During summer, I take every opportunity to make ice cream or sorbet. (If you look in my freezer, you'll find a reserved space for the ice cream maker container.) There really is no better time to make frozen treats than on the hottest summer days. And who wants to bake anyway? (Though I still bake summer pies and cakes.) Sorbets are my favorite because they're easy to make and full of fruit flavor. And you can pretty much make sorbet out of any fruit. There's no custard to cook as with ice cream, and in most cases the fruit goes in raw—keeping the best fresh flavor.
Since sour cherries are in season right now, I couldn't help not making a sorbet out of them. I love it when sorbets are more like palate-cleansers than overly sweet icy desserts. And what fruit could do the duty better than sour cherries? Only one cup of sugar goes into taming the sour cherries' tartness, ensuring a little tang lingers. A little bit of lemon juice in the mix helps keep the color bright more than making the sorbet sour. This dessert has everything going for it flavor-wise—you really taste the cherries. It's not laden with any unpronounceable ingredients. It's just pure and natural.
Each week, Levi gravitates to the fresh raspberries at our local farmers market. He insists on buying them claiming to “love them”. He eats 2 or 3 and then he is done. I pack them in his lunch box and a few stragglers end up coming home with him. I can’t toss them. So, I either eat them or throw them in a baggie and put them in the freezer.
I had just enough fresh and frozen raspberries to make David Lebovitz’s Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream. Doesn’t that sound good? I haven’t made any ice cream this summer and it has been on my mind. Today, the kids are going to arrive home from camp to a very, very, sweet treat.
This recipe calls for vanilla extract. Instead, I steeped the cream with a fresh vanilla bean. I cut the pod in half, scraped out the seeds and threw them in the bowl of cream along with the pod. When it came time to add the custard to the cream, I removed the pod and saved it to make some vanilla sugar.
This ice cream is a small reminder that summer is here and it is here to stay for just a little while longer.
Ever since making coconut ice cream, well, I am in love with the stuff. It's so refreshing and addicting! It makes me feel like I'm on a tropical vacation. I knew I wanted to make different versions of that ice cream very, very soon.
Then, my friends at Republic of Jam just happened to stop by our tasting room (okay, they are right next door) with 6 quarts of freshly picked, sweet Pacific Northwest cherries. After eating about 2 quarts myself (swear), I decided to make ice cream. And chocolate needed to be involved...it just did.
In my adventures around the internet (I could read food blogs all day), I found OXO has a new cherry pitter,...and wait for it...it has a splatter screen. Yes folks, it's the little things. I have no other choice but to get this, like NOW. While I love my cherry pitter, it sprays juice, the seed goes flying, the dog chases it and swallows it. It's a mess and I've ruined quite a few articles of clothing. I need the screen and I'm getting it.
Anyway, what I love about this ice cream...there is no-custard, but you do have to make sure your ingredients are cold. In other words, some planning is necessary.
For the past two months, my children and I have been trying all kinds of ice cream places in and round the city. After Eli’s post on finding the best hamburger in Los Angeles over at my other site, BigMouthLA, he made his own editorial calendar of what foods he wanted to critique next. Ice cream, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and burritos are at the top of his list.
Here is his list of favorites:
This place is Eli’s obsession. Since his first taste over 2 years ago, according to him, nothing beats Milk. The extensive menu of both sweet and savory has something for everyone (and ironically their salad’s are some of the best). From a Milky Way Shake to a Warm Ooey Gooey Chocolate Sundae, to the Citrus Vanilla Float, everything is off the charts good! The Mint Chocolate Crunch Shake was his latest tasting; mint ice cream, chocolate chips, and crunch malt balls. For a 13 year old that is one heck of a cocktail. Milk is one of our family favorites. For me it is always the Scooter Pie (marshmallow sandwiched between two cookies and covered in chocolate), but it is their logo that sends me to the moon and back!
"We all scream for Ice Cream..." but what flavor and from what shop and why? National Ice Cream Month begs the eternal question, "What's YOUR favorite kind?" One for the Table asked some of our favorite scoop fans to reveal their guilty pleasures....
Mine is the caramel gelato at the Piazza Del Popolo - when in Rome there is NOTHING better - Or was it the gorgeous young purveyors seductive,"Bella, Signorina!!!"
I always order toasted coconut almond. Not because I like toasted coconut almond. In fact, I hate toasted coconut almond. I just order it because I feel sorry for it because everyone hates toasted coconut almond. So I order toasted coconut almond, dump it in a trash can when no one's looking, then go back to the store and order cherry vanilla which I really like. – Alan Zweibel, writer
"You haven't had ice cream till you've had Graeter's. The butter pecan is Stedman's favorite, and mine, too." — Oprah Winfrey from her O list
A Tin Roof Sundae ! ! French Vanilla Ice Cream is topped with warm heavy chocolate syrup mixed with some finely ground black pepper and the roof, of course, are salted peanuts. Go way! Get your own! – Marilyn Lewis, owner of Kate Mantillini.
