Ice cream is the best in the summer, right? I’ve always thought so. And while I try to not maintain an “ice cream only” diet during the summer, I haven’t been doing so well lately. I have been eating a lot of ice cream. Sometimes we walk down to the ice cream store after dinner, sometimes we drive to go get fro-yo, but my favorite thing to do is bust out my ice cream maker and make it myself.
I have a pretty basic ice cream maker. It is made by Cuisinart. You freeze the inside bowl, pour in your ingredients, and let that baby go for about twenty to thirty minutes. I tend to always keep the bowl in the freezer during the summertime so I can make ice cream at a moment’s notice. The bowl has to be in the freezer for at least twenty four hours, and there is nothing worse than wanting to make ice cream and having a warm bowl. Ok, I am sure there are many, many things that are worse….but hey, when you want ice cream……
Have you ever made homemade ice cream? There are so many different ways to make a yummy cold treat, and some are definitely harder than others. The hard way involves egg yolks and tempering and the easy way is more of a dump and mix kind of thing. But that being said, ice cream is always pretty easy to make. Even the hard way isn’t all that hard.
Today I am going to show you three different recipes for ice cream. Well, one is frozen yogurt, but you get my drift. I will start with my easiest recipe and work my way down to my hardest. The one thing you have to have is an ice cream maker. There really is no way around that. They aren’t expensive and they are such a great thing to have in the summer. Your family will love it. You will love it.
My first recipe is for my Caramel Apple Frozen Yogurt. I use vanilla Greek yogurt, Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple Spread and cajeta. I use fat free yogurt, but that is your call. With all this ice cream eatin’ I’ve been doing to clean it up where I can.
Do you know what cajeta is? According to the good people at Wikipedia, cajeta is “Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelized milk.” So it is basically the most delicious caramel you will ever have. It comes in a small can, and you can find it in the ethnic section of any grocery store.
I pour my yogurt and Whiskey Apple spread into a mixing bowl and whisk it together. Little tip here….you can use any brand of apple butter you can find. Of course, I would prefer you use Gourmet Rooster, but I won’t judge.
Once the yogurt and apple spread are mixed, I pour it into my frozen bowl to the ice cream maker and turn that bad boy on. Of course, your machine might be slightly different than mine, so always follow your machine’s directions.
This goes quickly! You will have fro-yo in about ten minutes. When you think the fro-yo is close to being done, pour your cajeta in through the hole at the top of the machine. If your ice cream maker doesn’t have a hole in the top, turn it off and open it up to scoop in your cajeta.
I add the cajeta at the end so it doesn’t “seize up” while the freezing is going on. You want your cajeta to disperse throughout the ice cream in a pretty ribbon, not big globs.
The cajeta gives this ice cream a smoky sweetness that works so well with the tangy flavor of the Greek yogurt and the cinnamon spice of the apple spread. This is fro-yo perfection.
I recommend you eat this fro-yo as soon as it comes out of the ice cream maker. Homemade fro-yo doesn’t keep well in the freezer. It will turn into a rock that you couldn’t dream of eating until it defrosts almost back to its non-frozen state. Science, man.
I call my second ice cream recipe “Lemon Buttermilk Pie”. A buttermilk pie is a staple in southern cooking. It is sometimes called a “chess pie” although that usually involves corn meal in the recipe. My version uses buttermilk, heavy cream, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and little bits of baked, then frozen pie crust.
I start this recipe by baking a premade pie crust. I buy one of those store bought refrigerated crusts that comes rolled up. I unroll it, and bake it laid out flat, according to the package directions. Once it has baked and cooled, I break it up into little pieces. Then, I freeze those little pieces, usually overnight.
I freeze the pie crust pieces to keep them from just turning into mush in my ice cream maker. By adding frozen pieces near the end of the mixing/freezing, the pie crust bits stay firm and crunchy.
My next step starts by whisking together buttermilk and heavy cream. I also whisk in sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. This mixture gets poured into the frozen bowl of the ice cream maker. I let this go for about fifteen minutes before I add in the frozen pie crust bits. I let those mix in while the ice cream finishes freezing.
This ice cream is light and fresh tasting. The lemon and buttermilk combination is tangy, sour and sweet from the addition of cream and sugar. The pie crust bits makes you think you are sitting on your porch in Alabama eating a fresh lemon buttermilk pie.
You’ll notice this ice cream has no eggs. The high fat content of the cream keeps the ice cream creamy and smooth. The buttermilk keeps it light. This is heaven in a bowl in the summertime.
Ok, my last ice cream is the one that takes a bit of work. And it’s my favorite. It’s my Dark Chocolate Orange Chip Ice Cream. It is a combination of dark chocolate, chocolate chips, sugar, eggs, heavy cream, milk, orange extract and orange zest.
I start by whisking together dark chocolate cocoa powder, heavy cream and whole milk. It will seem like the cocoa powder won’t want to mix in, but have a little faith….it will. Then, I pour that into a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer, whisking every once in a while.
While that simmers, I whisk together egg yolks, sugar, orange extract and orange zest in a separate bowl. Once the cream and milk mixture is simmering, I slowly whisk in about a cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolk/sugar mixture. This will bring the egg yolks closer to the same temperature as the simmering cream. When the whole enchilada gets mixed together, the yolks won’t scramble. This is called “tempering”. Fancy word, easy process.
Once the yolk mixture has some warm cream mixed in, I add the whole yolky mixture to the simmering cream pot. I let this cook until it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. This just means that if you were to drag your finger over the back of the spoon, it would leave a trail. Easy, easy.
Once the mixture is thickened, I pour it back into a bowl and put that in the freezer to cool off the mixture. The ice cream maker is good, but not that good. It can’t make ice cream from hot cream.
I let it sit in the freezer for about a half hour. Then, I pour it into the frozen bowl of the ice cream maker. This should turn into ice cream in about thirty minutes. Once you almost have ice cream, toss some chocolate chips in through the hole in the top.
I have to say, this one really is my favorite. I love the combination of dark chocolate and orange. And this ice cream is so rich and creamy. It is super decadent.
I hope that this talked you into getting an ice cream maker if you don’t already have one. They are so, so worth it. Make some ice cream! It’s a summer must.
Caramel Apple Fro-Yo
3 cups Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 cup Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple Spread
½ cup Cajeta (Nestle La Lechera)
Whisk together yogurt and apple spread. Pour mixture into bowl of ice cream maker. Run ice cream maker for 10 minutes. Add cajeta and run for another 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
Lemon Buttermilk Pie Ice Cream
3 cups buttermilk (reduced fat is ok)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
The zest of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
½ cup frozen pie crust bits (bake pre-made pie crust and crumble)
Whisk together buttermilk, heavy cream, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. Pour into bowl of ice cream maker. Run for 15 minutes. Add frozen pie crust bits and run for another 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately as “soft-serve” or freeze for firmer consistency.
Dark Chocolate Orange Chip Ice Cream
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder, unsweetened
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons orange extract
The zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons)
½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
In a mixing bowl, whisk together whole milk, heavy cream and cocoa powder until smooth. Heat mixture in a sauce pan to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, orange extract and orange zest until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of the simmering milk mixture. Whisk until combined. Add warmed egg mixture to simmering milk, whisking the entire time. Heat mixture until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour mixture back into a mixing bowl and freeze for about 3 minutes. Then, pour mixture into bowl of ice cream maker and run for about 30 minutes. Add chocolate chips and run for another 5 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved. Serve immediately for “soft-serve” or freeze for firmer consistency.