Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Archive for the ‘Philadelphia Based Ice Creams’ Category

It's good- I swear!

I know- this sounds bizarre- but roll with me!  Keep an open mind if you will. When it comes to ice cream, pretty much anything that has a natural sweetness to it can be made into a tasty ice cream. Sometimes the greatest flavors can come from some pretty unexpected places. For instance, sweet fresh corn ice cream was a revelation to me last year. It’s off the charts tasty, and actually incredibly popular in Asian and Latin American countries. Like corn, beets have a natural sweetness that lend themselves equally well to both savory and sweet dishes. They ain’t called nature’s candy for nothing!  You can see why in this beautiful, vibrant and delicious ice cream recipe.

Sweet Beet

I have to give credit where credit is due here- I was given the courage to make this recipe by the great food blog Desert Candy. I was mulling over making a beet ice cream, but her post on Beet Ice Cream convinced me to go for it! And I’m so glad I did- her recipe is fantastic. Sweet and citrusy with a touch of earthiness.

This aint no strawberry milkshake!

This bold and vibrant ice cream is fairly easy to make. The most difficult part is roasting the beets, and even that is pretty simple. Just wrap the beets in foil and roast until tender, peel off the skins,  and then chop. Then blend the beets with orange juice, orange zest, sour cream and half and half. No custards, no cooking, and no eggs involved. Just make sure to avoid using canned beets. Roasted beets are just light years tastier and once you try them you’ll never go back to canned beets ever again.

Pretty in Pink

This ice cream was surprisingly good. And it’s gorgeously hued to boot! Make it for friends and amaze their palates with this playful, whimsical dessert.

Beet Ice Cream

3 medium-size beets
1 small orange
8 oz (about 1 cup) sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wrap the beets in foil and roast in the oven until very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove, when cool enough to handle, peel beets and chop finely.
2. Place the beets in a blender or food processor. Add the juice of the small orange and about 1 teaspoon of the orange zest. Purée the mixture until you have a rough purée. Add the sour cream, sugar, and half-and-half. Purée the mixture until completely smooth and combined.
3. Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve (optional). Refrigerate to chill the mixture completely, several hours or overnight. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Make it a Sundae!– Try this ice cream drizzled with dark chocolate hot fudge. Beets and chocolate both have a natural earthiness that compliment each other beautifully.


My whole family flipped for this!

Again, I took this recipe from David Lebovitz’s masterful cookbook on all things frozen, The Perfect Scoop. Even though it uses just a bit of whole milk and a smattering of butter, this ice cream came out remarkably creamy. In fact, I think the lack of fats really allowed the sumptuous flavors of oven roasted bananas and caramelized brown sugar to take center stage. The dot of butter actually went quite a long way, combining beautifully with the brown sugar to create a sweet-salty butterscotch flavor. The members of my family on diets went wild for this recipe, and we all polished it off in one sitting.

The three bananas left in the house...

I decided to make this when I wanted to make a new ice cream, but I didn’t have enough milk, cream or eggs to make the proper, custard style variety. Being too lazy to go out to the store, I decided to stick it out and scrounge around the house for ingredients to make some kind of frozen treat. When I saw the three bananas on sitting in a bowl on my kitchen table, I immediately remembered David Lebovitz’s Roasted Banana Ice Cream. I made it last year, and it was equally delicious then as it is now.

Getting ready for roasting.

This ice cream was pretty easy to make. Just chop up some bananas, add some brown sugar and melted butter and then pop the whole thing in the oven to roast. I would advise checking it frequently. David Lebovitz suggesting roasting the bananas for 40 minutes, but mine were done in 30. So check frequently and stir often to prevent a whole different kind of burnt caramel!

Fresh from the churn!

This ice cream was so awesome, one family member told me that I should package it and start a line of low-fat, insanely tasty banana based ice creams. I don’t know if I’m going to do that (I think David Lebovitz might have something to say about it!), but it was exceptionally good. Especially if you are on a diet and looking for a fairly healthy treat. This is honestly as good as it’s going to get and frankly, better than many full fat ice cream flavors I’ve made.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s cookbook, The Perfect Scoop, 2007.


3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tbsp. butter (salted or unsalted), cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups whole milk

 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp. coarse salt

1.) Preheat the oven to 400°.

 2.) Slice the bananas into ½ -inch pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish.  Bake for 40 minutes, stirring just once during baking, until the bananas are browned and cooked through.

 3.) Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender or food processor.  Add the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt, and puree until smooth. 

 4.) Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  If the chilled mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisking will thin it out.

Make it a Sundae!- This would be a great ice cream to use in a banana split! Use three scoops of this with chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce and marshmallow. Add a split banana, whipped cream, toasted walnuts for crunch and a maraschino cherry on top. An updated and great twist on classic!

So delicious!

I never intended on making Bananas Foster Ice Cream. I had originally wanted to make Ginger Ice Cream, but that poor frozen treat came to untimely end, unfortunately. My ice cream curdled on me, and I was left with no more ingredients to start over with. So, thinking on my feet, I scrounged together the ingredients I had lying around in my kitchen and decided to make a Burnt-Sugar Banana Ice Cream. It sounds good right? Well, it was! And not only was it tasty, it ended up tasting just like Banana’s Foster, that decadent treat combining bananas, brown sugar and butter until caramelized. So in the end, I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Who needs Ginger Ice Cream anyway?

Burnt sugar and bananas!

This ice cream was super simple to make. The hardest part was probably making the burnt sugar. You add some sugar and water to a medium pan and boil it until the sugar turns dark brown. That’s the trickiest part. Because if you take the caramel off the heat too soon, you’re left with plain old caramel, which is OK but not the flavor we’re looking for here. If you leave it on too long, you’ll end up with a black caramel which will leave your ice cream with a burnt, acrid flavor. Wait until the sugar has turned a dark brown color, with perhaps just a fleck of black beginning to appear. Then, take it off the heat immediately and pour in the cream. Don’t worry, with some practice you’ll get it just right. And you’ll be glad you did because burnt sugar ice cream of any kind is amazing!

Caramelized bananas = Yum!

This ice cream has only a few ingredients in it, just three if you really pare it down. But all of its simplicity the flavor payoff is phenomenal! Rich and delicious, like a great banana’s foster, only frozen. Try it with a bit of flaky sea salt for that salted caramel flavor.

Bananas Foster Ice Cream



2 ripe bananas (the more brown spots, the better!), mashed

2 cups heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark rum

 1.)    Add sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil with about two tablespoons of water added in. Boil, without stirring, until the caramel turns a dark brown. You’re looking for a very dark caramel here, but you don’t want out and out burnt. If your caramel turns black and starts smoking start over; you’re ice cream will taste horrible if you use it.

2.)    Once your caramel turns dark brown, quickly take it off the heat and add the cream. Don’t worry if it roils up and hardens, bring it back to the heat and it will dissolve completely.

3.)    Add in the mashed up banana, rum and vanilla extract and cool until completely chilled. Churn in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make it a Sundae!– This decadent ice cream hardly needs it, but you could take it completely over the top by adding a rum-caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream and toasted pecans. Now that’s a sundae!

The Lighter Side– You substitute half and half for the heavy cream for a less rich ice cream.

A Sophisticated Treat.

I never planned on making this ice cream. I love cooking seasonally, so I usually confine berry based ice creams and sorbets to summer, when they’ve reach their very zenith of ripe freshness. But truth be told, I love raspberries and strawberries whether or not it’s the middle of July or the dead of winter. What truly inspired me to make this ice cream was the simple fact that pints of raspberries were on sale for only a $1 each at my local supermarket. Where I live, that’s an unheard of, ridiculously low price! I came home from the grocery store with a great bounty of beautiful raspberries and I knew I couldn’t let them go to waste. Flipping through David Lebovitz’s extraodinary ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop, I came across his recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream and was sold on the idea immediately. The dark chocolate with the tart, yet sweet raspberries made for an incredibly rich, luxurious ice cream. This is the tuxedo or the evening gown of frozen desserts. Rich, velvety and luxe- perfect for the sophisticated palate.

