No, there can never be too many redcurrants. As some might remember, I have blogged about these little berries before, I baked them into muffins and filled some delicious cookies with them. So of course, this summer they found their way into my kitchen again. Bring your popcorn, this is a double feature: Johannisbeer-Quark Eis (redcurrant-curd cheese ice cream) and Redcurrant Scones.
and the ice cream was still very hard when I tried to get it out of the box. It's still VERY good.]
Redcurrant-Curd Cheese Ice Cream
Quark (curd cheese) is a fresh dairy cheese which is very popular in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and several other Eastern European countries. Although it looks similar to cream cheese and ricotta, it is not the same. It has a creamy texture and a slightly sour taste. The original version contains almost no fat, but you can find versions with a fat content up to 40 % or even more. (These are made with additional cream)
Quark is used for a lot of desserts. Mixed with fruit you can eat it instead of yoghurt (you can buy processed versions of this in almost every supermarket), mixed with herbs it is a great spread for bread. Quark is also the main ingredient for German cheese cake.
Although you find vegan yoghurt almost everywhere in Germany, vegan quark is hard to find and the only version I’ve ever tried tasted like something straight from the chemical lab.
I’ve always liked quark and always believed that there had to be a possibility to create a vegan version.
Taste and texture have to be somewhere between cream cheese and yoghurt, so why not combine these two? I started out with a simple nut cheese and added some yoghurt. This “quark-base” had a very bland taste and this makes it very versatile. I haven’t tried to make something savoury with this yet, but I am sure that with some herbs, salt and pepper, this would make a pretty good spread as well. But my first homemade quark went into some ice cream.
Even if you have never had any quark, you should really make this ice cream. (And if it was only to say the word quark.) It has a very refreshing taste, it’s similar to yoghurt ice cream or frozen yoghurt made with fruits. Although redcurrants are pretty sour this ice cream isn’t. It’s not to sweet either. It’s perfectly fresh and creamy. (Even though the photo doesn’t show.)
Redcurrant-Quark Ice Cream
For the quark-base:
Soak 75 g (1/2 cup) raw macadamia nuts in 1 1/2 cups water overnight.
Drain the nuts and place them in a blender or food processor.
Add 1/2 cup vanilla soy yoghurt, 1/2 cup water, and the seeds of half a vanilla bean. (Or 1 t vanilla extract.)
Process until creamy and set aside.
To make the ice cream:
Place 160g (1 cup) redcurrants in a saucepan, add 75 g sugar (1/4 cup + 2 T), 1/2 cup water, and 1 t lemon peel. Cook over medium heat for two minutes.
Dissolve 1 T potato starch in 1/4 cup water and add to the saucepan. Cook mixture for two more minutes until it has thickened. Let cool a bit and press though a strainer to get rid of the currant seeds. Discard the seeds.
Pour the redcurrants into the quark-base, mix well and place in the refrigerator until completely cool. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Low-Fat Red Currant Drop-Scones (makes 12)
In this recipe I substituted some yoghurt for most of the fat, so maybe these don’t count as scones and indeed their texture is more muffin like. But at least they have the (British?) scone look :)
180 g (1 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour
180 g (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
40 g (3 T) coconut oil, not melted. (I use this instead of shortening)
75 g ( 1/4 cup + 2 T) sugar
180 ml (3/4 cup) vanilla soy milk mixed with
2 T lemon juice & peel of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup soy yoghurt
160 g (1 cup) redcurrants.
Mix together: flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cream together sugar, coconut oil, and yoghurt. Add soy milk. Carefully mix together wet and dry ingredients and don’t overmix. If there are still little lumps from the coconut oil, that’s okay. Carefully fold in redcurrants.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop batter onto the baking sheets. For 12 scones each should have a diameter of 2 1/2 inch.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm or cool with a scoop of redcurrant-curd cheese ice cream.