From big bowls of creamy ice cream and refreshing fruity sorbets to gelatos and all-American ice cream sandwiches, frozen treats have long been a favorite for kids of all ages. And making homemade ice cream couldn’t be easier these days. Ice cream makers are super affordable and it’s a fun activity for everyone.
The best part? You can literally go wild with custom flavors. Love a ginger and pineapple flavor combo – then go for it! Want a dairy-free alternative? Try making it with coconut or almond milks! With my basic recipe for a Sour Cream Ice Cream Base, you can add in any of your backyard bounty from fruits to herbs. Get creative!
If the mint in your yard is taking over the garden like mine is, then whip up a batch of Homemade Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream with easy to make lush chocolate inclusions to fold in – yum! So pretty and tasty served in little frozen glasses topped with a fresh mint sprig!
But maybe making ice cream is just too much. Well never fear! Head to the freezer isle of your local grocery store and try out some of these speed scratch ideas.
Just soften ice cream and stir in the goodies then re-freeze:
–Chocolate Pretzel Swirl – chocolate ice cream, crushed pretzels, chopped chocolate bars and toasted walnuts.
–All-American Pie Mash-Up – vanilla ice cream, cherry pie (crust and all)
So get that ice cream maker churning and celebrate summer the old fashioned way – Yum! –Kathy
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.
Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Candies
I like to serve this garnished with a bit more chopped mint candy and a fresh sprig of mint.
Makes about 4 cups
4 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups packed mint sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
6 egg yolks
1 cup coarsely chopped Chocolate Mint Candies (recipe follows) or Frango Mint candies
Combine the cream and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Tear the mint sprigs (to bruise them) and add to the cream mixture. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the cream. Whisking constantly, bring to a bare simmer and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk frequently to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Strain the mixture and discard the mint leaves. Stir in the chopped mint, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is finished, stir in the chopped candies. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze until ready to serve.
Chocolate Mint Candies
Makes 24 nice-sized pieces, or enough for 1 recipe of ice cream plus 12 extra pieces of candy
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a medium bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter, salt, and extract together over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the confectioners’ sugar, then stir to combine well. Spread the mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan.
Let cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or refrigerate to harden faster.
To remove the candy from the pan, invert the pan onto a piece of plastic wrap or a cutting board, lay a hot towel over the pan bottom for about 1 minute, then tap the bottom of the pan. Loosen the candy with a spatula if needed. Cut the candy into 24 pieces to serve as candy, or coarsely chop to use in ice cream. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.
Sour Cream Ice Cream Base
This recipe is a great base to incorporate in any fresh summer fruit.
Makes about 5 1/2 cups.
1 1/2 cups, fresh fruit (such as peaches, berries, cherries)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup half & half
1 cup cream
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (or other nuts – optional)
Place fruit, spices, sugar and half & half in a blender. Process until fruit is broken down but some chunks still remain.
Place fruit mixture in a large bowl. Whisk in cream and sour cream until smooth. Chill mixture for at least 30 minutes.
Place cream mixture in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. When mixture is frozen, fold in the walnuts if using.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com