White Corn & Blueberry Popsicles

Lately I've been cozying up to corn in sweeter contexts like muffins and these corn popsicles. I loved corn cereal as a kid, which of course was loaded with sugar. It's nice to reconnect to the sweet side of corn once again in dessert form, using more natural, earthy sugar like maple syrup to amplify corns natural sweetness. These corn popsicles are made by steeping fresh white corn--including a cob--in milk over a soft simmer. The corn milk is then pulsed in a food processor and thickened slightly with cream, sweetened slightly further with a bit of maple syrup. The base of the pops are fresh blueberries roasted in maple syrup then stirred with lime juice and zest for brightness and acidity. I love having a bit of zing at the end of such a rich, creamy popsicle. The pops are garnished on the side with a combination of fresh basil chopped in sugar and salt. The fragrant basil sugar salt is a bridge from one bite to the next, like getting a taste of decorated glass rim with each sip of a cocktail that ties it all together. Speaking of which, these pops pair especially well with a chaser of tequila blanca. Optional, of course. What's your favorite popsicle this summer? -Mallory

White Corn & Blueberry Popsicles
for the corn
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups fresh white corn, cut from the cob with one cob reserved
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine milk, corn and the corn cob in a small saucepan. Break the corn cob into two pieces if doesn't fit perfectly into the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. When the corn milk begins to simmer, cover and remove from heat. Let cool completely then remove the cob, but leave the corn kernels. Gently pulse the corn milk in a food processor a few times to chop up the corn kernels even further (this step is optional, but gives the pops a more integrated texture). Add maple syrup, cream and salt to the corn milk, then pour the mixture into popsicle molds, reserving about an inch at the top for the roasted blueberries. Place in the freezer and start on the blueberries. 

for the blueberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 lime, zested and juiced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place blueberries in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with maple syrup and stir. Place the blueberries in the oven an roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir in the lime zest and juice and let the blueberry mixture cool. While cooling, check to see if the corn pops are frozen enough to hold popsicle sticks. Insert sticks into the corn pops a few inches in then spoon the roasted blueberries around the sticks and freeze until completely set before enjoying, at least 4 hours. 

for the basil sugar salt
2 tablespoons demerara cane sugar
1 tablespoons flaky sea salt
5-6 basil leaves

While the popsicles are freezing, create the basil sugar salt. Mound the sugar and salt on a cutting board and then cover the mound with stacked leaves of fresh basil. Use a sharp chef's knife to finely mince the ingredients together. 

When ready to serve, dip the pop molds in a container of hot water to release the popsicles, then dip the sides of the popsicles in the basil sugar salt before serving. 

 

Roasted Plum Honey Yogurt Pops

These tart and tangy yogurt pops are layered with plums roasted with fresh ginger and orange and thick Greek yogurt sweetened with honey. 

Roasted Plum Honey Yogurt Pops
1 pound plums, cut in half, pitted
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the plums, ginger, orange zest, and brown sugar in large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined then spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the plums are tender and juice starts to release. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Remove the plum skins if desired, then mix the roasted plums with the orange juice. Pour into the popsicle molds and place in the freezer to let partially set, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the greek yogurt and honey in a small mixing bowl. Pour into the popsicle molds about the roasted plums. I like them to mix a little, but let the roasted plums fully set if you want to keep them separate. Insert sticks into the popsicles and freeze until completely set before enjoying, at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, dip the pop molds in a container or hot water to release the pops. 

Roasted Beet Orange Soup

This is one of those soups you can enjoy piping hot on a chilly afternoon or chilled on a hot evening and either way it’s spectacular. Just the beautiful hue alone is cheery for the soul, which I love on dreary days. This soup subdues the soft sweetness of the beets and kicks up their heartiness and richness with fragrant spices and the liveliness of fresh orange. Each bite begins with the earthiness of beets and moves into flavorful layers of garlic and ginger, roasted shallots, and bright orange with a gentle kick of heat from the jalapeno, all tied together with the creaminess of the coconut milk. Most of the time for this recipe is spent waiting for the beets and shallots to roast, about an hour, but they can roast side by side. While they cool you can saute garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and orange zest together before blending everything together with orange juice, coconut milk and vegetable stock and letting simmer thereafter. The total preparation time is around 1 hour, 45 minutes, only about 30 minutes of which is active. 

