Summertime in the South means putting up with heat, humidity and mosquitos the size of small cars. As a consolation, summer also brings us peaches. It makes my soul happy when I hold its softly in my hand, breathe deep of its perfume before biting into it and letting the succulent juice run down my chin.
Saving a few of them for ice cream makes me even happier. And, adding a little brandy to the mix can make a person nearly expire from happiness! Of course, if you choose not to use brandy, you can replace it with 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.
Brandied Peach Ice Cream
2 pounds peaches (about 5-6 large peaches)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
Peel and pit peaches; cut into chunks. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until cold.
After it has set for a while in the refrigerator, blend everything one last time to ensure it is well mixed. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to plastic container and freeze until firm.
We drove through Ponchatoula, Louisiana the other day and picked up two flats of fresh strawberries from Berry Town Produce. I had already bought a package of Creole Cream Cheese from Dorignac’s Food Center in Metairie. For those who don’t regularly follow this blog, Creole Cream Cheese is tart like sour cream but also sweet and goes really well in ice cream. It is also an easy cheese to make at home (though I strongly recommend whole milk and liquid rennet) when you don’t have a neighborhood grocery to supply it.
This make a little more than my usual ice cream recipe but I wasn’t paying attention when I poured it into the ice cream maker and over filled it. I came back later and there was a quite a mess. A tasty, tasty mess but a mess indeed!
Creole Cream Cheese and Ponchatoula Strawberry Ice Cream
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 (11.5-ounce) package Creole Cream Cheese
1.5 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and eggs. Mix until fluffy and pale yellow in color. In a small pot, combine milk and cream. Bring to a simmer but do not boil. Remove milk from heat and slowly blend one ladle at a time into the egg mixture, stirring constantly to keep eggs from scrambling. Continue blending until all is incorporated. Add vanilla. Chill overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
Pulse the sliced strawberries in a food processor just enough to chop but not enough to puree. When ready to make the ice cream, thoroughly blend the Creole cream cheese into the custard mixture. Mix in the strawberries and their juice. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Place ice cream in the freezer or allow it to temper 2 hours prior to serving.
Michelle and I collected a five gallon bucket full of pecans from the ground beneath one of her parent’s trees. As we worked, we talked about what we were going to do with them. Top of the list was to make a Black Bottom Bourbon Pecan Pie (here is our recipe). As I’m a firm believer that you can’t have pie without ice cream, I thought we should keep with the tipsy theme so we fixed a batch of bourbon vanilla.
For extra umph, if you have a vanilla pod, slice it in half and scrape out the seeds. Add pod and seeds to the cream and milk and sugar as it heats. Once you’ve added the eggs and cooked the custard through, remove the pod before cooling the custard.
Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of table salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, mix cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, about 5 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Pour a portion of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks and whisk to temper the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), about 10 minutes. Don’t let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle. Remove from heat. Stir the bourbon and vanilla extract into the custard.
Cover the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the churned ice cream to an air-tight container and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks.
Pineapples were on sale, so we picked up a couple. The first recipe is for a light, tart and refreshing sorbet. The second is a bit sweeter but just as refreshing.
Both make perfect summertime treats.
Pineapple Lime Sorbet
1 medium pineapple – about 3 cups pineapple chunks
zest and juice of 2 limes (need 1/4 cup juice)
1/4 cup water
1 – 8 tablespoons sugar, depending on sweetness of pineapple
Place in a blender the pineapple, lime zest and juice and water. Blend together and then add in sugar as necessary. You will need to add some sugar, as the sorbet won’t set properly without it. Aim for something a little sweeter than how you want the final product to be, as it loses some sweetness during freezing.
Put mixture in your ice cream maker until it comes together. Place in the freezer to finish setting up.
Pineapple Mint Sorbet
1 medium pineapple, about 3 cups of chunks
1/4 cup mint simple syrup
4 mint leaves, torn into pieces
To make mint simple syrup: Bring to a boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar. Stir well to dissolve all the sugar. Pour over a handful of mint leaves and let steep on the counter for 30 minutes. Strain out the leaves and store the mint simple syrup in the refrigerator. Use in cocktails and sorbets.
Blend together the pineapple, mint simple syrup and mint leaves. Put in your ice cream maker until it comes together. Freeze for a couple of hours before enjoying.
This recipe comes from the late Barbara Tropp, chef/owner of the China Moon Cafe in San Francisco, author of several cookbooks and the Mother of Fusion Cooking. She died in 2001 from ovarian cancer.
Lemon ice cream awakens the taste buds. Preparation of this version is very simple as there are no eggs or cooking involved and it just takes a spin in the food processor to get it ready.
The original recipe called for 1 1/8 cups lemon juice but I found dividing that in half didn’t make it lemony enough so I bumped the juice up to 2/3 cups.
