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O artichokes.

Yes, Artichokes, IN Colorado.


When Kim Dirkes offered to let us visit the family's 101 year old farm, and have a peek at her artichoke plants, I had no idea what to expect. Nestled right behind Haystack Mountain, Behramm Farm is large, gorgeous, and picturesque, even by Colorado standards. In addition to their traditional crops, they also have old growth fruit trees (peaches, apples, cherries, black walnuts) vines and bushes!

Of course, I fawned over all the beautiful artichokes plants growing in her greenhouse. In retrospect, to say I was fawning might be a bit of an understatement. I would have wrapped my arms around each one had they not been full of thistles!

At one point, as it always does, came the question that gave me pause, "how much do you want for the market?"

I have to be very careful with this open ended question. You see, artichokes are a favorite in my house, and I had to try extremely hard not be greedy, and say, "how about ALL of them?" Kim generously donated a large supply "to play with", and I floated back to the car with visions of perfectly prepared artichokes, an endless supply of hollandaise, and miraculous last minutes phone calls for sleep-overs for the girls.


Traditionally, artichokes need a longer growing season then our climate can provide. Therefore all the artichokes on the farm are grown in a large hooped greenhouse. Fortunately for us, there are plans to build an another structure to increase the size of their crop. Selfishly, I hope we can create enough of a demand at our market, over the next few years, to see the additional greenhouse built.

Lat week I decided to make grilled artichokes for the Farmer's Market. The recipe is a simple one. Although artichokes are labor intensive, I enjoy the process of peeling away the leaves and slowly arriving at the those last tender morsels; the bottom, the heart and the stem.

Grilled Colorado Artichokes

*Trim the bottom two layers of leaves off with a paring knife (I also peel the step because the center is edible as well).
*Using scissors, cut the pointed tips off each leaf.
*I cut my artichokes in half ( I leave the fuzzy "choke" in, and boil it first, then remove the softened choke. I do this to save time, and to get the vegetable in the boiling water before it oxidizes)
* To reduce oxidation or browning: Rub with a cut lemon or put prepped artichoke in a bowl of lemon (acidulated) water; or in water containing a large amount of salt (for every 2 quarts of water, use 1/4 cup kosher salt)

Olive oil
Butter, melts
Lemon Juice.

In a 5 quart pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil add 4 tablespoons of salt. Add the artichokes and simmer (the term is "blanching") until a sharp paring knife will pass easily through the base of the vegetable. It could be 15 minutes or it could be 45.

Remove the artichokes from the boiling water and place them in a bowl of ice water (the term is "shocking") and cool, until the vegetable is no longer hot Drain.

Blot the artichokes dry, remove the fuzzy choke with a spoon.

Heat your grill or a grill pan for 5 minutes on medium high.

Drizzle vegetable with olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on the grill cut side down. Cook until the surface begins to turn a nice golden brown. Turn them over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove artichokes from the grill, drizzle with a little melted butter, and a few squeezes of lemon, additional salt and pepper.


See you at the Market!

Chef Deb

Note: Behrmann Farm has a bumper crop of Apples and Peaches this year, and would like to invite a few small groups to come out and pick your own fruit. This is a wonderful idea for families or groups with small children as these trees are the family fruit trees and are close their home.
I will keep you posted with times, dates and fees, or you can talk to Kim this week at LFM.