Farmers' Market Sundae
- 3 cups blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, halved strawberries, and/or halved pitted cherries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons tawny port, ice wine, Champagne, or lambrusco or 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- Lemon Frozen Yogurt* (see below)
- Whipped Cream** (see below)
- 6 fresh herb sprigs, such as mint, basil, or lemon balm
FROZEN YOGURT BASE:
- 1 quart plain low-fat yogurt
- 11/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- Zest from 1 lemon (reserved from below)
- 2 to 3 lemons
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pairs well with: Cherry pie. Dark chocolate.
- Makes a generous 1 quart
Toss the berries with the sugar, honey, and wine in a bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours, to macerate. The berries will create their own lovely syrup.
To assemble the sundaes:
Divide the macerated fruit among 6 plates (or assemble the sundaes in wide-mouthed Mason jars). Place 2 small scoops of frozen yogurt on top of the fruit, then garnish each sundae with a large dollop of whipped cream and an herb sprig.
For the frozen yogurt base:
Fit a sieve over a bowl and line it with two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt into the sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours to drain. Discard the liquid, and measure out 1 1/4 cups of the drained yogurt; set aside.
For the lemon syrup:
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest in large strips from 1 lemon; reserve for the frozen yogurt (leave the lemon zest in large strips so it's easier to strain out later). Juice enough of the lemons to make 1/2 cup.
Whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon zest in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved 1 1/4 cups yogurt and the lemon syrup and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Remove the zest from the frozen yogurt base. Pour into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
Pack the frozen yogurt into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.
One of the most important things to master in sundae making is whipped cream. Well-made whipped cream is one of life's true pleasures. At our stores, we whip the cream in a bowl with a whisk, 1 cup at a time. One cup will serve 8 to 10 people, so we whip cream many times per day.
A few hints: Invest in a balloon or piano whisk, which has more wires than a regular whisk; these whisks incorporate the air into the cream faster than a standard whisk. If you can find nonhomogenized cream from a local dairy, the cream will whip up faster and the whipped cream will have a lovely light yellow hue. And chill the bowl. The colder the cream and the bowl, the faster the cream will whip and thicken.
For some desserts, like Oslo Ambrosia, I like to whip the cream to soft peaks. For others, I whip it to a firmer stage so that it will sit on the top of the sundae or other dessert in the traditional way. And if you do overwhip the cream slightly, so it begins to turn a bit bumpy, just add a tablespoon of fresh cream and whisk lightly to smooth it out.
Chill a large metal or glass bowl in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes; it should be cold to the touch. Add the cream, sugar, and vanilla to the chilled bowl and whip by hand mixer. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
Recipe courtesy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer.