Monday, July 27, 2015

Martha & Me - July



This month, with Martha's help, I made Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes, from the July/August double issue of Martha Stewart Living. The recipe can also be found on Martha's website; just click on the link to see it. This month was pretty hectic with the LB's surgery, so I only had time to try one new thing from the current issue of the magazine. I absolutely loved this recipe. It was a little complicated as ice cream sundae-prep goes, but it made for a really special dessert on a Friday night. And you know how I feel about strawberries; when I saw this recipe among the several Martha suggested for fun ice cream treats, I just had to give it a try. I started the day before I planned to serve them, which seems a little odd for ice cream sundaes, but it took some labor.


Pound cake is a major component. I considered baking one from scratch, and I also looked at pre-baked ones in the grocery store, but in the end, I went with a Betty Crocker mix. It was less expensive than either the bakery pound cakes or the frozen Sara Lee ones in the store, and I could use real butter and fresh eggs. Another bonus was that it actually makes enough batter for two loaves of pound cake. I'm sure that a fully homemade pound cake would be even better, but this seemed like a good compromise because there was other work to be done.




There was also a strawberry sauce to make. This would be used in two ways. It was an easy little sauce, very similar to jam, actually. I liked that it included salt and lemon juice, making it slightly less sweet than jam. The technique was simple; just quarter the berries, place them in a saucepan with sugar, lemon juice and salt and bring to a boil while crushing the berries with a potato masher. Then the sauce stays at a low boil for 10 minutes, stirring often, until it coats the spoon.



Sauce and cakes were left to cool. I removed about half of the sauce for the next step, which was to add the strawberry sauce to vanilla ice cream, to give it a swirly-ribbon effect of strawberries going through the vanilla.


I used basic vanilla ice cream by Dreyers. I'm sure you could use any type (premium ice cream would probably be amazing here), but this is the brand I usually buy and it was on sale in the store.


I removed about half of the ice cream in the carton (the total amount in the carton was 1.75 quarts) and put it in a large mixing bowl. I let it sit at room temperature for about five minutes, just to soften a little, then I stirred it with a big spoon to make it soft and creamy.


Next, I folded the strawberry sauce into the ice cream with a rubber scraper. Martha said to leave some streaks of strawberry; I probably went a little past that, but it was fairly difficult to do because the ice cream was melting fast.


Then, I spooned it into a loaf pan, covered the pan with plastic wrap and put the pan in the freezer for the night. You have to do this ice cream step at least two hours ahead, but I decided to do it a day ahead just to be safe. You never know when something might take longer to freeze - or, heaven forbid, never freeze at all. I was kind of crossing my fingers for this part of the recipe.



The next evening, it was time to assemble the sundaes for our dessert. Finally! I made an alteration to the assembly in that I used ceramic bowls for our sundaes. Martha used glass parfait-style glasses but I don't have those. She cut her pound cake slices into rounds, using a circular cookie cutter, to help them fit in the glasses. I didn't see any reason to do this with my bowls, so I just cut my slices in half vertically to make sort-of squares. I layered them in the bowls with cake in the bottom, sauce, a scoop of ice cream, cake, sauce, ice cream, etc., until there were three layers, then put a little whipped cream on top (I used Reddi-Wip, though the recipe would have you whip your own cream. Additional sliced, macerated strawberries were called for as well, but I didn't bother with them. I thought baking cakes, making strawberry sauce and remaking ice cream seemed like quite enough, thank you very much).


The verdict was positive, as you might expect. Everyone liked the sundaes very much. It seemed that the ice cream was the best part. I liked that a lot myself; it reminded me of a kind of ice cream I loved as a child, Sealtest raspberry swirl, which had a very mild, sweet vanilla base with a generous ribbon of jelly-like raspberry sauce (without seeds) swirled throughout. Aside from being made with strawberries, my ice cream was different by having small chunks of fruit intact, which I liked too. The strawberry flavor was intense. The cake was good too; it soaked up the strawberry sauce nicely. We had some ice cream left over and we added more as we ate. As far as we're concerned, there is no such thing as too much ice cream.


It was an elaborate recipe, and I don't think I'll make it very often, but it was the best strawberry shortcake I've ever had, and I think my favorite Martha project yet.

25 comments:

  1. I agree fully ! No such thing as too much ice cream !! (says the Belgian who just finished eating a super large bowl of vanilla ice cream/strawberries+blackberries/crumbled merengue/rose syrup sauce, and who is sad she's out of ice cream to make a second bowl :-)))
    It does sound strange that the recipe requires salt in the strawberry mixture !

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  2. It looks delicious, Jennifer. I agree - there's no such thing as too much ice cream!

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  3. I whole heartedly agree that there is no such thing as too much ice cream, also I think it's a year round food stuff, winter does not put me off one bit! Your sundaes look delicious and i love your little bowls, such gorgeous colours! x

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  4. Strawberry shortcake is one of my all time favorites!
    My Mike would agree with you, he eats ice cream every night :)

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  5. Yum!! It looks delicious, and just perfect for a summer day.

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  6. That looks absolutely delicious! Weather permitting, the girls and I are off to a PYO farm this week - I think this recipe will definitely be on the cards. Thanks for sharing. xx

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  7. It looks wonderful and the perfect way to use up glut of strawberries.

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  8. It looks delicious! Anything with strawberries is a winner with me.
    Marianne x

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  9. Oh that would be SO popular here, I can see why it's your favourite recipe so far. Well worth all the effort, and a nice treat for your LB. Hope all is going well. CJ xx

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  10. A lot of work but looks like it was worth the effort! We often have sundaes here but mine are a more thrown together affair with whatever fruit, nuts and ice cream we have to hand. We serve ours in tall thin glasses (we call them hi-ball glasses in the UK) and we have spoons with long handles too, to get the bottom!

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  11. That looks delicious! What a great treat for summer...

    www.anaediblecomplex.com

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  12. Incredible, what a lovely treat. I am glad the LB is on the mend

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  13. I love the photo where everyone is waiting patiently for you to sit down before they start. Reading this reminds me of when I was a child and a favourite Saturday evening pudding was a slab of vanilla ice cream, sliced banana and home-made warm glossy chocolate sauce served in a glass dish with freshly ground nuts on top. You are so good to your Bears and I can see they appreciate you.

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  14. It all looks amazing! I love homemade ice cream and quite often do it as the children are lactose intolerant. I shall have to give this one a try :-) You have reminded me of the challenge, I am rather behind this month due to more birthdays taking priority and of course the hols started for us last week too but I have a couple of quick makes up my sleeve so hopefully I will make it this month :-) x

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  15. Oh my - that looks so yummy!

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  16. Looks delicious. As you say, not something you'd make very often but it would be impressive for when people visit. Or a treat when it's just yourselves!

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  17. this just screams summer dessert!! yum!

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  18. This looks and sounds really delicious!
    Helen xox

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  19. Wow, that looks fantastic! What a fun recipe to make too (if you like that sort of thing, which I do!). Your pictures are great. I love seeing someone who takes time with their photos and makes them good. I try, although I don't always succeed.

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  20. This looks so delicious Jennifer, and I prefer your presentation in ceramic bowls rather than the glasses which look a little fussy and old fashioned. Lots of effort but a really special dessert for you all to enjoy x

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  21. What a great looking dessert. I could do that. I make a batch of ice cream every week in the summer, so it wouldn't be too hard to add a swirl of strawberry sauce ahead of time. Yum. Yours look fantastic!

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  22. Cake, ice cream and strawberries: well, I think you have the ingredients for the perfect dessert there! It looks completely delicious and perfectly summery and I would've eaten two portions, definitely. x

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