Sadly, not available to the public. My husband's freakish devotion to our Masso Gelato maker helped him churn out "Earl Grey Tea with Honey" gelato. The best thing I've ever eaten! – Eva Ein, co-owner of Stella Mare restaurant in Montecito
Stephen Colbert believes the Ben & Jerry's flavor made in his honor, AmeriCone Dream, can make a difference. “I’m not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda. What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case.”
There is absolutely no question that the best ice cream is made on Nana's terrace in the back garden in Waco, Texas. We still use the old fashioned rock salt and real cream but have finally acquiesed to an electric turning handle. When the fresh peaches reach their ripest that is the time for an ice cream party. Everyone gathers. The mint julieps flow and ice cream becomes the flavour of the evening. – Alice Faye Cleese, Radio Host
A few weeks back, Patricia and I made this angel food cake which was delicious. It also left me with 9 egg yolks. 9 I say! I gave Eli the choice of what to do with the yolks; pot de creme, lemon curd, custard, ice cream. He, of course, chose the ice cream. He and I sifted through David’s book, The Perfect Scoop and it was a toss up between two flavors. I have made a lot of David’s ice creams and I really didn’t want to repeat a recipe. The Butterscotch Pecan got the final vote. And I am so glad it did.
The key word in this recipe is “butter”. The butter mixed with the brown sugar is the flavor profile that resonates on the back of your tongue, long after the ice cream has left your mouth. Mind you, I am not a huge ice cream fan. Generally, I pass on this decadent dessert and go for the apple tart with caramel sauce or a piece of chocolate or the gourmet doughnut (fried-yes, I love a really, really good doughnut). This ice cream is like no other. It is in a class all by itself and this ice cream could send me to a Weight Watchers meeting each week: confessing that my daily points were consumed with a scoop of this ice cream.
When pretty pink rhubarb stalks show up at the market, you know that summer isn't far behind. Strawberries, too. Known as the pie fruit, rhubarb isn't just for pies. As one of my favorite vegetables (yes, it's a vegetable), I try to take every opportunity to make a unique dish every year when it's in season. Cobblers, crisps, compotes, and pies are all traditional. But this time I made sorbet.
This dessert couldn't be any more refreshing or palate-cleansing. Rhubarb has a tart, slightly astringent taste. That's why usually rhubarb desserts have a lot of sugar. But rhubarb's tartness is best tamed by its buddy, the strawberry. The two are a match made in dessert heaven. Strawberries keep the sorbet on the slightly sweet side, without the use of too much sugar, and brighten the pink color, making it appealing in taste and in beauty.
Sometimes there are things in this life that you have to eat no matter what the consequences. You have to block out the nasty knowledge you have about fat and heart disease and go back to your childhood, where, in my case, you could find print ads with doctors endorsing cigarettes. Holy Smokes!
The other day, my husband took me to Williams Sonoma to buy the latest model Cuisinart. That’s for another article by the way because it is a cook’s wet dream.
What we hadn’t planned on was purchasing an ice cream maker; also made by Cuisinart. The little devil was $60 and there was a cute cookbook we bought, as well. The recipes went from labor intensive, (custard based gelato), to simple, (ice creams and sorbets). Of course, my daughter Hannah and I had to attack the custard one. I rationalized that it was about time my beautiful 15 year old learn basic custard. We chose a cinnamon and brown sugar ice cream because those were pantry staples.
The whisking and the tempering and the straining all went as planned, then Hannah lost interest and went into the living room to watch Family Guy because I’m Mother of The Year. The mixture had to sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Like a watched pot, I took the bowl out of the fridge after two hours exactly. Hannah had moved on to Gossip Girl because I’m a saint and should be writing parenting books.
We've got a few ice cream machines in our house. Two of them we've had for years. They're identical with their big plastic tub that holds a can with a paddle inside of it, with plenty of room between the can and the sides of the tub to pack in lots of ice and salt.
And then there is the Cuisinart machine with its ice cream can insert that needs to be frozen before you can make ice cream. I have two inserts. I store both in the freezer so they are ready to go whenever I have a sudden urge for something sweet and frozen.
I use my old machines for making ice cream, preferring the creamy consistency that results. I use the Cuisinart machine for making sorbet.
Earlier this week I plucked leaves from my lemon verbena plant out in my garden. It was the first time I was using the bright, fresh lemon-scented leaves. For the last couple of years I had searched local nurseries for lemon verbena plants and always came out empty-handed until this spring. There are so many ways I want to use lemon verbena and I am so excited to finally have a plant of my own. I'm told it is a perennial, and if it comes back each year, it becomes a nice shrub. We'll see if it can survive a cold Minnesota winter. I hope so.
I've written here before about my youngest son's undying love for the almighty Snickerdoodle. While he loved the Snickerdoodle Muffins I made him, they did not stand a chance against this Snickerdoodle Ice Cream.
Honestly, I think this is the best ice cream I have ever made. The most amazing part; it tastes exactly like a Snickerdoodle. Exactly.
When my picky eater tasted this, his eyes lit up in amazement. "Mom, how did you do this?" Music to my ears. I got him.
Not only is this delicious, it happens to be about one of the easiest recipes to throw together. There is no custard to make. No cooling off period in the fridge and it sets up nice in the freezer.
by Nancy Ellison