What’s the Scoop? Summertime & Homemade Ice Cream

What’s the Scoop?  Summertime & Homemade Ice Cream

Summer 2016 has arrived!

Summer 2016 has arrived!

There is nothing subtle about its seduction for summer has it all; lucent baby blue skies, honeysuckle breezes, enchanting cliff side seascapes, graceful old elms, and tantrum bursts of rain that then give way to hugging sunshine.  Summer is the season when Mother Earth beneath us is donning a dress of many colors, spreading forth in all her fruitfulness and glory.  It is a time to be aware and to appreciate the presence of life everywhere.  So, what’s the scoop? I’ll tell you, the scoop is that it is summer and it is time to make homemade ice cream! There is nothing difficult about making homemade ice cream, and no ice cream maker is necessary. The freezer does all the work! Ice cream rounds off a summer meal perfectly and it is good to have an occasional indulgence. 

This blog post opens with 4 signature offerings of mine:  Quick Vanilla Nut Ice Cream, French Vanilla Ice Cream, Freezer-Style Strawberry Ice Cream and lastly a delicious Blackberry Sorbet.  What a better way to usher in summertime, but with a delicious ice cream treat. 

Juicy Spot cafe in NYC --- Thai Ice Cream Rolls --- Signature Offerings ice cream roll menu

Juicy Spot cafe in NYC — Thai Ice Cream Rolls — Signature Offerings ice cream roll menu

Finally, there are some pictures of my latest trip to New York City, and my visit to the Juicy Spot Café. There we feasted on Thai ice cream rolls, also known as stir-fried ice cream, first made popular on the streets of Thailand.  But in July of last year, the first American-made ice cream rolls were debuted at this lovely little family owned café on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

But first, some ice cream-making tips:   With the exception of Quick Vanilla Nut Ice Cream (the first recipe) it is important to stir your homemade freezer-style ice cream after about 1 hour.  If you like softer ice cream, you can certainly eat it then.  If you prefer harder ice cream, stir it again after 2 hours and again after 3 hours or at any time it reaches your desired consistency.  If you prefer the consistency of more traditional store-bought ice cream, let the ice cream freeze overnight after stirring it 3 times.  My recipes are only guides—you eat your ice cream the way you like it!

Click to Download:  Quick Vanilla Nut Ice Cream

Signature Offering by Annette O. Corona – All Rights Reserved

Quick Vanilla Nut Ice Cream
Makes about 6 servings

This is a very simple recipe, and can easily me made with bits of dark chocolate instead of nuts, or served as just plain vanilla ice cream.  Remember to pull the container from the freezer and place in the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

2 1/2-cups heavy cream
(1) 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped raw walnuts (not toasted)

Pour the cream into a large bowl and whip by hand or with an electric mixer until thick, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract and whip again until thoroughly blended.

Stir in the walnuts and spoon into a container and freeze until firm.

Scoop into curls and serve with your favorite sauce or cookies on the side.

Click to Download:  French Vanilla Ice Cream

Signature Offering by Annette O. Corona – All Rights Reserved

French Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes about 4-5 servings

The difference between vanilla ice cream and French vanilla ice cream is that the French version uses an egg-custard base.  French vanilla ice cream is a favorite of mine, and I love to add wildflower honey to sweeten, but superfine sugar can also be used.  If you do not have a fresh vanilla bean, just substitute 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Embellish as you like—a drizzle of caramel sauce is nice, as is a scoop of freshly chopped or sliced fruit, a scattering of nuts, or a few chocolate curls, all of which turns this humble dessert from homey to refined.

3 extra-large egg yolks
¼-cup wildflower honey (generous) or 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
2½-cups heavy cream
1 fresh vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Put the egg yolks in a large bowl and whip by hand or with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.

Warm the honey in a small saucepan over low heat.  Temper the egg mixture by adding a tablespoon of warm honey and mixing gently.  Add the rest of the honey in a stream, beating all the time.

Whip the cream in another large bowl by hand or with an electric mixer until thick, about 3-5 minutes.  Make a slit down the center of the vanilla bean, scrape out all the seeds, and then fold the seeds into the whipped cream.

Fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture.  Spoon the ice cream into a container and freeze until half solid, about 1-2 hours (check after 1 hour).

Remove the container from the freezer and beat again. Freeze until firm.

When ready to eat, remove the container from the freezer and let sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving to soften a bit.

Scoop the ice cream into curls and serve decorated as you wish.

Click to Download:  Freezer-Style Strawberry Ice Cream

Signature Offering by Annette O. Corona – All Rights Reserved

Freezer-Style Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes about 6 servings

Fruit ice creams are a cinch to make, folding a sweetened fruit puree into whipped heavy cream, and then freezing.  No ice cream machine is necessary.  Most fruits are suitable; some soft fruits need only be pitted and pureed, like mangoes, cherries, apricots, or peaches.  Others like berries need only pureeing and then sieving to remove seeds.  Still others like apples, pears and perhaps black currents should be stewed gently with honey or sugar.  It should be noted that nondairy creamer or concentrated soy milk can also be whipped and used in vegan versions.

Wild strawberries are an even better choice if you can find them otherwise commercial strawberries will work just fine.  Always remember to reserve a few whole berries and perhaps a few mint leaves for decoration when serving.

1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled
1 cup superfine sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of the strawberries)
2¼-cups heavy cream

To Serve (optional):

Small strawberries with leaves
Fresh sprigs of mint

Remove a few strawberries for decoration.  Puree the rest in a blender or food processor, and sieve to remove the seeds.  Put the puree in a large bowl and stir in the sugar.

Pour the cream into another large bowl and whip by hand or with an electric mixer until thick, about 3-5 minutes, then fold in the strawberry puree.  Spoon the mixture into a plastic container and freeze until half solid, about 1-2 hours.

Remove the container from the freezer and beat well again.  Return to the freezer until firm.

Transfer the ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator about 40 minutes before serving.

Scoop into curls and serve in chilled bowls decorated with reserved strawberries and mint leaves.  Delicious!

Click to Download:  Blackberry Sorbet

Signature Offering by Annette O. Corona – All Rights Reserved

Blackberry Sorbet
Makes 6 servings

While thorough beating produces a particularly light texture, I like to add whipped egg whites to this sorbet.  It is just a matter of personal taste.  And, if you want to glam up this sorbet even more, add 2 tablespoons of a good quality Port wine—an elegant touch.

1½-pounds fresh blackberries
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1-2 tablespoons Port wine (optional)
2 egg whites (extra-large eggs)
Sprigs of mint to garnish (optional)

Put the blackberries in a medium-size saucepan without water.  Over medium-low heat, cover the saucepan and cook the blackberries until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Puree in a blender or food processor and sieve to remove seeds.  Pour the mixture into a large plastic container and stir in the sugar and Port wine. Freeze the puree until half solid, about 1-2 hours.

Remove the container from the freezer and mash the mixture well with a fork to break up the icy particles.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the egg whites by hand or with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add to the fruit puree a little at a time until well blended; freeze, uncovered, until solid.

Remove the sorbet from the freezer to room temperature at least 15 minutes before you plan on serving it.

Scoop the sorbet into curls and serve in chilled dishes garnished with sprigs of mint.

Now let me introduce you to the fabulous Juicy Spot Café.  A quaint little family run café on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, located at 109 Ludlow Street, or stop by the new second location in Chinatown, at 33 Pell Street; New York, NY

Making Thai Ice Cream Rolls at the Juicy Spot Cafe; 109 Ludlow Street in NYC.

Making Thai Ice Cream Rolls at the Juicy Spot Cafe; 109 Ludlow Street in NYC.

The experience starts with Juicy Spot’s signature ice cream rolls. It is your choice of an ice cream base which is spread on a sub-zero anti-griddle where it is chopped and spread and chopped and spread repeatedly until frozen.  Then very cleverly with a spatula the frozen ice cream is sectioned, and rolled up right before your eyes!  The ice cream rolls are tucked into a serving dish and you can create your own masterpiece from a variety of fruits, toppings and drizzles, or simply choose from 10 signature “sundaes” such as Watermelon Lychee, Black Sesame or Crème De Papaya.   You get to watch your creation being made and it is great fun.

"Unique Dragon" signature offering featuring Thai ice cream rolls--- at the Juicy Spot Cafe, NYC

“Unique Dragon” signature offering featuring Thai ice cream rolls— at the Juicy Spot Cafe, NYC

I picked the “Unique Dragon”—a yogurt base flavored with fresh dragon fruit —in case if you are wondering what dragon fruit tastes like, it is kind of like a cross between a kiwi and pear, and is bright magenta in color. When frozen, the rolls are tucked next to one another in a dish. Next comes chunks of freshly cut dragon fruit and fresh strawberries, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and to finish a hefty sprinkling of shaved dark chocolate—what you have folks is a scrumptious bowl of ice cream goodness! I cannot say enough great things about this combination—the ice cream rolls are not at all too sweet, the fruit is cut to order and one can never go wrong with a finish of dark chocolate in my book!

"Good Crazy Matcha" signature offering at the Juicy Spot Cafe in NYC - featuring green tea ice cream rolls, lychee, cubes of grass jelly, mocha, and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk --- Delicious!!!

“Good Crazy Matcha” signature offering at the Juicy Spot Cafe in NYC – featuring green tea ice cream rolls, lychee, cubes of grass jelly, mocha, and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk — Delicious!!!

My second choice was another house specialty called “Good Crazy Matcha”.  This bowl consists of green tea ice cream rolls flavored with lychee, topped with more lychees, cubes of grass jelly and mocha, and finished with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.  Now, this may sound rather strange, but it was simply delicious!  Grass jelly is a popular dessert served in several Asian countries and is made from the leaves of the mesona chineensis plant.  Mocha is pounded sticky rice, and in this case it is shaped into small soft cubes. The mellow flavor of the ice cream, along with the sweetness of the grass jelly and the chewiness of the mocha feels good in the mouth and the drizzle of creamy sweetened condensed milk is the perfect finish—don’t kid yourself folks, this is one tasty combination and definitely worth a try. My husband accompanied me on this trip, and I could barely get this combo away from him for a taste!

The Juicy Spot Café also serves bowls, smoothies, and juices and with the shakes you get a choice of whole milk, skim milk, soy milk or almond milk.  I cannot wait to go back and try the black sesame ice cream rolls—a signature offering—I understand it is the most popular choice. The gals behind the counter were friendly and gracious, and obviously work very hard.  Here is the link to their website:  www.juicyspotcafe.com …………..Make sure you stop the next time you are in the Big Apple, and tell all your friends!

Enjoy your summer everyone—Blessings on your plate…see you next time!


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