Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Royal Foodie Joust - July 1st

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time once again for the Royal Foodie Joust. A tongue in cheek competition held by The Left Over Queen where combatants are armed with three not so secret ingredients and a desire to make something delicious. Well heck, who wouldn't want to do that?
The winner of June 1st's Royal Foodie Joust was the SkinnyGourmet and she has picked apricots, ginger and butter to be the featured ingredients in this Joust.

As summer is upon us I have created an ice cream dish, gourmet ice cream being a cosmic wavelength that many of us are tapping into right now - I'm thinking of you, Coffeepot!

We were fortunate enough to capture the waning sunlight and photograph the entry on the deck. It just looks like summer, doesn't it?

My entry - Apricot Ginger Ice Cream served on a Ginger Almond Shortbread Cookie topped with a Poached Apricot.

* the very neato presentation of the ice cream is courtesy of my new toy, the Cuisipro Ice Cream Scoop and Stack that I got for Mother's Day.

Apricot Ginger Ice Cream with Poached Apricot Halves.

2 cups whipping cream
1 ½ cups apricot nectar
1 cup apricot preserves
1 small pinch salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 small knob ginger, grated

4 egg yolks

Combine first six ingredients in medium sauce pan. Place on medium/high heat and bring to the beginning of a boil. Drop heat to medium.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Add some of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, a little at a time, whisking constantly. When eggs are tempered, add to the pot and cook, stirring 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight and freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Poached Apricot Halves
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
6 small apricots, halved and pits removed
In small pot, bring water and sugar to boil, stirring. When sugar has dissolved, add apricot halves. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature. Remove apricot halves and let drain, slipping skins off. Save syrup in the fridge for making cocktails.

Ginger Almond Shortbread
Adapted from Company’s Coming Most Loved Cookies

1 lb. butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup ground or finely chopped almonds
In mixer, cream butter and sugar.
Combine flour and cornstarch. Add to butter mixture a little at a time. If it gets too stiff for the mixer, turn out and incorporate the rest by hand on the counter.
Add ginger and almonds. Mix and divide dough into 4 pieces. Shape each into an 8 inch log. Wrap with wax paper and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove logs from paper and slice ¼ inch thick. Place on cookie sheet lined with a Silpat and bake for about 8 minutes or until just golden. Let stand on cookie sheets 5 minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 100+ cookies.