Fresh berries!

Even though raspberries aren’t in season right now, I still think that a Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream qualifies as a fall/winter ice cream. Sure the berries are summery, but for some reason chocolate ice cream always struck me as more of a winter flavor. Speaking of chocolate, this recipe calls for dutch process cocoa. Different from the regular variety, “dutched” cocoa is treated with alkali, which neutralizes acids. The resulting cocoa powder is a bit milder, and darker in color and flavor in comparison to natural, unsweetened cocoa. Unable to find pure dutch process cocoa, I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, which is a mix of both cocoas. This cocoa worked beautifully, and gave the ice cream a deep, dark chocolate flavor.

My Perfect Scoop!

Part of what makes this ice cream such a treat is the fact that so often the raspberry/chocolate combination can result in a dessert that’s sicky sweet and cloying. Artificial raspberry flavor is truly gross, and tends to taste more like cough syrup than anything found in nature. This ice cream is the opposite of that, using only real, fresh and natural ingredients. When I told a friend that I was making this ice cream she remarked that she didn’t like chocolate and raspberries together. After having one  bite of the finished product she quickly changed her mind.

Haute Ice Cream

I know I say this every week, but this truly has to be up there with my all time greatest ice creams. Once again, David Lebovitz delivered with another fabulous recipe. My family and I enjoyed this so much that we’re planning on using it as a centerpiece dessert after a filet mignon dinner on New Year’s Eve. We’re actually planning on turning it into a deluxe ice cream pie by filling a chocolate cookie crust with the freshly churned ice cream and topping it with a whipped cream/creme fraiche mixture, chocolate shavings and more fresh berries. Yum, I can’t wait!

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream


2 Cups Heavy Cream
7 Tbsp Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 3/4 Cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1.)Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and add the raspberries. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

2.)Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. If you wish, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

3.) Allow the mixture to chill thoroughly, then freeze it in an ice cream maker.

Make it a Sundae!- Top with hot fudge laced with a few tablespoons or Chambord or Framboise to heighten the rich flavors. Add whipped cream and more fresh raspberries and enjoy!

Lighten Up!– You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream pretty successfully in this recipe.

The taste of cereal and milk!

I actually got the idea for this ice cream from a little frozen yogurt shop called Cafe Podima which was down the street from a college I used to attend. Cafe Podima has a wide and wonderful menu of sandwiches to choose from, but what they’re really known for is their frozen yogurt. The frozen yogurt itself, while very good, is nothing to write home about. What makes Cafe Podima great is the incredibly long list of mix ins you can choose from to customize your frozen treat. You can pick as many mix ins as you’d like, and the options range from carrot cake to oreo brownies to chocolate covered espresso beans. My personal favorite however, was always Cracklin Oat Bran cereal. Crunchy, and oaty and nutty, it’s a cereal that’s not healthy enough for me to want to eat everyday for breakfast, but perfect as part of cool, creamy frozen treat. For this recipe, I took it up a notch and swapped out the frozen yogurt for sweet cream ice cream.

Think inside the box!

Once again, I schlepped my butt over to Whole Foods to pick up some unhomogenized, once pasteurized  cream (I used Skytop Farms). Even though the Whole Foods is out of my way, it’s completely worth it to me to search out this type of dairy product. Unhomogenized, once pasteurized cream and milk tastes richer for the same amount of calories, has deep layers of flavor, and is the most lovely shade of warm butter yellow. In contrast, the ultra pasteurized stuff literally pales in comparison. Its thin consistency and starkly white color underscore the enormous disparity in flavor . Anytime you make a philadelphia style (the term for an uncooked ice cream base) do try to search out the very best cream you can get your hands on. It will deliver you homemade ice cream that’s so good, it’s life changing.

