The heat finally broke on Saturday, and I got to hit the Farmer's Market. I scored one of the few quarts of fresh tart cherries to be found and also picked up some early peaches. Then I slept on it. My submission for Bake Together? Gluten Free Chocolate Shortcakes with Cherry-Peach compote and Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream.
Abby Dodge. Each month, she posts a recipe and then allows the rest of us (her loyal groupies) to do a riff on that recipe. At the end of the month, she includes us all in a round-up of all the variations. So, head over to her blog and get the original recipe.
For clarity's sake, I'm going to start with my variation on the shortcakes, and then give the recipes for the compote and the ice cream. In practice, it works better to start the ice cream first. That way, the custard can chill while you bake. And then the shortcakes can cool while you make the compote AND the cherry ripple for the ice cream - which kind of happens in one step.
Gluten Free Chocolate ShortcakesI followed Abby's recipe pretty faithfully for the shortcakes. I used 2 cups of gluten-free AP flour. I use my own blend, but King Arthur or Thomas Keller's C4C would also work well. Now, my shortcakes spread a little too much. If I were to do it over again, I'd cut both the butter and the sugar back by about 2 Tbsp. Even so, I did follow the directions this time and use the food processor. (Only for you, Abby!) I also added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.
The dough, in gluten free format is a little soft, even once all the flour is incorporated.
Cherry-Peach Compote and Cherry Swirl for Ice CreamNow, you may not have easy access to fresh tart cherries in your neck of the woods. Frozen will work fine, too. I opted to cook the cherries both for the fruit filling AND the ripple in the ice cream. You'll find that cherries that are frozen and then thawed tend to have a "skunky" flavor if left raw. It's not noticeable when you cook them. And even in Michigan, the tart cherry season is as fleeting as the cool breeze off the lake. I'll be making this again, too, so I wanted that to be an option. If you DO get fresh cherries, you'll need to pit them. My favorite pitter:
1 qt fresh (or frozen) tart cherries, pitted
4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tsbp lemon juice, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Pit the cherries. They're such a fragile fruit, that after discarding the bruised fruit, I had about 3 1/2 c. of pitted cherries.
Cherry-Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream4 egg yolks
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
2 1/2 c. heav cream, divided
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp almond extract
Remaining cherry mixture from compote
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, place milk, 1 c. of cream, and vanilla bean, split. Heat until cream is steaming and small bubbles form at the sides. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 45 minutes.
Bring cream back up to steaming. Temper into the egg yolk mixture gradually. (In other words, stir small amounts of the milk mixture into the egg mixture until about half is incorporated. Then add the egg mixture back to the milk mixture.). Heat and stir until custard thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon.
Strain custard into a bowl. This will remove both the vanilla bean and any cooked egg bits that remain. Scrape the seeds out of the bean and add back to the custard. Press plastic wrap directly down onto the surface of the custard and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.
Remove custard from the refrigerator and stir in remaining cream and almond extract. Pour into the chamber of an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer directions.
Take the remaining cherry mixture and puree it. Pass it through a sieve to remove the solids. Chill it thoroughly. When the ice cream is done churning, layer the ice cream and the cherry mixture in a freezer-safe bowl.
Run a knife through the nixture to swirl, and return the mixture to the freezer to harden.
To serve, put a shortcake in a bowl, top with compote and a scoop of ice cream. (The ice cream tends to freeze a little hard, so be sure to let it sit out for a few minutes before serving.)