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

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Even better than Black Raspberry!

I decided to make this flavor after a bumper crop of fresh blackberries came into all of my local grocery stores, yielding pints and pints of fresh, juicy, inky black berries on sale for only 99 cents a pint. So what to do with them all? Make tasty homemade ice cream of course! Part of the many charms of DIY ice cream is that you can make flavors that are nearly impossible to find commercially. Blackberry ice cream is one such flavor. Sure black raspberry is readily available, but do you really think it’s made with real, wholesome, honest to goodness black raspberries? In most cases I highly doubt it. Not only does the homemade kind have real, natural ingredients but the taste is superior as well. A beauty both to look at and to eat.

Quick Skillet Jam

When I first started to make fruit ice creams, I followed certain recipes that instructed me to simply mix pureed fruit right into the ice cream base. In my opinion, I think this method yields an icy finished product. You see, water is the enemy of ice cream. Added water to your base will diminsh creaminess and produce an icy result every time. This is tricky when it comes to making fruit based ice creams because fruit inherently contains a lot of water. My solution? The quick skillet jam. By making a jam I boil the troublesome water out of the fruit while concentrating the flavors of it simultaneously. Then, right before you put it into the ice cream maker, I add a small amount of pureed fruit for freshness.

You've got to love lavendar ice cream!

Please don’t be afraid to make a skillet jam!  Trust me, it’s fall off a log simple. You just mash up the berries a bit, through em’ in a pan with some sugar and booze, and simmer over low heat until jam-like.  No scary canning, sealing or boiling required. The jam won’t keep as long as a properly canned preserves would, but it you really don’t need it to. This jam is made for a higher purpose- providing sweet, sweet flavor to your homemade ice cream!

A great way to kick off summer!

Blackberry Ice Cream is a perfect flavor for summer, and this recipe came out beautifully. The texture was actually velvety with a creamy, fruity flavor. Do think of this pretty little dessert next time berries are on sale at your local supermarket. Or whenever the mood strikes!

Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

12 oz. blackberries, divided

2 cups half and half

3/4 cup sugar, divided

3 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liquor, or other liquor compatible with blackberries

1.) To make the easy skillet jam, combine 9 oz of the blackberries, ½ cup of the sugar, and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier in a medium pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced, with a jam-like consistency (about 30-40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add in the remaining tablespoon of Grand Marnier and remove from heat. Spoon into a container; cool to room temperature.

2.) Place remaining fresh blackberries in food processor. Pulse until blended. Strain puree through a sieve to get rid of extraneous seeds.

3.) Combine half and half in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

4.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

5.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add the half and half and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes.

6.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, vanilla extract, blackberry puree and blackberry jam, whisking well to blend. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

While I think this ice cream is stand alone delicious, I think it would taste lovely with a white chocolate hot fudge sauce drizzled on top. Blackberries and white chocolate are a tried and true delicious flavor combo. Emeril Lagasse makes a tasty looking white chocolate sauce here:

http://www.emerils.com/recipe/1556/White-Chocolate-Sauce

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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.

The best rice pudding I've ever had!

I’ve been making David Lebovitz’s Rice Pudding Gelato ever since I purchased his wonderful book, The Perfect Scoop, a year ago. It immediately jumped out to me because I love gelato and I particularly love this type of rice pudding that Scandinavians call Riskrem. Riskrem is rice pudding as you’ve never had it before and one of my all time favorite desserts. Part of what makes it so special is that freshly whipped cream is folded into the rice pudding, making it both decadent and light as a cloud. Combining my two favorite desserts is brilliant and this recipe captures the very best qualities of rice pudding and ice cream.

This ice cream starts life in the oven.

Part of what makes this ice cream so great is the way it’s prepared and its delicious flavorings. You bake arborio rice with milk, a whole split vanilla bean and some orange rind for an hour and a half until the rice is tender and deeply flavored. The milk infuses with the orange and vanilla flavors creating a rich and complex base.

The best of both worlds, take that Hannah Montana!

