Before this post officially begins, I would like to take a moment to explain that last weeks post was unavoidably not posted. I was sick, very sick, could do nothing but curl up in bed holding my head and hoping for someone to knock me out for good so that the rest of the body aches would go away sick, for an entire week. Yes, I thought about being funny and posting a picture of apple juice, but my sense of humor was boiled away by the 104 degree fever. I am better now and chipper and quite happy to again be cooking.
Now for the post.
I feel my thoughts have been a little single-minded lately. Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you haven’t. For the past few weeks every time I think of a post, there is one thing I start writing: It’s hot here. It is my wish that if I never manage to make it out of Austin, that I at least manage to make it out for every month of August. Pondering…? I do not believe I have ever managed to make it out for any of August.
The squeak, hum, whirr of twenty never-off air conditioners drowns out the sound of every nearby bird. The breeze that you hope for so desperately somehow forgets to bring with it the cool.
Ahhh! How did I get this far in while still talking about the weather? See? I didn’t even intend to write this much about the temperature. It just takes over. Ok – enough on that subject. Moving on.
This one thought controls my every food purchase, my every cooking decision. Mainly that it is too hot to cook. What’s worse is I’ve been rather one-tracked about cheesecake lately too. I really want cheesecake. I really want to make cheesecake.
Cheesecake is a tease though. It tempts you as a perfect summer dessert — creamy, cool, tart, graham-crackery cheesecake. Its flavor lends so well to summer flavors — lemon-ginger, peach, vanilla. You start thinking, why it’s just beating up some cream cheese. Bashing up some cookies. Baking in a 325 degree oven for an hour heating up your entire tiny apartment. And cheesecake withdraws it’s offers of summer seduction.
Ice cream, on the other hand, is much more giving. Always filling its promise of cool, creamy goodness.
Finding a recipe for Cheesecake ice cream was really quite simple. Some require a custard start or milk. I chose one that called for sour cream, but on my first post-fever shopping trip became very distracted by lebni — a thick, yogurt style sour cream — and substituted. They all had instructions that said something like “freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.” I decided to try out the still freeze method for the first time ever, since I don’t have a machine. Unfortunately I also started the process a little late at night, so it was beat a few times and then left to freeze while I slumbered. The result — though not airy as ice cream — is still very tasty.
The raspberry sauce — a classic cheesecake topping choice — was also easy to find. I stayed classic, though I think the addition of mint (which I never remember to buy) would have really iced the cake.
I also thought to, but didn’t remember to, top it with a bit of crumbled graham cookies.
Cheesecake Ice Cream
(recipe found on about.com)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream or lebni
1 cup half and half
⅔ cup sugar
zest and juice of one large lemon
Beat or blend all ingredients together until smooth. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Or, still freeze by repeatedly (every hour or so) taking the bowl out of the freezer and giving it a good mixing.