Friday, July 6, 2012

Ice Cream and a Party

It has been hot lately. Very hot. And it didn't help that the air conditioner in part of our house was not working. Ironically this meant that the coolest and most welcoming room in the house was the kitchen. Naturally on these kinds of days, the best thing to make is something frozen (also the reason that July has been dubbed national ice cream month!) So I made four fruity flavors of ice cream- banana, strawberry, peach and key lime. All very refreshing and cheery.

But I didn't make all of these just for my family :) I made them for a summer dinner party. The purpose of the party was much debated in our house. Both my brother and I graduated this year (he graduated from college), but neither of us wanted a party. It was also my dad's birthday, but he didn't want a party either. So we threw them all together as a compromise, so the focus was not on any one person. It turned out to be a very nice evening. We all enjoyed catching up with family friends in the unusually cool evening air. 

And everyone seemed to enjoy the ice cream! I don't know if I am just weird, but I found it really interesting to see what flavor everyone chose. I spent pretty much the entire evening scooping ice cream, but for me it was fun. We had set up tables with fresh flowers and jars filled with sand and tea lights. I really liked this simple, rustic setting.

For dinner we served lasana (gluten free and not) and a variety of grilled summer vegetables. I love grilling vegetables because it makes their natural sweetness come out (especially peppers).

As I was making the gluten free spinach lasana, I got some really good snapshots of the process, and it looked really pretty, but as soon as it came out of the oven, everyone dug into it so fast that I was not able to take a picture of the finished product. I will make it again, so watch for it in a future post!

Please note that none of the following ice cream recipes contain egg yolk. I prefer to make ice cream without egg. The result was still creamy and smooth, especially the flavors containing sweetened condensed milk.

Strawberry Ice cream
makes about 2 pints

1 pound strawberries, stemmed, hulled, halved
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half

1. Combine the stawberries, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl. Use a potato masher to mash them until coarse. Let the strawberry mixture stand for 10 minutes, stirring and mashing every few minutes.
2. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a blender and add half and half. Puree until smooth, then pour mixture back into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or until very cold.
3. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Recipe from Tracy's Culinary Adventures

Key Lime Ice Cream
makes about 2 pints

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup bottled key lime juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk

1. Combine the milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Refrigerate until very cold.
2. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Peach Ice Cream
makes about 2 pints

1 1/3 pounds ripe peaches (about 4 large)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few drops of lemon juice

1. Peel peaches: Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove top. Cut and x on the bottom of each peach. Carefully drop peaches in the boiling water and blanch for 20 seconds. Quickly remove from heat and drain in a colander running cold water over them. After peaches cool, the skin will peal off.
2. In a medium saucepan, add peaches and water and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring twice, until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, stir in sugar, and let cool to room temperature.
4. In a blender, puree the cooked peaches and their juices with the creme fraiche, heavy cream, vanilla and lemon juice.
5. Chill the mixture throughly in the refrigerator.
6. Churn mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Banana Ice Cream
makes about 3 pints

2 cups half and half
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Whisk together half and half, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and vanilla until well combined. Chill until very cold.
2. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
3. Mash bananas with the lemon juice and add to the ice cream maker about 2 minutes before it is finished. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Recipe from Rita of Pink Bites



1 comment:

  1. Did you make the ice cream containers yourself? Stunning!