Another genius aspect of this recipe is the fact that some of the rice gets put into a blender, creating little nubbly textured grains of rice. Texture is really important in almost all food and ice cream is no exception. With some grains of rice being left whole and some pureed fine, this ice cream has a delightful mouthfeel that’s a joy to eat.

A sprinkling of cinnamon makes it perfection!

Even if you’re not a rice pudding lover, do try this ice cream. I think it’s an improvement on the traditional rice pudding and the subtle nutmeg, vanilla and orange flavorings keep every bite delicious and intriguing. Another great ice cream from David Lebovitz! With him you just can’t go wrong.

Rice Gelato
Adapted from Perfect Scoop.

1/2 cup Italian Arborio rice
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lenghtwise
Two 1-inch-wide strips of orange zest
5 large egg yolks (save the whites for use later)
1 cup half-and-half or cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350. In a 1.75 to 2 quart baking dish, mix together the rice, milk 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Add the vanilla bean and strips of orange zest (I made the mistake of actually scraping out the vanilla, but it’s not really a mistake… it’s delicious.)

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered for another 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven a second time, remove the vanilla bean and orange zest and briskly whisk in the egg yolks at once. Then whisk in the half and half or cream and nutmeg.

Puree half of the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until chopped fine then stir it back into the cooked rice.

Chill the mixture in the fridge then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Tangy!

This was one delicious ice cream. I’d heard of Sour Cream Ice Cream, but had never made it before. I shouldn’t have waited! This was creamy, frosty, rich and tangy. It reminded me a bit of buttermilk ice cream, which is one of my favorite ice cream flavors of all time. And like buttermilk ice cream, I think that this would make an inspired accompaniment for a wide variety of desserts. I could easily see a scoop of this ice cream perched atop a fat slice of chocolate cake or slowly melting over a dish of warm strawberry rhubarb crisp. The slight acidic tang of the sour cream really accentuates the flavors of many desserts, a good thing to keep in mind during the sweets-filled holiday season.

High quality sour cream.

For this recipe, I used full fat, organic sour cream. Of course, when you use the best ingredients you will end up with the most delicious ice cream. That being said, though I’ve never tested it out, low fat sour cream might work in a pinch. Just remember to stay away from the fat free variety- your ice cream is likely to turn out icy and winey tasting.

Whisking in the sour cream.

Not only does Sour Cream Ice Cream taste great on top of other desserts, the recipe itself is also very easy and adaptable. For instance, you could easily change the flavors with different extracts (I used vanilla) or the addition of such mix-ins as chocolate chips or a strawberry swirl. If you’d like, you could also substitute brown sugar for white. Brown sugar and sour cream is classic combination that would work well in an ice cream.

Pure White

Sour Cream Ice Cream is a beautiful and delicious flavor to behold. Its snowy white color reminded me of the upcoming seasonal change from fall to winter. This is what snow tastes like in my dreams! Tangy and creamy, its the type of ice cream that never dulls the taste buds but refreshes them with each zippy bite. Try it solo, or in harmony with any of your holiday cakes or pies.

Sour Cream Ice Cream

 Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/4 cup whole milk

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

8 oz. sour cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1.)    Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla extract. Chill completely, 4 hours to overnight. Churn in ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions.

 Make it a Sundae!– Chocolate and sour cream get along swimmingly, so add some hot fudge or chocolate sauce. Cherries jubilee or brandied cherries on top would also make for a sundae that is both chic and scrumptious. As always, don’t forget the whipped cream.

Hello World! I’m a recent college graduate who trained to be a teacher but dreams of opening her own ice cream shop someday. I’m completely obsessed with all things frozen including ice cream, frozen yogurt, semifreddo, sorbet and more. I’m also a true believer that almost any dessert can be deconstructed into an ice cream and that cake and ice cream are an almost magical pairing. The best day of the week in my house is homemade ice cream day so why not share it? Every week I’ll experiment with new recipes and let you know how they went.

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