Lemon Ice Cream
3 or so lemons (you need 2/3 cups juice)
1 cup sugar
2 cups half and half
1 pinch salt
Wash lemons and remove skin with a sharp peeler, taking care not to remove the bitter white pith. Peel as many lemons as needed to obtain 2/3 cups juice.
Put the peel and sugar in a food processor and process until the sugar is slightly liquid, about 3 to 5 minutes depending on the sharpness of the steel blade. Pour in the lemon juice and pulse several times to combine. Scrape the mixture into a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl (don’t use aluminum as the lemon juice will then taste funny). Add half and half and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to allow mixture to thicken and dissolve the sugar. At this point the mixture may be sealed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. In any event, the mixture should cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before turning it into ice cream.
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Firm in the freezer for several hours before serving. For longest lasting flavor, cover the top of the ice cream with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface. Allow to soften slightly before serving.
It is my understanding that the difference between gelato and ice-cream is gelato has a higher proportion of milk and lower proportion of cream and eggs. In the recipe below, there is whole milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk but only a cup and a quarter of cream and no eggs. The final product is thick and rich and silky.
Dark Chocolate Gelato
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry.
Put the remaining milk in a medium saucepan with the cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cocoa and continue to boil, stirring constantly for 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the corn starch slurry. Put the pan back over the heat and bring back to a boil for another minute.
Pour the hot milk mixture into a large bowl with the chocolate morsels. Allow to sit for about a minute for the chocolate to melt before whisking the mixture together. Add the salt and stir to combine.
Place plastic wrap over the surface of the ice cream base and chill in the refrigerator. Stir the mixture well before placing into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream is thick and creamy, transfer to a container and place in the freezer until firm.
Creole cream cheese is a sort of tart, sort of sweet soft cheese found in and around New Orleans (if you know where to look). While you can make your own (recipe here), I buy mine from Dorignac’s Food Center in Metairie.
Useful in a number of traditional recipes (savory crabmeat or crawfish cheesecakes, panna cotta, casseroles, etc), I like it in ice cream.
Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (12-ounce) package Creole cream cheese
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and eggs. Whisk until fluffy and pale yellow in color. In a medium sauce pan combine milk and cream. Bring to simmer. Remove milk from heat and slowly blend one ladle into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Once tempered, mix egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk, stirring until all is incorporated. Turn the heat back on and add vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Once the mixture has thickened to coat the back of the spoon, put in a container and chill overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
After chilling, thoroughly blend the Creole cream cheese into the custard mixture and whisk until all lumps are removed. Pour mixture into a ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Place ice cream in the freezer for it to thicken prior to serving.
This rich vanilla ice cream is good on its own but even better with slices of fresh fruit or accompanying your favorite cobbler, crisp, buckle, crumble, etc.
It is finally getting cold outside so that means apple cider is easily available. Add to that some Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and you’ve got the makings of some damn fine ice cream. I used as a starting off point, this recipe.
The apple flavor is crisp and bright and the cinnamon packs a little bit of heat. Perfect for a winter ice cream.
Fireball Apple Cider Ice Cream
2 cups apple cider
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
Whisk apple cider, sugar, and the cinnamon stick in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.
Stir in milk and cream until smooth, and then add ground cinnamon and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. Add in the Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and stir. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Pour custard through a fine strainer into a medium bowl, and let cool. Refrigerate over night.
Process chilled custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a storage container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
We really enjoyed the limoncello gelato we picked up the other day and wanted to make some at home. Unfortunately, the recipes for it call for mascarpone cheese. We didn’t have that or an easy way to make a substitution. Instead, we went ahead and made limoncello ice cream.
This is a custard base ice cream, so you have to cook the egg yolks and cool things down before you can churn it into ice cream. And, after the big breakfast this morning, we only had three eggs. The below recipe is, therefore, half the original recipe (plus lemon zest and juice to up the lemony factor) but it was perfect as a palate cleanser for five people after a big dinner.
Limoncello Ice Cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons limoncello
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat the cream, buttermilk, milk and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and gradually add the sugar and continue whisking to combine.
Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts. Once the eggs have come to temperature, pour into the cream mixture. Add limoncello, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir well. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Place the bowl in the refrigerator, cover and store for up to 4 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator and pour into the ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. This process should take approximately 20 minutes. Serve immediately for soft serve or place in the freezer and allow the ice cream to harden for a couple of hours before consuming.
I had a hankering for ice cream and so was standing in front of the freezer, looking at the fruit I put away this year (blueberries, peaches, strawberries, a couple of bananas) when my eyes fell on the bag of pecan pieces. Perfect!
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Praline pecan liquor (optional but so very worth it!)
Cook pecans and butter in a small skillet over medium heat for about ten minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Sprinkle with salt and allow to cool.
Whisk together next 5 ingredients; cover and chill 2 hours. Add toasted pecans and Praline pecan liqueur and mix well before pouring milk mixture into freezer container of a ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Remove from ice-cream maker and freeze 3 to 4 hours or until firm.