Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl

I've been into making desserts lately, maybe it's because I think back to when I was a kid and I'm baffled at all the amazing cakes, pies, and home-made ice creams my mom made for all of us. I saw these sandwiches on the cover of Gourmet and knew I had to try to make them. After a couple fumbles, I got them right and to ensure you don't have those same fumbles I've put some "key notes" into the recipe. You'll really enjoy this treat that offers enough for you and a few to share!

Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl
from Gourmet Magazine
For lemon ice cream
1 pint premium vanilla ice cream KEY NOTE: the original recipe calls for 2 pints, but it was too much ice cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For blueberry compote
2 cups blueberries (10 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
2 (3- by 21/2-inch) strips lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

For sandwich layers
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 (8-inch) square baking pans (2 inches deep); a small offset spatula
Make lemon ice cream:

1. Transfer ice cream to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds (till it's just soft enough to stir)
2. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Spread ice cream thinly in a 13- by 9-inch baking dish and freeze while making compote and sandwich layers.

Make blueberry compote:

1. Cook blueberries, sugar, and zest in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, thoroughly crushing blueberries with a potato masher, until juices are released and sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. KEY NOTE: Make sure all of the blueberries are mashed - I left a few stragglers and they tasted like frozen pieces of ice - you don't want that!
2. Stir together lemon juice and cornstarch, then stir into blueberry mixture. Boil, stirring, 1 minute (mixture will thicken).
3. Transfer blueberry compote to a bowl and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Discard lemon zest.

Make sandwich layers While compote chills:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter baking pans and line with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on each side, then butter foil.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, add flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.
3. Divide batter between baking pans and spread into thin, even layers with offset spatula. Bake until golden-brown but still tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely in pans, about 30 minutes.

Assemble sandwiches:

1. Dollop tablespoons of blueberry compote all over ice cream, then swirl it gently through ice cream with a spoon. Spoon all of ice cream over 1 sandwich layer (in pan) and spread evenly using clean offset spatula (KEY NOTE: leave foil in the pan - don't remove until the very end). Invert second sandwich layer over ice cream, pressing gently to form an even sandwich. Wrap baking pan in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

2. Transfer sandwich to a cutting board using overhang, remove foil. Trim edges if desired, then cut into 8 pieces.

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