Cracking the Cracklin' Oat Bran!

I decided to chop up the cereal pieces for a more even distribution throughout the base. When it comes to mix-ins, the general rule is that if the pieces are small, add them right into the base at about 3 minutes before your ice cream is done churning. Mix-ins larger than a half inch should be mixed in by hand after the ice cream is finished churning. To make sure that my ice cream doesn’t start to melt while adding mix-ins, I put my ice cream storage container, which is made of glass, along with a metal spoon in the freezer while the ice cream is churning. By doing this you can create your very own “cold stone” at home, minimizing your risk of ice cream meltage.

Cereal and sweet cream.

This ice cream turned out to be a simple pleasure. It couldn’t have been easier to make, and the taste was super creamy and sweet. The Cracklin’ Oat Bran gave the ice cream a nutty crunch and did remind me of college days at Cafe Podima. The only difference was that the sweet cream base was an enormous upgrade in flavor. If you love cereal and milk, this recipe is definitely for you. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Cracklin’ Oat Bran Ice Cream


2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream, preferably unhomogenized

1 cup Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal, chopped in half

1.)    Whisk eggs together in a large bowl for a few minutes. Then, gradually add the sugar to the eggs, all the while whisking. Add the milk and cream and whisk until well mixed. Pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Three minutes before the ice cream is finished churning, add in the cereal and enjoy!


Make it a Sundae!- I think that any sauce on this delicately flavored ice cream would take away from the sweet simplicity of that cereal- and- milk flavor. However, I think that a dollop of freshly whipped cream would enhance the rich cream flavor and a sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds would bring out the nuttiness of the cereal.


A Classic!

As plebian as this flavor sounds, it truly is one of my all time favorites. First of all, chocolate and almonds are just plain delicious to begin with. And when you add fluffy marshmallows to the mix you get an ice cream that’s both tasty and fun to eat. In doing some research on this flavor I discovered that it was invented during the Great Depression, a time when our country was undergoing a “rocky road”. In our own times of economic trouble, I recommend that you go out and buy the very best ingredients and make this ice cream at home. How’s that for a stimulus plan?


The Cocoa Base

I started off with a slightly different ice cream base from my usual. I used constarch instead of eggs to stabilize and thicken my ice cream. I have to say that this method worked pretty well and couldn’t have been easier. You just boil milk, cream and sugar together and then add in a slurry of cocoa and constarch, liquified with a bit of milk. The next step is to boil it for a few minutes until it thickens slightly, and cool in the fridge. This ice cream base was very fudgy, and highlighted the cocoa flavor over the cream. Upon tasting it, I thought it tasted a bit like a frozen hot chocolate.



This base was great on its own, but even better with the toasted almonds and mini marshmallows in it. There’s is just something about almonds and chocolate together. They complement each other so well, I think it could be true love. And marshmallows are whimsical and fun. Some prefer a rocky road with marshmallow swirl in it, but I find that with a swirl you don’t get enough of marshamallow flavor in comparison to a tangible, solid marshmallow chunk. I’m also a purist when it comes to nuts, I only use toasted almonds or pecans. I’ve sometimes seen peanuts in this flavor in lieu of almonds, but I would never use them. Don’t get me wrong, I love peanuts in ice cream, but they just don’t belong in Rocky Road.



Ever since childhood, I’ve loved Rocky Road and some things never change. Eating it, I felt like a kid again with its fluffy marshmallows and chocolate milk flavor. I think this ice cream is just as comforting in times of economic turmoil as it was way back in the Great Depression. And how can we not hope in the future, when such a dark time in our nation’s history produced such a scrumptious frozen dessert? So take heart, things will get better, and in the mean time there’s always ice cream.

