Ice Cream

cherrysorbetDuring 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.

Read more ...

06-17-00_soda_jerk_sign_at_beerfest.jpg  She leans in toward me, her elbows on the counter. She is tall, blonde, and very slender. She’s wearing a tight black skirt and a white blouse open one button just past modest. A maid’s apron circles her waist. She begins to speak but I raise my hand and gesture for her to wait. I am listening to the teenage girl with the long legs and short shorts standing to the blonde’s left. She is a regular but, tonight, she wants more than usual.

“I want my pint of chocolate chip but I also need a cheese steak, to go and a regular hoagie without onions. They’re so busy at the sandwich counter, can’t you take my order?

Read more ...

ice_cream_maker_trad.jpg My husband Leo loves ice cream.  I like it, but he loves it. For a wedding present, we received a wooden ice cream maker that like the old fashioned ones, needed to be filled with ice and rock salt, but unlike the old fashioned ones, could be plugged in and churned the ice cream without the 'elbow grease.'  Once every few years, we'd pull it out and impress ourselves by making a batch of lovely vanilla ice cream, but it was always a big production for the results.  About 6 or 7 years ago, as a birthday gift for my ice cream loving husband who almost always has a quart of vanilla in the freezer, I bought a double Cuisinart automatic ice cream machine.  It consists of a motorized bottom, plastic churners and plastic covers with two metal containers which I keep in the freezer at all times.  

Read more ...

cherryicecreamEver 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. 

Read more ...

snickerdoodleice.jpgI'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.

Read more ...