Ice Cream

ice_cream_truck.jpg Summer brings long days, hot weather, and a symphony of seasonal sound. Crickets. Baseball ball games.  Steaks sizzling on the grill.  Children playing.  And the unmistakable music of ice cream trucks.  With tinkling melodies pouring forth these motorized Pied Pipers roll through the streets, and children come running from all directions. Clutching fistfuls of coins, they surround the truck like honeybees around a flower, then straggle away blissfully licking their favorite ice cream treats.

Frozen confections come in many forms. Cones piled high with teetering scoops. Soft slurpy swirls.  Popsicles.  Cookie sandwiches.  Sodas and shakes.  Fruit juice bars. Gelatos and granitas.  Sherbets and sorbets.  Luscious sundaes swimming in sweet sauces, dusted with toppings and crowned in whipped cream. We can thank modern refrigeration techniques for the myriad of choices available, but the desire to cool off with a refreshing cold treat on a hot sweltering day has been around since antiquity.

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ice-cream-cones.jpg Despite the fact I have parents who eat ice cream almost every day (if they could have it at every meal, they would), until recently I thought I could live happily without ever lifting a dessert spoon again.

I know what you’re thinking. Quelle horreur! C’est impossible! I tell you it’s true. When I gave up my 2-liter a day Coca-Cola habit  in college in an effort to regain a good night's sleep (caffeine is not my friend), I found, after a few months, I no longer craved sugar. As my tastes matured, I discovered the savory complexity of wine and eating dessert no longer interested me. Since ice cream was never one of my favorites, I didn’t miss it.

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scoop_of_ice_cream.jpg Apparently we aren't the only one's obsessed with ice cream this month. While meadering around the web we found the "You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts Roundup" on Mike's Table, that called out to all food bloggers to share their best/favorite recipes for ice, cold, creamy treats.

The response is so impressive and inspirational (Vanilla Basil, Roasted Peach, Carmelized Mango, Mint Julep Gelato, Dark Chocolate Kahlua Brownie Crunch), even to those of us who aren't constantly begging for more, that we had to share. After checking out some of the entries, we are now "thisclose" to splurging on an ice cream machine. 

Check it out

peachicecream.jpgIf anyone asks what my favorite fruit is, I always answer peaches, but not just any peach. White peaches are my absolute favorite fruit. Besides eating peaches as they are, my other favorite ways to enjoy them are in desserts. I love this peach galette, a foolproof fruit tart recipe that I rely on every summer. But I also love to make sorbets, ice creams, and sherbets. What could be a better dessert than a cooling scoop or two? This summer it's white peach sherbet all the way.

Just think of the sherbets from when you were a kid and the ones available in the supermarket. Don't you ever wonder what those fluorescent colors are actually made of? They're hardly fruit. Though as a kid I too loved eating them, but not anymore. This recipe couldn't be easier. Sherbet is unlike ice cream in that the milk or cream is not cooked. In ice cream you almost always need to make a custard from eggs and milk and simmer it until thick. Sherbet is simply puréed fruit mixed with milk and then frozen.

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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.

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