Friday, August 17, 2012

The cold stuff.

Each summer, sometime in July, I remember: I have an ice cream maker. (A cheap one that has lasted five summers so far.) It's not that I truly forget about my ice cream maker; after all, its canister stares me in the eye every time I open my freezer. But I seem to forget about the glories it can bestow upon me. Then it gets hot and nasty and my cravings increase, and I remember: it's time to make the ice cream.

This year, I bought my first-ever ice cream cookbook, the incredible Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. After just one outing, it is now my official ice cream bible. Why? Well, Jeni doesn't have you fuss around with eggs and custard. Instead, she explains the science behind her American ice cream base, including the reasons for using a little corn syrup, and the genius addition of softened cream cheese to help emulsify the mixture. And her recipes are organized by season, emphasizing fresh, local ingredients. But not in an obnoxious way, I promise.

And, let me tell you: it works. This is wonderful, creamy, balanced, stress-free ice cream. I tried my hand at her recipe for sweet basil with honeyed pine nuts, and it was magnificent. The pine nut praline was a snap to make (my one alteration: use parchment paper to line your baking sheet), and the crunchy, sweet bits of nut added interest and earthiness to the sweet and spicy basil-flavored ice cream.

I think my next attempt will be her beet, mascarpone and poppy seed ice cream. Oh, yes. (And, if you're not game to make the stuff at home, you can always order Jeni's ice cream, made with love in Columbus, Ohio, from her website.)


The Curmudgeon said...

I have this book and LOVE IT. Her ice creams are unbelievably good - I want to try all of them!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

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