Hi, from the east coast! I got in yesterday, and I had some free time this morning, so I thought I'd finish up my post. I had recently gotten some nectarines from Whole Foods (yum!) and some Tieton cherries from the farmer's market by my house. I couldn't remember ever trying something that combined those two, and what better way to combine fruits than a crisp? I went with an almond crisp because almonds give great texture, but don't have an overwhelming flavor. The only thing about crisps is that in order to really enjoy it, there must be ice cream along with it. I went with a maple butter-pecan, as it has great subtle flavors, but really lets the fruits from the crisp shine.
Nectarine Cherry Almond Crisp
110g whole almonds
Combine ingredients in a food processor until a coarse meal.
4 medium nectarines
3/4 lb cherries
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut nectarines into small pieces and pit cherries. Toss in a bowl with sugar and let macerate for 30 minutes. Pour into a 9"x9" glass/ceramic pan. Sprinkle crisp over fruit and bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven.
This was the first time I felt a made a successful ice cream. The other times I'd made ice cream the custard either got over cooked or undercooked, and this time it was just right. Everyone who tried it thought it was rather addicting, so I guess they thought it was a success, too.
Maple Butter-Pecan Ice Cream
3/4 cup whole pecans
2 tablespoons butter; unsalted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup maple syrup
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
For the buttered pecans, chopped the pecans into small pieces. In a small frying pan, melt two tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add chopped pecans and mix, to coat the pecans. Stir frequently so the pecans don't burn. Once you smell the slightly toasted nuts and they have browned a little, immediately remove from pan and put into a bowl to cool.
IN A SAUCEPAN OVER MEDIUM HEAT, WARM THE MILK UNTIL STEAM BEGINS TO RISE FROM THE SURFACE.
IN A HEATPROOF BOWL, WHISK TOGETHER THE EGG YOLKS, maple syrup AND SALT UNTIL BLENDED. GRADUALLY ADD 1/2 THE HOT MILK, WHISKING CONSTANTLY UNTIL FULLY INCORPORATED. TRANSFER THE MIXTURE BACK TO THE SAUCEPAN AND SET OVER MEDIUM-LOW HEAT. COOK, STIRRING CONSTANTLY WITH A WOODEN SPOON OR SPATULA, UNTIL THE CUSTARD IS THICK ENOUGH TO COAT THE BACK OF THE SPOON AND LEAVES A CLEAR TRAIL WHEN A FINGER IS DRAWN THROUGH IT, 8 TO 10 MINUTES; DO NOT ALLOW THE CUSTARD TO BOIL.
POUR THE CUSTARD THROUGH A FINE-MESH SIEVE SET OVER A CLEAN BOWL AND STIR IN VANILLA. NESTLE THE BOWL IN A LARGER ONE FILLED HALFWAY WITH ICE AND WATER AND COOL THE CUSTARD TO ROOM TEMPERATURE, STIRRING OCCASIONALLY. REFRIGERATE UNTIL COLD [AT LEAST 2 HOURS]
TRANSFER THE CUSTARD TO AN ICE CREAM MAKER AND FREEZE ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS. Add the buttered pecans by hand, mixing thoroughly. TRANSFER THE ICE CREAM TO AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER. CHILL AT LEAST 3 HOURS BEFORE SERVING. MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART.