It’s Ice Cream Season Time… Are You Ready?

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Guest Post by Sandra Mort

Spring seems to pass by before anybody notices, blurring the chilly days of winter with the blazing heat of summer.

Children get out of school and are playing outside just in time for the ice cream trucks to begin making their rounds.  Even the smallest toddler quickly learns that the music blaring through loudspeakers means a treat is coming.

It’s Ice Cream Truck Season!

With very few exceptions, the options offered by ice cream trucks are fairly limited. Fluorescent ice pops and shaved ices, ice cream treats and the towering swirls of “custard” are familiar to all.

Novelty wins out over common sense the first few times the truck drives past.  Before long, the chemical aftertaste and inflated price sticker are the only things remembered.

Back to Basics

Vanilla is used as a synonym for boring by many people, but the truth is that good vanilla ice cream is the rule of thumb for testing an ice cream maker’s skill. Good vanilla ice cream should taste intensely of vanilla, ideally with flecks of vanilla beans and a sweet aroma.

A cone of filled with high quality vanilla needs no garnishing, but rolling briefly in Deruyter Chocoadehagel Puur (Dark Chocolate Sprinkles), is delicious. These imported sprinkles have a minimum of 35% cacao solids, guaranteeing a real chocolate fix in every bite.

Don’t Feel Guilty

Ice cream may be a treat, but there’s no reason it needs to be full of chemicals. Making homemade ice cream gives more control over the ingredients.

Consider using a gelato maker or simply using gelato as an ice cream alternative with its lower fat content.  Pastured cream and milk and fresh eggs with deeply orange yolks are full of fat soluble vitamins that are important for health, so there’s really no need to feel guilty about eating it in moderation.

One of the most entertaining parts of making homemade ice cream is having the ability to form the still soft dessert into different shapes before hardening.

Filling a pie shell, layering between cakes or making ice cream sandwiches with homemade cookies is infinitely easier when the filling is pliable.  The soft ice cream also adheres to the baked part of the dessert more easily than when hard ice cream is used.

Another Frozen Dessert

Gelato, the low fat Italian ice cream, is easy to make with a home gelato maker.  This ultra smooth frozen dessert gets its distinctive mouth feel from the high speed freezing process.

Quick freezing keeps the ice crystals small and prevents too much air from being incorporated into the mixture.  Fresh fruit and milk based gelato should always be eaten within a day or two of freezing.. what a hardship!

Ice Cream Beverages & Toppings

Ice cream or gelato floats are classic summertime drinks. Coke and root beer are perfect partners for vanilla ice cream, but there are more exotic pairings for the more adventurous. Ginger beer’s spicy kick goes nicely with mango ice cream. A scoop of chocolate ice cream in stout makes a refreshing adult drink with a thick, creamy head.

Don’t let summer by without indulging in ripe berries. Slice berries, lightly sprinkle with cane sugar and chill for a few hours. Serve the berries and syrup over sliced pound cake with butter almond or butter pecan ice cream.

Topping with freshly whipped cream and toasted, chopped nuts takes the classic dessert to new heights.

Ice cream – Italian or American – is delicious any time of year, but there’s nothing quite like eating it in the summertime.  Whether dessert is an elaborate layered dessert or a simple ice cream cone, ice cream is sure to please.

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