This is the time of year I feel like a kid in the ice cream shop wanting to try all of the innovative newfangled flavors: French toast bacon, lavender coconut with black sesame seeds, Earl Grey tea with shortbread cookies, Black Forest licorice, “everything but the kitchen sink,” and even “Movie Time” — popcorn-flavored ice cream with sea salt caramel swirls and caramel truffles. Some don’t stray from the basic flavors like vanilla, the most popular flavor, chocolate or strawberry.
No matter what your age, ice cream is a treat, especially on a hot, summer day. National Ice Cream Month begins July 1 and National Ice Cream Day is July 19, so let’s get out and celebrate enjoying this cool, sweet treat.
Did you know?
In Thailand, people enjoy ice cream on a hot dog bun.
National Ice Cream Month was created by former President Ronald Regan.
Waffle cones are the most popular ways to serve ice cream.
It was in 1904 that ice cream cones were invented at the World’s Fair in St. Louis so people could more easily enjoy ice cream as they walked around the fair.
New Zealand is the top ice cream consuming country in the world, followed by the United States, Australia, Finland and Sweden, according to icecream.com.
87 percent of U.S. households have ice cream in the freezer, according to icecream.com.
Nearly 10 percent of the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream.
I have been making no-churn ice cream in recent summers. However, this year I just might dust off the ice cream maker after reading “Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss,” by Rose Levy Beranbaum (2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25). She is known for her baking books, teaching how to make the most delectable cakes, pie crusts and breads.
Beranbaum shares recipes for her personal sweet treat, ice cream, in her 12th book. As in her other titles, the recipes are meticulously tested, and innovative. They cover the spectrum of flavors — simple but robust, classics and new twists, along with sauces, toppings and mix-ins to add to the fun. You’ll learn to make homemade waffle cones, brownies, sundaes and ice cream sandwiches.
“My first memory of ice cream was the half-chocolate-half-vanilla Dixie cups of my childhood summers in the Catskills,” she wrote. “They came with little wooden flat spoons attached to the lid, and the taste and feel of the wood against the cold creamy ice cream was as appealing as that of the cork that, in those days, lined the caps of green bottles of Coke.”
Before introducing the recipes, in-depth information about equipment, ingredients and storing are discussed. The “Scoops” side notes provide helpful hints.
The “Flavorful Ice Creams” chapter includes most of the basic, best-loved ice creams, such as vanilla, caramel, dulce de leche and mint chip. You also may be tempted by some unusual flavors, such as honey, brown sugar, red wine, and stretchy Turkish ice creams.
The chapter “Berry, Fruit, and Vegetable Ice Creams” includes recipes using berries, stone fruit, citrus fruit, dried fruit and vegetables such as rhubarb and pumpkin. The author writes, “(S)ome are best when used frozen, such as strawberries, or even canned, such as mango. Berries, fruits, and vegetables are the most challenging to turn into creamy ice cream because of their high water content, but the flavors and textures they contribute make it well worth the effort.”
“Chocolate and Nut Ice Creams” includes Chocolate Semifreddo Seduction, Fluffy Nougat, Silken Black Sesame and Brown Sugar Butter Pecan.
To top your treats, “Toppings, Adornments, and Add- Ins for Ice Cream” and “Fresh Fruit as an Adornment” include recipes for chocolate wafers to use in cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream, bourbon balls, citrus stardust for garnishing fruit ice creams, brandied cherries, raspberry butterscotch sauce, rhubarb compote, whipped toppings and, of course, hot fudge topping and dipping sauce.
Beranbaum in the final chapter, “Ice Cream Socials,” shares recipes for vanilla and chocolate waffle ice cream cones, ice cream sandwiches, meringues, and even spun sugar nests, ice cream angel food cake made with caramelized sugar (which she calls the Golden Angel), Sticky Toffee “Pudding” Cake Sundaes, and two drinks: the Frozen Mango Lassi and the Pomegranate Bourbon Sour.
Are you tempted yet? I’m sure you are, so get out your ice cream maker and let’s get started. For the recipe for Brown Sugar Butter Pecan ice cream, visit https://bit.ly/31kLSc7.
The headnote says, “It takes 5 minutes to make and 30 minutes to chill, does not use an ice cream machine, and serves two. It’s hard to believe, but this rich chocolate cream is made with cocoa powder, not chocolate. I use cocoa because the cocoa butter in chocolate would become very hard when chilled, whereas a semifreddo, which means semi-frozen, should have a lighter, airier consistency, which the cocoa powder provides. The egg yolk adds shine and silkiness and enhances the flavor.
*Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Then whisk in the cream.
Heat the mixture on low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until it begins to boil. Cook at a low boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir, until thickened.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape the chocolate custard into the strainer. Press it through the strainer and scrape any mixture clinging to the underside into the bowl.
Divide the chocolate custard into two pot de crème containers or 6 ounce custard cups. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 30 and up to 45 minutes before serving. It is at its best texture at this point, when only partially frozen. If you are making it ahead of time, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving time, and then freeze it for 20 to 30 minutes. Makes two 1/2-cup servings (it can be multiplied for more servings). Store covered in refrigerator, up to 3 days.
The headnote says, “I love, love, love this refreshingly flavorful ice cream. It was inspired by a talented colleague from New Zealand, Annabel Langbein, and adapted from her book ‘The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures.’ Not only is it the easiest ice cream to make, it doesn’t even use an ice cream machine (no churning necessary). It is billowy and creamy and never icy, even after 3 to 4 weeks in the freezer. A silky Italian meringue made with sugar syrup is the miracle ingredient!”
*30 minutes to 1 hour ahead, weigh or measure the egg whites and cream of tartar into a stand mixer bowl. Cover the bowl.
In a food processor, process the ginger with the sugar until the ginger is in very small pieces. Alternatively, chop it with a knife and mix it with the sugar.
In a medium saucepan (preferably with a spout), with a silicone spatula, stir together the ginger sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Continue stirring, on medium heat, until it comes to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 228 degrees.
While the syrup is simmering, attach the whisk beater to the stand mixer. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.
On low speed, add the hot syrup to the egg whites, avoiding the whisk. Turn the mixer to high and beat until very thick, 7 to 10 minutes. At first it will be very soupy; it will take several minutes before it begins to thicken. Scrape the meringue into a large bowl. Without rinsing the stand mixer bowl, add the cream and whip it to soft peaks. (Alternatively, whip the cream in a small bowl with a handheld mixer.) Detach the whisk beater and use it to fold the yogurt into the whipped cream. Scrape this mixture into the meringue and continue folding with the whisk until evenly incorporated, then use a large silicone spatula to reach to the bottom of the bowl.
Transfer the mixture to a covered storage container. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream, cover the container, and allow the ice cream to firm in the freezer for at least 6 hours before serving (or 3 hours if you like it semifreddo, or the consistency of soft serve). Keep covered in storage container, frozen, 1 week. Makes about 1 quart.
SCOOPS: If processing the sugar with the crystallized ginger, you can use fine granulated sugar.
Be sure to scrub the lemon with a little liquid dishwashing detergent, rinse well and dry before zesting. If desired, a little extra lemon zest can be grated directly onto the ice cream shortly before serving.
If whipping the cream with a handheld mixer, pour the cream into a chilled metal bowl and refrigerate it, covered, for at least 15 minutes. Chill the handheld mixer’s beaters alongside the bowl.
The headnote says, “The butterscotch and molasses overtones of this ice cream meld beautifully with a grinding of black pepper, which adds a spark of smokiness and a hint of heat. This is a great blending of sugar and spice. Muscovado sugar has depth, complexity, and a spiciness of its own. India Tree Muscovado comes from the volcanic island of Mauritius, off the coast of India, and really smokes in this ice cream.”
* Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium bowl.
In a medium saucepan, place the sugar. With a silicone spatula, stir in the cream and then the egg yolks. Stir in the glucose and salt until well blended.
Heat the mixture on medium-low, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until it thickly coats the spatula but is still liquid enough to pour. When a finger is run across the back of the spatula, it will leave a well-defined track. An instant-read thermometer should read 170 to 180 degrees.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into the strainer, scraping up the thickened mixture that has settled on the bottom of the pan. Press it through the strainer and scrape any mixture clinging to the underside into the bowl.
Stir in the milk and vanilla.
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours or until no warmer than 43 degrees. (Alternatively, cool in an ice water bath.) Set a covered storage container in the freezer.
Churn the dark brown sugar custard in a prechilled ice cream maker. Transfer the ice cream to the chilled container. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream, cover the container, and allow the ice cream to firm in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving. Pass the pepper mill! Makes 1 generous quart. Store in a covered container, frozen up to 3 days.
Worth Tasting: culinary walking tour of downtown New Haven, July 18, 10:30 a.m., reservations required, 203-415-3519, $68. Enjoy tasty samplings from several of New Haven’s favorites. Tickets at https://bit.ly/2FjiwMP.