Rocky Road Ice Cream


2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup toasted almonds, chopped

1 cup mini marshmallows

1. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat. Combine 1 cup cream, sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a bowl, add to hot milk, and cook until sugar and cocoa dissolve and the base thickens slightly. Add salt and vanilla extract.

2. Set aside to let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Add mini marshmallows and almonds.

Make it a Sundae!–  Amp up the flavor by topping this ice cream with hot fudge and marshmallow sauce. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and chocolate chips. Enjoy!


Two snacks in one!

This is what I ate on Halloween instead of candy. I unfortunately had a cold at the time so my tastebuds were a little off, but still, this was way, way better than a Kit-Kat. I’ve been munching on fun size Halloween candy for weeks now, so by the time Halloween rolled around, I was ready for a non-chocolate based ice cream.  I wanted to create an ice cream that had a connection to Halloween, but didn’t involve just smashing up some random candy bits and throwing it into my ice cream maker. Not that that flavor sounds bad, mind you, but I wanted to push myself and come up with a more creative ice cream recipe. I started brainstorming about popular halloween treats when a friend brought up popcorn balls. You know, those old school, sticky popcorn balls that people always make for Halloween? I’ve never been a huge fan of them, but it got me thinking about how popcorn might taste in a ice cream recipe. Well, as it turns out, pretty sensational. The popcorn here is in cased in a salted toffee sauce and baked up until light and crispy. Mixed into the sweet cream base it becomes heavenly, a treat without any trick.


The buttery toffee sauce...

For the popcorn, I used a recipe from Cooking Light Magazine and it came out beautifully. The flavor is very similar to Poppycock, but with less fat and calories. The popcorn was so delicious on its own that I’m considering making a large batch around Christmastime and giving it away as gifts. The toffee sauce here was rich and buttery with a hint of warm molasses underneath it.


The best caramel corn ever!

The only issue with popcorn in ice cream is that it doesn’t sit very well if you want to store for a while in the freezer. It will still taste good, but the popcorn will get soggy. This really wasn’t an issue for me however, because my family and I gobbled it up in one sitting. So for this ice cream I would recommend that you serve it when you know that there will be lots of hungry mouths around. Which shouldn’t be to hard because, heck,  I’m getting hungry just looking at the pictures!


The sweet cream base.

The sweet, buttery and slightly salty popcorn was divine when folded into the sweet, cream base. As always, I used once pasteurized, and non homogenized milk and cream for a super creamy and deeply flavorful sweet cream base. The caramel popcorn became little crunchy, nuggets of caramel flavor that enhanced and intensified the flavor of the cream. I definitely think that this ice cream could be an improvement over those old Halloween popcorn balls. I enjoyed this ice cream so much that I wouldn’t trade it for a lifetime supply of fun size candy. And coming from me, that’s really saying something! So enjoy and I hope you all had a Halloween that was both spooky and safe.

Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream


2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups whole milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream, preferably unhomogenized

Caramel Popcorn recipe (recipe follows)

 1.)    Whisk eggs together in a large bowl for a few minutes. Then, gradually add the sugar to the eggs, all the while whisking. Add the milk and cream and whisk until well mixed. Pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is finished churning, fold in caramel popcorn and enjoy!


Caramel Popcorn (from Cooking Light Magazine, December 2002)

Yield: 18 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)


 Cooking spray

1  cup  packed dark brown sugar

1/2  cup  light-colored corn syrup

1/3  cup  butter

1  tablespoon  light molasses

1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract

1/2  teaspoon  baking soda

1/2  teaspoon  salt

12  cups  popcorn (popped without salt or fat)


Preheat oven to 250°.

Coat a large jelly roll pan with cooking spray.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, and molasses in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring once. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Place popcorn in a large bowl; pour sugar mixture over popcorn in a steady stream, stirring to coat.

Spread popcorn mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven; stir to break up any large clumps. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Make it a Sundae!- You could easily create a Poppycock sundae by topping this ice cream with caramel or toffee sauce, mixed salted nuts, and fresh whipped cream for an over the top treat.