Monday, February 18, 2008

Beans for Dessert

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My favorite Chinese pastry is based on something that isn't even Chinese at all. Red bean paste, which fills my favorite pastries in Chinatown, is Japanese. I think. I hope I just didn't misunderstand everything just now, but I'm fairly confident that what I'm saying is correct.

So after spending Friday in Chinatown for my friend's birthday, I bought some azuki beans on the way home with thoughts of making red bean paste filled mochi, since I figured I could use the rice starch I have to make paloodeh, and Iranian frozen dessert. But then I couldn't figure out how to make the super sticky, smooth, and gooey red bean paste since most recipes I found were for a rustic tsubushi-an, or mashed red beans. Which is totally fine with me, because it means I can make one of my favorite ice cream flavors instead: red bean ice cream.

For some reason, before Saturday, it never occured to me to try to make red bean ice cream. I've been keeping my eye out for matcha powder to make green tea ice cream, and was going to make candied red beans as a topping for it...but the thought of making red bean ice cream didn't occur to me. So when I found this recipe, I knew I had to try it.

So, sort-of following a recipe for tsubu-an, I set of on my quest to make the ice cream. And along the way, ate quite a bit of the extra tsubu-an. I've discovered it's quite tasty cold with some warm oven-roasted rutabaga, topped with some spinach, and wrapped in a flour tortilla. It was a very sweet meal, but that's okay with me.

Red Bean Ice Cream
adapted from Closet Cooking

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mashed or pureed cooked and sweetened azuki beans (tsubushi-an)or red bean paste
1/2 cup sweeted azuki beans (tsubu-an)*

In a pot, bring milk and all but 2 Tablespoon of the sugar to a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolk and reserved 2T of sugar. Whisk in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk a tablespoon at a time to temper. Whisk the tempered egg yolks into the hot milk in the pot and heat over low heat until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon or has reached 170F or 77C.

Remove from heat and whisk in cream and pureed azuki beans. Let cool and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Add whole azuki beans in last few minutes of churning.


*If you want my versian of tsubu-an, which isn't perfect, but works. It came out undercooked a bit while cooked right in other places. Soak beans overnight and then, in a pot combine 1 1/2 cups azuki beans, a heaping half cup of sugar, and water to come about 1 inch above the beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until super tender. Add more water as needed.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Your red bean ice cream looks really good!