Everyone rejoice! For it is ice cream season!
I mean I enjoy ice cream year-round, but some people are particular about it being a “warm weather” treat.
Good news: it is very warm here in Florida. It was in the high 80’s a few days ago while it was STORMING. Gallons of rain were pouring down, but instead of being cool and refreshing, it just made outside feel like the most oppressive sauna ever.
So yeah, it’s officially ice cream season.
But instead of slogging to Publix (or whatever grocery store you have nearby) for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or Blue Bell, I’m going to show you how to make your own. I have two new ice cream-centric cookbooks I’ve been waiting to try out, and they did not disappoint. I’ve also included a no-cook, vegan recipe from my mamma, because she’s pretty ace at making healthy alternatives to things.
Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States
Lindsay Clendaniel is the an avid ice cream maker who writes about her journey to find the “perfect scoop” on her blog, Scoop Adventures.
Her book of the same name is full of beautiful pictures and inventive ice cream flavors. It’s divided up by region, and showcases the “best” ice cream that each state has to offer. Some highlights include: Thai Peanut Curry from Kansas and Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Pickled Blueberries (an original creation by the author).
I plan to eat every single one.
This was beyond a difficult decision, but I eventually settled on the one from Mississippi, because as a state Mississippi is very good at food. Also I’m from there originally, so pride and such.
Mississippi Mary’s Pound Cake ice cream from the Sweet Magnolia Ice Cream Company in Clarksdale is a combination of vanilla (made with a whole bean) and pieces of delicious lemon pound cake. According to ice cream lore, Mrs. Mary is a family friend of the owner and has been making cakes for the family for years.
Mississippi Mary’s Pound Cake ice cream (from Scoop Adventures):
You will need:
- 4 egg yolks
- ¾ cup (150g) sugar
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean (expensive but worth it)
- 1 cup of cubed lemon pound cake, chilled
First, prepare an ice bath in large bowl. It needs to be large enough so you can set a medium sized bowl inside of it when you are cooling the batter. Next, whisk your egg yolks and sugar together until they are “pale in color.” I wasn’t sure how pale I was supposed to be going for, but I settled on this.
Pour your milk and cream into a medium sauce pan, cut open the vanilla bean and scrape as many seeds as humanly possible out of this bean, so as to get your money’s worth. Once you are done scraping, toss the whole pod in. Warm over medium heat until bubbles start to form. [Note: I never really saw “bubbles.” I saw one bubble and some steam, so I figured that was warm enough.]
Temper your eggs by slowly pouring in ½ cup increments of the warm milk mixture, whisking constantly, until eggs are warm. Add the warmed yolks to the remaining milk mixture and heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
Remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath and let cool for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Chill in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.
Once chilled, pour your ice cream batter into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churning is complete (it will look like soft serve) gently fold in pieces of pound cake. Eat immediately or transfer to a container and freeze. It will take about four hours to get firm.
I ate mine immediately. It was delicious.
Overall, the instructions in this book were easy to follow, but it would have been nice if some temperature ranges were given, so you don’t have to rely on visual cues alone. I for one second guess myself to death when trying out a recipe for the first time, so I found myself going “It’s kind of coating the spoon. Is it coating it enough? Is it coating it too much?? Have I RUINED EVERYTHING???”
It’s nice to have a way to confirm things is all I’m saying.
Another odd thing is that the ingredients and techniques section is at the back of the book. I looked for it at the beginning, but didn't think to check the back until later. It’s such a minor thing that I feel kind of dumb typing it, but I expect these type of things to be at the front of the book, as you should read them before starting.
Overall, this is an excellent ice cream cookbook with tons of unique recipes that I can’t wait to try and taste.
Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich
This book is a double whammy as it provides not only ice cream recipes, but cookie recipes to compliment the ice cream, resulting in perfectly paired ice cream sandwiches. Written by Tessa Arias, this book divides recipes by theme or flavor with sections such as “Classic,” “Fruity,” and my personal favorite: “Boozy.”
