Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blueberry Buttermilk Sorbet or Sherbet without Ice-cream Maker

I do not know why I have been procrastinating so much. I have many posts lying untouched in the 'draft' section. I have many a bookmarked recipes that I want to try out. Books borrowed from the library are just lying around. The book-list on my Kindle is growing. But I am mostly doing nothing. This has been happening to me this entire month. I get this unreasonable pangs out of the blue that summer will be over soon and that thought blots all brightness out of my life! The weather has not been helping much. It has been raining and gloomy and mercury has been dipping to as low as 15 degree C. Imagine that - in July! It will go down to 12 degree C on Thursday which is as cold as Kolkata gets during the winter months.

And then there is so much depressing news from all around the globe. I can only send my prayers to the families struck by so much misfortune.

But then when my 4.75 year old starts to skip and leap about around the house, shaking a leg to Pharrell William's 'Happy' or I when I have a long uninterrupted chat with a good friend or a long SKYPE session with my parents or when the husband takes care of the cooking (he is getting better with each passing day!) - colors comes back to my life again. And, of course all the amazing recipes I have been trying out and the wonderful food I have been eating.

Coming back  to today's recipe, I never thought I could make a sorbet at home without an  ice cream maker till I found this recipe on browneyedbaker. Yes it does take longer and might seem a little tedious the first time around - but it is so worth it! And oh, I used blueberries that we had picked. I had made this few weeks back and let procrastination get the better of me! The tartness of buttermilk offsets the sweetness of blueberries beautifully and is the perfect refreshing treat for the hot summer afternoons!

Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbet/Sherbert/Sorbet

  • Fresh Blueberries - 3 Cups
  • Granulated Sugar -  1 Cup
  • Buttermilk - 1 Cup (See notes)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbet/Sherbert/Sorbet

Blend the blueberries and sugar together in a blender/mixer till you get a smooth puree. Sieve the puree using a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Using your hand or the back of a spoon press down as much liquid you can. Throw away the solids. Pour in the buttermilk and spoon in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Stir to mix.
Now transfer the puree to a freezer safe container, cover tightly with a cling-wrap and freeze for 2 hours. Take it out and using a hand mixer break up the ice crystals that are just beginning to form. Cover once again and put it back into the freezer for 2 more hours.
After 2 hours, take it out of the freezer. Once again beat with the hand mixer. At this point the sorbet should be thick but squishy enough to scoop. If you see that the sorbet is not thick enough, return it to the freezer and freeze for another hour or so. Beat again, transfer to an airtight container (make sure there is at least half an inch space in the top) and return it to the freezer and let it freeze until firm.  I left it in the freezer overnight before I scooped out and served.

Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbet/Sherbert/Sorbet

For the buttermilk: For one cup of buttermilk, add a tablespoon of vinegar (or lemon juice) to a measuring cup and pour in milk till it reaches the 1 Cup mark. Let it stand undisturbed for 10-15 minutes or till it curdles. Sometimes just a tad bit more vinegar is required. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blueberry Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote Topping

World Cup is over - the final match was on the 13th of July, Sunday! Our favorite team lost in the Finals. The husband's (favorite team) jersey arrived exactly one day after the Finals - I could not help but laugh at irony of it! Reminded me of a spectator's poster that has been making rounds on the net - "Flights to Rio - £1200... Enjoying the ambience - £2000... Accommodation -"£2000... Arriving after (favorite team's) elimination - Priceless!!"
I guess the best part of Sunday was all the food we ate! We had a potluck (just appetizers and desserts) at our home and there was loads and loads of food. So much food that we started eating around 3 pm and went on eating till 10pm.
I had made this Blueberry Cheesecake cake for the potluck, along with a Chocolate Cake with Mocha Whipped Cream Frosting and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. For appetizers, I had made Fish Croquettes (Machh er chop) and Buffalo Chicken Wings.

Blueberry Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote Topping

If you have been following my posts, you will know that we went berry picking couple of weeks back and had brought back almost 2 lbs of blueberries. I used up the last one and a half cups in making this cheesecake.
I found the recipe on tasteofhome - it was truly a winner of a recipe! I stuck to the recipe for the better part - I added a little more butter to the crust and I added a blueberry compote topping.

For the Blueberry Swirl Filling ~

  • Blueberries - 1 1/2 Cups, fresh (you can use frozen as well)
  • Sugar - 1/4 Cup
  • Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp, freshly squeezed
  • Cornstarch - 2 tsp
  • Cold Water - 1 tbsp

For the Crust ~

  •  Graham Cracker Crumbs - 1 Cup 
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - 5 tbsp, melted

 For the Cheesecake Filling ~

  • Cream Cheese - 3 packages, at room temperature
  • Sour Cream - 1 Cup
  • Sugar - 1 Cup
  • Flour - 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract - 2 tsp
  • Eggs - 4, large at room temperature. 

 For the Compote (you can skip this) ~

  • Blueberries - 1 Cup (I used frozen as I had run out of fresh)
  • Sugar - 1/4 Cup
  • Lemon Zest - 1 tsp
  • Lemon Juice - 1/2 tbsp
  • Cornstarch - 2 tsp
  • Cold Water - 2 tbsp
Blueberry Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote Topping

Blueberry Filling: In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the blueberries, lemon juice and sugar together till the blueberries soften. Stir from time to time. Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a separate bowl and add the mixture to the blueberry mix. Give it a quick stir. Bring it to a boil and once the sauce thickens, take it off the heat and let it cool down completely. Then blend it in a food processor/mixer until smooth. Set aside.
Crust: For the crust, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Spread the mixture out on the bottom of a greased springform pan. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press it down firmly. Bake for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F. Cool and keep aside. 
Cream Cheese Filling: In your processor or using your electric mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour, sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one by one and beat on low speed till just incorporated. 

Preheat oven to 350F. Pour the filling into the springform pan. Drizzle the blueberry compote on the cream cheese filling and cut it in using a knife or a spatula to give it a swirl effect. Bake at 350F for 60-65 minutes or till the middle is almost set.

To ensure that the cheesecake remains moist and does not crack just put a pan full of hot water in the lower rack of your oven and bake the cheesecake on the upper rack. Since there is a chance that the springform pan might leak, it is better not to put the pan directly on a larger pan full of water. To check if it is done, give the pan a gentle wiggle. If it is firm at the edges and a little jiggly in the middle - it is about done and will nicely set up in the refrigerator. Even though it is tempting, do not keep opening the oven door to check on the cheesecake as this will bring the temperature down and result in a cracked top!

Blueberry Compote: While your cheesecake is baking, heat up a saucepan on medium heat and cook the blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice till the blueberries starts getting mushy. Add the cornstarch mixed with water and bring it to a boil. Take off heat once it starts thickening. This is almost similar to the blueberry filling. Cool completely. 

Once done, take out the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool for 10 or 15 minutes. Run a knife along the side to loosen it up. Pour and spread the compote on the top. Let the cheesecake cool down completely before sticking it into the refrigerator. Chill for at least an hour before serving. I had chilled it overnight. Took a hurried picture before the guests arrived for the potluck. I actually had no plans of posting this recipe. But it turned out so wonderfully awesome that I just had to. Thankfully nobody asked why a slice was already cut when I served the cheesecake. 

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