Let me introduce myself: I'm Laura, and I've been participating quietly behind the scenes of this blog since its inception -- as an occasional sous-chef, taster, adviser, and all-around appreciator of Anna's excellent cooking.
Well, I've also been known to get up to my own mischief in the kitchen. Though I'm not usually well enough organized to document the method to my madness, I thought I would share a recent creation in this here guest blog post.
2 pints blueberries
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch of tarragon (~5 sprigs)
1/2 c sugar
Cook blueberries and lemon juice together until berries release some of their juices to form a nice saucy mix. Add the tarragon sprigs and simmer them in the sauce for a few minutes, until it takes on a robust aroma and flavor of tarragon. Remove tarragon sprigs. Stir in sugar and cook for a while longer, until the berries are starting to fall apart, but some are still intact.
Remove 1.5 c of the blueberry mixture and puree. Reserve the rest to use as a topping.
1 1/4 c milk
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c cream
Whisk eggs & sugar together.
Heat milk in small saucepan until it is just boiling.
Whisk milk into egg and sugar mixture.
Return mixture to pot and heat until custard begins to thicken, stirring continuously.
Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl.
Mix in cream and 1.5 c blueberry puree and chill before churning.
Other noteworthy ice cream flavor experiments:
Here are some other ice creams I've made lately, all of which were delicious.
Follow this mocha chip recipe, except instead of coffee, use 1.5 Tbsp jasmine tea pearls steeped in the milk at around 180 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Substitute chopped white chocolate bar instead of regular chocolate (although to be honest, the white chocolate didn't blend as well as I expected with the green tea flavor. It might have been better without).
Follow this bay leaf ice cream recipe, but substitute ~1/4 c siberian rose buds for the bay leaves. You can get siberian rose at some chinese tea shops, such as Vital Tea Leaf in SF.
Black pepper cardamom chocolate chip
Simmer black peppercorns and whole cardamom pods in the milk before making the custard. Use more black pepper than you think you need. Melt the chocolate and drizzle it in as the ice cream is churning for stracciatella-type chocolate chips.