All posts by The Gentleman Caller

Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Bar Ice Cream

**VIDEO COMING**

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Homemade ice cream. One of the most scintillating sensations of summer. Be it fruity, fudgy or just plain old vanilla it bring the boys to the proverbial yard.

I recently had access to my Granny’s recipe boxes completely unattended, and since she made the best homemade ice cream in childhood memory, I chose to take my chances being caught and pilfer her recipe. Well guess what? It didn’t have quantities on it. Vague suggestions and ideas that I know she understood perfectly. Nonetheless, it was in her handwriting which was very special to me. I did some test runs and conceived a 2018 hybrid.

I wanted to incorporate some Texas-y fun so I decided to try a version with Atkinson’s peanut butter bars, a Texas staple. The result was heavenly. Salty. Sweet. Creamy. You’ll repeat this one for years to come.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 13.4 ounce can of Nestle Dulce de Leche
  • Almost 2 quarts whole milk (about 7 pints)
  • 40 Atkinson’s peanut butter bars
  • 1/4 pound (scant) roasted salted peanuts

If you’re using an old fashioned ice cream machine or crank you will also need several pounds of ice and a box of rock salt.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap and chop the peanut butter bars into chunks. They’re naturally crumbly so don’t go nuts. Chop your peanuts as well. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray it with pan release. Spread the peanut butter bars in an even layer on the sheet pan and put them in the oven. WATCH THEM LIKE A HAWK! After a minute or so you’ll see signs that they are beginning to melt. Pull it from the oven and mash the chopped peanuts into the melty candy. Allow it to cool. Then break in to clusters of peanut and candy mashed together. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer with the whisk attachment mix the eggs and sugar at high speed until the resemble the consistency of vanilla pudding. Add the vanilla and salt. Turn the mixer back on to incorporate. Add the evaporated milk and dulce de leche. Turn the mixer on briefly to incorporate. Add the whole milk until everything is well combined. You will have to make sure the dulce de leche breaks down completely in the cold milk.

Put the bowl of your mixer in the freezer for a bit to get it as cold as possible before you put it in the ice cream freezer with the dasher.

This is going to make about a gallon of ice cream. I used a two gallon old fashioned freezer.

Pour the very cold mixture into the ice cream freezer and assemble it according to the machine’s directions. Pack with layers of ice and rock salt to the very top.

Allow the freezer to do its thing. It will take awhile. You’ll know it’s done when your freezer is straining or just stops.

Pull out the dasher and QUICKLY stir in the clusters of candy and peanut. Do not stir vigorously. Quickly get the candy in there. Place it promptly to the freezer and leave it alone for a couple of hours. It’s ready to be served when it is your desired degree of firmness. I like my homemade ice cream a little sloppy.

The Gentleman Caller’s Bird Cage Planter

 

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

One of my most favorite things to do is to repurpose something fun, whimsical, or FREE into a planter. Give me an old bathtub, some used drawers, or in this case a bird cage and in a few weeks it will be dripping with stunning verdigris.

I found this old antique bird cage on Craigslist and thought it had too much character to continue its life as a bird cage. Next I went to Buchanan’s Native Plants. Buchanan’s specializes in attracting specific varieties of butterfly and bird to certain indigenous plants. Isn’t it a wonderful metaphor for life to grow something that will attract the specimen that would normally have been captive inside? I like that idea.

Check out the video. I intend to get another larger one to accompany this one as a pairing. Wish me luck. In the meantime, make your own! The whimsy is just too much!

The Gentleman’s Rhubarb Martini

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Summer is my absolute favorite time of year and when I am melting my brain is usually working to figure out ways to cool myself off.

Rhubarb, that beautiful ruby red celery thing, has always caught my attention. Mostly because of that radiant red. And because it looks like Mother Nature decided to give celery a makeover. Good job, lady.

Without being super versed in the flavor profiles of this mystery vegetable, I jumped in the shallow end and did some kitchen tests. I ended up with a jam that people seemed to like. I’ll probably offer it to you all eventually. But what I most enjoyed was this incredibly bright, tart and pretty cocktail. It’s not difficult. Lots of bang for the buck. This recipe makes two.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 ounces of rhubarb, chunked
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 4 ounces gin (I use WESTERN SON gin)

For the rhubarb syrup: combine rhubarb chunks, sugar and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Cool and strain the solids out of the liquid. There should be about 2+ ounces after simmering.