Roasted Beet Orange Soup
Serves 4-6
2 pounds beets (7-10 medium beets)
1/4 pound shallots (2-3 medium shallots)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1-2 tablespoons minced jalapeno, depending on heat preference
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 cups vegetable stock
soup garnishes: coconut milk, olive oil, roasted pumpkin seeds, mint

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Slice off the beet leaves or what is left of the beet stems about a quarter inch from the tip of the beet. Give the beets a good scrub then place them in a baking dish. Add about a quarter inch water to the dish and set aside.

Slice the top tips off the shallots, leaving the bases and skins intact. Place the shallots on a large piece of foil, bunch them together and drizzle their exposed tops with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Wrap the foil around the shallots to create a sealed pouch. Place the shallots and the dish of beets in the preheated oven. Roast the shallots and the beets side by side in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the shallots are incredibly tender and the beets are very easily penetrated with a fork. Remove each from the oven when done roasting and let cool.

While the roasted shallots and roasted beets are cooling, bring a small skillet to medium high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Sauté on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Lower the heat as needed to prevent excessive browning. Add the orange zest and sauté for another minute. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and remove from heat.

Once the shallots are cool, slip them out of their skins, discard the skins, and set them aside. Next, peel away the cooled beets from their skins. The beet juice will temporary stain your skin, so wear gloves if you prefer and be careful not to get the juice on your clothing. Place the roasted beets in a bowl with the shallots. Add the sautéed garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and orange zest to the bowl.

Transfer everything to a blender or large food processor. If using a smaller food processor, blend in batches. Blend on high and steam in the orange juice, coconut milk and vegetable stock while blending. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the soup to a large stock pot and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes and serve the soup hot. The soup is also incredible cold, enjoy both ways. Garnish the soup with a drizzle of coconut milk, olive oil, roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh mint leaves. Enjoy leftovers within 5-7 days.

Have a little and have a lot, but soups on babes. 

Chardonnay Poached Pear & Pistachio Mascarpone Ice Cream

Since I started off 2015 with a pear cocktail, I thought it would be fitting to begin 2016 similarly with this boozy, creamy ice cream. Pears poached in chardonnay blended together with brown sugar and mascarpone ice cream and crunchy pistachios. It's everything I dream of in ice cream. I hope you make this immediately. 

Chardonnay Poached Pear & Pistachio Mascarpone Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
5 ripe, but firm pears, peeled, seeded, chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup chardonnay
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
5 large egg yolks
2/3  cup mascarpone
1/2 to 3/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios

Place the pear pieces and chardonnay in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the pears are tender when pieced through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely, then blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside. Place mascarpone in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

Next, warm the cream, brown sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Make sure not to boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. When the cream mixture becomes very warm—too warm to touch, but not boiling—ladle out about 1/4 cup of the cream mixture into the mixing bowl with mascarpone and whisk until smooth.

Next, slowly stir the remainder of the cream mixture into the large mixing bowl with the egg yolks, whisking continuously while you combine.  Whisk until well mixed, then whisk in the mascarpone mixture. Keep whisking until smooth. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir continuously as it warms until it thickens enough to the coat the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the blended poached pears, then immediately pour into a gallon-sized plastic bag, seal and submerge into the ice bath.

Let sit in the ice bath until the cream is cold to the touch, then pour into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacture’s instructions. Add the chopped pistachios in during the last few minutes of churning.

Transfer the ice cream to a lidded or sealable container, place a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper between the ice cream and the lid before sealing to help prevent ice crystals from forming. Store the ice cream in the coldest part of the freezer for a few hours before serving.