I’ve come up with 10 fresh ideas for homemade summer ice cream:
1. You don’t need a machine
Lemon Ice Cream from Italian Easy London River Cafe has instructions for making ice cream without a machine, simply by freezing the mixture and stirring it occasionally. Because the recipe is made with heavy cream, the result is a rich and decadently textured ice cream. Tart lemon cuts through the rich cream for a refreshing dessert. So good, so easy. Bon Apétit online featured a recipe for mint ice cream (made without a machine) last week as well.
2. Highlight the flavor of a pantry ingredient
In Molto Gusto, Mario Batali includes a recipe for Olive Oil Gelato, and it’s a great way to showcase the flavor of a beautifully made oil. He suggests serving the ice cream with a sprinkling of sea salt and a drizzle of the olive oil. David Lebovitz suggests a variation of Olive Oil Ice Cream with Lemon Zest in his book, The Perfect Scoop. If you’ve got honey in your cupboard you can make Lavender Honey Ice Cream from A Platter of Figs by David Tanis.
3. Make it rich with cheese
The book Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America suggests a fresh, soft goat cheese for decadent ice cream with the richness of cheesecake. The bright, tangy flavor of goat cheese keeps the richness of the ice cream in balance. Ricotta (goat’s milk or other) is also well-suited to homemade ice cream.
4. Experiment with different herbs
5. Find foraged ingredients
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Cookbook is focused on ingredients that can either be grown in the garden or foraged from the hedgerow. His recipe for Gooseberry and Elderflower Ice Cream is made from wild ingredients with a short season. You could take inspiration from Hugh and create an ice cream using elderflower liqueur. Patricia Wells’ At Home in Provence uses lemon verbena, a perennial herb, in her homemade ice cream.
6. Use Booze
Alcohol keeps ice cream from freezing hard, making for a nice texture as well as impacting the flavor. The recipe for Anise Ice Cream with Strawberries in Chez Panisse Desserts utilizes Pernod for an herbal, licorice infused flavor. The encyclopedic Starting with Ingredients by Aliza Green suggests Avocado Tequila Ice Cream. When using alcohol in homemade ice cream, remember that a little goes a long way and have fun experimenting with your favorite liqueurs. You could make Guiness chocolate ice cream or ice cream with rum soaked in raisins.
7. Incorporate spices
Aztec “Hot” Chocolate Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop gets its spicy kick from from chili powder and cinnamon. Fennel seed could be interesting in strawberry or raspberry ice cream. The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto shares a recipe for Saffron Spice Gelato with Honey that sounds exotic.
8. Savor the fruits of summer
The bounty of summer is perfect for homemade ice cream. Peaches are a favorite for southerners who make homemade ice cream with a hand cranked machine. Cherries make a beautifully colored, richly flavored ice cream. There’s also apricots, plums, and berries. Hooray for summer!
9. Eat your vegetables
Corn may be a veggie but it’s sweet and makes for delicious ice cream. David Lebovitz uses sweet green peas to make ice cream in The Perfect Scoop (how many times do I have to reference this book? I told you yesterday it’s the bible for homemade ice cream, people). I’m even contemplating a beet ice cream. You never know until you try.
10. Take inspiration from your favorite dessert
Turn a dessert you love into ice cream. Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto turned s’mores into an ice cream using mini marshmallows, chopped milk chocolate, and graham crackers. Maybe take your favorite cake flavor and make an ice cream in its honor.
What inspires your homemade ice cream? Click here to comment.