Ice cream and summer, a perfect marriage

   Having something cool and refreshing comes to mind in the hot weather. Lemonade, glasses filled with ice and topped with  water, tea, coffee or soda—each quenches the thirst and hydrates the body. What really sets my satisfaction in motion and relaxation is ice cream or sherbet. Researching this great cooling dessert brought some very interesting facts to share...

   Sherbets were the forerunners of ice cream. The Chinese taught the Hindus, Persians and Arabs the art of making water ices, or sherbets. A Sicilian introduced them to France about 1660 and later opened a café specializing in sherbets in Paris. These unique sherbets became the rage, and in due course ice cream followed.

   In the Colonies, wealthy Marylanders appear to have learned about ice cream before Virginians did. It is noted in archives that Gov. Thomas Bladen’s French wife might have introduced these desserts to numerous Marylanders. On May 19, 1744, William Black, a Virginian on official business in Annapolis, attended a dinner at the governor’s mansion and reported, “We were received by his Excellency and his Lady in the Hall, where we were an hour Entertain’d by the Governor, with some Glasses of Punch in the intervals of the Discourse; then the Scene was chang’d to a Dining Room, where you saw a Table in the most Splendent manner set out with a Great Variety of Dishes, all serv’d up in the most Elegant way, after which came a Dessert no less Curious; Among the Rarities of which it was Compos’d was some fine Ice Cream which, with Strawberries and Milk eat most Deliciously.”

   In July 1758, a hailstorm hit Virginia. Gov. Francis Fauquier wrote his brother that this hailstorm provided such a supply of ice that he used it to cool wine and to freeze cream. George Washington, in May 1784, recorded in his diary that he had spent one pound, thirteen shillings and four pence on a “cream machine for ice.”

   Enjoy the journey and let me share favorite recipes for ice cream, sherbets, and sorbet:

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 Tbs. cornstarch

2 Quarts whole milk, divided

4 eggs, separated

2 cups sugar

1/2-tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Vanilla

1 Pint Whipping Cream

Vanilla Bean stripped

  1. Dissolve the cornstarch in one cup of milk. Heat the remaining milk and add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly.

  2. Beat the egg yolks with sugar and add to milk mixture, which continues to heat under a low flame. Split open vanilla bean and add seeds. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture coats a metal spoon.

  3. Cool several hours or overnight in the refrigerator, if possible.

  4. When ready to freeze, beat the egg whites, salt and vanilla to froth and add to the chilled milk mixture.

  5. Stir in the cream and pour the entire mixture into a 5-quart ice cream maker container. (Follow the manufacturer’s directions for freezing.) This recipe will make one quart of vanilla ice cream.

With this recipe, you can add fresh fruit to the mixture—strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apricots. Don’t forget to add some chocolate chips—be creative. Yummy!

Fig Ice Cream

4 eggs, separated

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

2 cups milk, scalded

3 Tbs. lemon juice

1 pint light cream

1/2 cup cream sherry

1 tsp. vanilla

1 quart figs, crushed or pureed

  1. Beat the egg yolks and 1/2-cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar.

  2. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly

  3. Cook over low heat until quite hot, but do not boil.

  4. Combine the egg whites with the remaining sugar and beat to a light froth.

  5. Pour the cooked egg-milk mixture into the egg whites, stirring constantly.

  6. Stir in the lemon juice.

  7. Add the cream, sherry, vanilla, and figs, blending well.

  8. Pour the mixture into a 5-quart ice cream maker container. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for freezing.

This is such a delightful, different and unique ice cream for those who love figs. This recipe yields 3 quarts.

Black Walnut Ice Cream

8 egg yolks

1-1/4 cup sugar

Dash of salt

2 cups milk

2 cups whipping cream

1 tsp. black walnut flavoring

1 cup black walnuts chopped

  1. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy; add salt.

  2. Bring milk and cream almost to a boiling point, do not boil, and remove from the heat and pour slowly into the egg mixture, stirring constantly.

  3. Return to low heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching; still do not boil this mixture. Add the black walnut flavoring. Heat to scalding, do no boil.

  4. Pour the mixture into a one-gallon freezer container. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for freezing.

  5. Remove the dasher, add the black walnuts stirring to distribute them evenly and freeze. Allow this mixture to cure for about 3-4 hours before serving. The recipe yields 1-1/2 quarts.

Orange Sorbet

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate

1 can (6 ounces)

frozen lemonade

concentrate

Rind of one orange, grated

1.  Add 6 cups of water and heat to boiling add sugar and cook for 5 minutes.

  1. Add corn syrup, juices and orange rind.

  2. Cool and strain the mixture. Pour the mixture into a one-gallon ice cream maker container, follow manufacturer’s directions for freezing. Yields 2 quarts.

Raspberry Ice

4 packages (10 oz. each) frozen red

raspberries

1 can (6 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate

2-1/4 cups sugar, divided

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

2 egg whites

  1. Thaw raspberries, puree them in a food processor or in a blender, press them through a sieve to remove the seeds, and combine the thawed lemonade concentrate.

  2. Mix 4 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar and boil this mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Cool.

  3. Soften the gelatin in 1/4-cup of water. Stir the softened gelatin into the cooling sugar syrup; continue stirring until the gelatin dissolves.

  4. Combine the sugar and raspberry mixtures.

  5. Beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar and add to the raspberry mixture, blend well.

  6. Pour the mixture into a one-gallon ice cream maker container. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for freezing. Yields 3 quarts.

Grape Sorbet

2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar

2 pounds red grapes

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and water; bring to a boil and remove from heat.

  2. Place the grapes and lemon juice in a blender and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until the skins and pulp are pulverized. Remove mixture and add sugar mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

  3. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze accordingly to manufacturer’s instructions.

  4. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for a firmer texture.

  

   Taking summer’s bounty of fruits, add some great ingredients, pop it into your ice cream maker, sit back, relax and enjoy cool tastes for summer. Serve these desserts by themselves or over angel food or pound cake. Do not forget to add your favorite dessert wines to compliment—sweet orange Muscat works well, or cream sherry.

   
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