Changing the Face of Summer Desserts: Homemade Ice Cream
Well, folks, I did it. I bought an ice cream maker. Like most Americans, I love ice cream. I especially love eating it in the summer when it’s hot. I also know how pricy good ice cream can be. And it should be pricy–there are eggs, cream and fancy flavorings in it.
But we recently joined a new dairy share program and we’re getting a gallon and one-half of milk a week. This is a lot of milk for 2 adults and a baby who’s still getting most of her milk from me.
So about a month ago, I ordered an ice cream maker. They’ve come a long way from the machine that required special ice and salt and was so noisy like the one my family had when I was a child. My new one is quiet-quiet like a Bosch dishwasher. The ingenious design is a bowl that goes into the freezer. (I keep mine in the freezer when not in use, in fact.) Then, when the ice cream urge strikes, you just pull it out, pop the ice cream mixture in the bowl, turn it on, and wait 12-25 minutes. It’s the consistency of soft-serve then, but after a few hours in the freezer it hardens.
I have been trying loads of new ice cream recipes. Here are a few we’re especially fond of.
Chocolate Gelato has 5 ingredients: milk, sugar, cornstarch, bittersweet chocolate and a pinch of salt. That’s it. It’s delicious. (Click on the title for the link to the recipe.)
Creamy Chocolate Gelato should actually be called “Coconut Chocolate Gelato” because it uses coconut milk instead of cow milk. I added 1/2 cup of coconut to the mixture and it was delicious. This is a vegan recipe since it is dairy and egg-free.
Last week, I made Honey Almond Ice Cream. I have a book called Kitchen Appliance Recipes which, despite its name, is quite a gem. In the “Ice Cream Maker” section, a lot of the recipes call for Egg Beaters instead of actual eggs. Now, even though I usually don’t go in for any un-real foods like eggs with the cholesterol taken out, I do buy these for ice cream because they’re so easy to use and I don’t have to make a custard on the stove top. This is one of my favorite ice cream recipes I’ve tried.
Honey Almond Ice Cream
2 C. half-and-half
1 C. milk
1/3 C. nonfat dry milk
4 oz. Egg Beaters or egg substitute
1/2 C. honey
1 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. almond extract
1/2 C. toasted slivered almonds
Combine ingredients except almonds in a blender or in a big bowl with a whisk until smooth. Chill until ready to freeze or freeze immediately in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer instructions. Fold nuts into ice cream about one minute before the ice cream is done.
Yesterday, using Michigan blueberries, I made Blueberry Sherbert from the same book. This recipe calls for corn syrup, which (Please don’t fall over dead; I am not a purist) I actually had in my kitchen–well, a little bit. I had to substitute some honey in it, so this recipe is a little guess-y because of my substitutions.
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 1/2 C. milk
3/4 C. light corn syrup (scant) OR 1/2 C. honey
3 T. lime juice
2 T. Triple Sec or orange-flavored liqueur OR (because I didn’t have that) 1/2 t. orange flavoring
In the blender, combine the first four ingredients and blend until smooth. If you’re offended by the blueberry skins, pour the mixture through a strainer, pressing out all the juice. (I don’t do that, though.) Add the orange flavoring and freeze immediately in your ice cream maker OR refrigerate until ready to freeze.
Maybe you’re reading this and feeling very sad because you don’t have an ice cream maker and, on your student budget, can’t afford to get one. Never fear. You can pinch-hit by making ice cream the way Margaret Visser (famed non-fiction author) told me. (Meeting Margaret Visser and talking about food with her is one of my few claims to fame.) You mix the ingredients up and pour them in a rigid covered container. Place it in the freezer. Every few hours, get it out and stir. Now, it’s not as nice as ice cream from a machine, but it works pretty well and is easy to do, if you’re around to babysit.
Do you have a favorite ice cream recipe you think I should try? I’m willing–especially if it’s easy! Post them below!