Put your stemware in the freezer.

In a shaker combine ample ice, 1 ounce of rhubarb syrup, 1 ounce of lemon juice and 2 ounces of gin. Shake shake shake it. Strain into chilled glass. Repeat.

VARIATION!

The Gentleman’s Rhubarb Collins:

Follow instructions for the syrup. In a rocks tumbler combine rhubarb syrup, lemon juice, and gin. Top with your favorite seltzer or soda (I prefer Topo Chico).

Printable pdf here: The Gentleman Caller’s Rhubarb Martini : Collins

Gulf Coast Cooler – a libation to keep you refreshed all summer

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Friends, it’s summertime. I am down in Texas this week trying not to melt as I make plans and preparations for fall gardening and an impending chicken coop (stay with me for that adventure).

Did you know that Vietnamese culture is very prevalent down here? Vietnamese is actually the third most spoken language behind English and Spanish. So I was noodling on a new cocktail idea and thought to combine some ingredients that would really represent the Gulf Coast region: basil used in Vietnamese cooking, lime juice, Tajín, Topo Chico and Western Son Gulf Coast Lime vodka.

I often refer to beverages as “summery” and this one is a summer super star. Bottoms up my lovelies!

All the necessary lovelies!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 – 2 ounces Western Son Gulf Coast Lime Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 6-8 leaves of Thai basil
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1 tsp. Tajín
  • Topo Chico
  • Ice

In a rocks tumbler muddle the herbs vigorously. Add the top four ingredients. Put some ice in a shaker. Add the ingredients of the tumbler to the shaker and SHAKE IT!

In a saucer drag the teaspoon of Tajín into a little line. Use one of your spent lime rinds to wet the outer perimeter of your rocks tumbler. Coat the wet area in the Tajín.

Add fresh ice to the glass. Pour the contents of the shaker into the glass and top with Top Chico.

Join me?

Drink till Autumn comes. Just kidding. Or not.

Bye for now my lovelies!

Printable PDF here: Gulf Coast Cooler

 

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Is it pie? Is it cobbler? It’s BOTH! Texas Hill Country Peach “Pobbler”

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Hello again, my lovelies. Do you like peaches? I don’t mean using the peach emoji as something lewd, I mean the succulent sloppy stone fruit that stars in desserts from pie to cobbler.

And that brings me to this: why can’t we hybridize those two things? Oh, wait. I’m The Gentleman Caller. I can.

Here’s my issue. Cobblers can be lazy, tired, careless, overly sweet. Not enough pastry, or pastry that is soggy and wet. Pies can be too big of an event. And also potentially not enough well-executed pastry.

So here I come to save the day. The filling is sweet. The pastry is flaky and salty. The experience is perfection.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 cups peeled and pitted peaches, preferably Texas Hill Country peaches (I know how unrealistic that is)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • scant 1/4 cup flour
  • zest of 1/3 of a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • splash of water
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • one recipe of The Gentleman Caller’s Perfect Pie Crust – downloadable PDF: PERFECT PIE CRUST

Make your crusts and put them in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In the bowl of your food processor in which you probably made your crust combine the first seven items. Pulse to desired consistency. BE CAREFUL. Like 3-4 pulses max. Unless you’re going for peach soup.

When your crust is ready to roll – haha – roll out the bottom crust to fit your chosen vessel. I precautionary spray with pan release the inside AND outside. Spoon the filling into the crust. Roll out the top crust and assemble to your liking. The video will help you. Crimp edges. Place the whole thing onto a sheet pan lined with foil (for spillage).

Perfect crusts

Beat the egg with a splash of water. Brush it onto all exposed crust surfaces and then sprinkle generously with sugar.

Place in the center of your pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for another 45-60 minutes. Remove when the filling is molten, bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Allow it to cool before cutting or the filling will run everywhere. I like a scoop of ice cream. Who doesn’t? I recommend Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla if it has to be store bought.

Don’t eat the whole thing by yourself, ok?

Farewell for now, my lovelies.

Printable PDF here: Peach Pobbler

 

 

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