Once I saw the “Boozy” section, I had almost no trouble at all narrowing down my selection. I feel like you guys would be disappointed if I didn't choose a boozy ice cream sandwich. I went with the Sangria Ice Cream Sandwich, as I had never had wine ice cream before. I didn’t know if it would work or not, but I was determined to find out and report back on this very important matter.
Sangria Ice Cream Sandwiches (from Cookies & Cream):
For the red wine ice cream you will need:
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup red wine
The instructions are very similar to above. After the ice bath is prepared, heat milk, cream, vanilla, ½ a cup of the sugar, salt until milk is warm and begins to steam (a slightly different visual cue than above), about five minutes.
Whisk eggs in remaining sugar and temper the eggs by slowly adding in the warm milk, ladlefuls at a times, until yolks are warmed. Add the yolks to the remaining milk mixture and heat over medium, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and registers at around 175F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5-7 minutes.
[Note: I appreciate that both time frames and temperature ranges are provided in this recipe; it takes care of the second guessing.]
Then do the same as above with the exception of one step: Strain, add wine, chill in ice bath, chill in the fridge for at least four hours. Then let your ice cream maker do its thing, scoop into a container, and freeze for an additional four hours.
For the triple citrus cookies you will need:
- 2 cups AP flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces room temperature butter
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon each of lemon, lime, and orange zest
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine your flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Use an electric mixture cream your butter and sugar, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined. Mix in your zest.
Roll the dough into 2-tablespoon-sized balls and flatten on parchment paper so the cookies are about 2 inches in diameter. Bake for 10-12 minutes (I did 10), let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then let completely cool on wire rack. Freeze for four hours before assembling sandwiches.
Once everything is properly chilled, assemble your sandwiches by scooping your ice cream onto one cookie and then gently smooshing it with the other cookie. Tessa recommends freezing the entire sandwich for an additional two hours before serving, to prevent the ice cream from squeezing out of the sandwich when you eat it, but I couldn’t wait that long and devoured mine immediately.
Dear lord, it was good.
Overall, Cookies & Cream had slightly clearer instructions than Scoop Adventures. The temperature ranges were nice, as were the approximated times of how long each step should take. Cookies & Cream also had a more extensive "Getting Started" section (at the front of the book) which included notes on equipment, ingredients, and techniques. But both cookbooks had amazing recipes which resulted in super tasty ice cream and besides the "Boozy" section in Cookies & Cream, I found the recipes in Scoop Adventures to be slightly more original.
But both are great cookbooks; I would recommend both to anyone who wants to try their hand at making ice cream at home.
Mom's No-Cook Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
I think I was a pretty easy child. I did well in school, never did drugs, was terrified of breaking rules, etc. But my mother has always been into healthy eating, so I was basically her biggest nightmare. While my sisters would gladly eat Ezekiel bread and shredded un-frosted wheat, I would subsist on lunch meat and Diet Coke and whatever illicit processed food I could lift from friends' houses.
When I was three or four, she decided to make spaghetti but substitute garbanzo beans or something for ground meat. I took a bite, scrunched up my nose, and in a very thick northern-Mississippi accent proclaimed that "I wish she'd put some meatballs in it" to my Dad.
That really set the tone for my upbringing.
But I really have to admit that she has gotten very skilled at making more healthful versions of various foods and, though I was reluctant to try it at first, this ice cream is a triumph.
You will need:
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. of vanilla
Mix everything together, chill for four hours, and churn according to your ice cream maker instructions. It freezes more quickly than custard-based ice cream, which I consider a big advantage because faster freezing = faster consumption.
Enjoy in a bowl that looks like a cone or an actual cone.
Do you guys make your own ice cream? Are you excited for ice cream season? What's your favorite recipe? Share!
Claire will read any and all ice cream related tweets. @clairelizzie