JOPLIN, Mo. —
If you are around my age, you probably remember how fun it was to use a hand-cranked machine to churn out homemade ice cream. It seemed as though the container had to be wrapped in towels forever before we could dig in and enjoy it, but, oh, what a treat worth waiting for.
The rock salt would turn the melted ice gray, and the grass was sure to die on the spot where the churning was done. Then we would see that spot and remember how good the ice cream tasted. And remember Junket tablets? I didn't know until recently that Junket is the name of the company that makes the tablets, not the tablet name itself. We always made vanilla and topped it with fresh fruit, usually strawberries.
Another ice-cream memory from my younger days was going to Scott's 5 & 10 on the south side of the Carthage square and ordering a chocolate soda at the fountain counter. There were mirrors all the way across the back counter, and I could see my reflection, but it didn't stop me from devouring that soda in the most unlady-like manner, slurping with the straw to get every little bit. Again, it was a once-in-a-while treat that made our trips to town special.
Father's Day is the ideal time for a special treat such as homemade ice cream. What dad wouldn't like that? Making homemade ice cream has gotten easier over the years, mainly because of the invention of the electric ice cream maker. With a little preparation and time, you can have a frozen treat that's hard to beat for any celebration, or just because.
There are two kinds of ice cream: Custard is cooked and has an egg base, while Philadelphia style is not cooked. Those familiar with both are sure to have a favorite. The custard base can be a little tricky because its egg yolks need close attention. It may take you a couple of times to get it right. Or consider starting with a no-cook recipe to avoid the possible frustration. My sister-in-law, Pam Roets, always uses the custard base for her ice cream, and it comes out perfect each time. I prefer the no-cook version because I don't have Pam's patience.
When adding fruit, mix in crushed or pureed fruit first. Adding whole berries? Wait until the ice cream is at soft-serve consistency, then stir it in.
Here are some unusual flavors offered by famous ice cream stores: bacon, horseradish, pizza, sweet potato and summer sweet corn. I'll just take a root beer float.
Here's something fun for the kids: ice cream in a bag. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or other flavoring). Pour into a small plastic zip-close bag and seal, removing as much air as possible. Fill a large freezer zip-close bag with 4 cups ice and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Place smaller bag inside large bag and close. Put on your winter gloves, then toss and shake the bag for 5 to 10 minutes. Take out the small bag and rinse the outside of it to remove any salt that might end up in your ice cream. Serve up two bowls of homemade ice cream in no time at all. Whether you cook up the base or use an ice cream maker or a plastic bag, summer is the perfect time to mix up a batch of homemade ice cream.
A belated happy birthday to my mother, Wilma Evans. She's recuperating from a nasty fall, so there was no dancing or wild parties, just a simple family lunch and the blessing of having her with us. This will be our third Father's Day without my dad. I have almost 60 years of memories with that wonderful man, and I can still celebrate the fact that he was my dad Ñ I'll always feel fortunate for him.
From recipes.com comes a no-cook ice cream recipe for strawberry lovers. For those looking to cook a custard base, from countryliving.com comes the butter pecan ice cream recipe. And though it's hard to beat those ready-made jars of ice cream toppings, try your hand at making your own. From allrecipes.com comes a recipe for peanut butter topping. I would add mini-chocolate chips and think it was just about perfect. Happy Father's Day and happy eating.
No-cook strawberry ice cream
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons sugar
11/2 cups whole milk
16 ounces fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Process berries, juice and salt in blender or food processor until smooth. Stir into milk mixture. Freeze in 1-quart electric ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove container from bucket and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Transfer to airtight container and freeze 1 to 11/2 hours. Yields 11/2 quarts.
Butter pecan ice cream
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the candied pecans:
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In medium saucepan, whisk together milk, brown sugar, egg yolks and salt. Place over medium-high heat until mixture simmers. Lower heat to medium and whisk for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Strain mixture into large bowl and whisk in butter until combined, then incorporate half-and-half, whipping cream and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 2 hours. For pecans, combine pecans, sugar and butter in heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 6 minutes or until sugar is melted and browned. Remove from heat; spread nuts out on foil. Once cooled, break into bite-size pieces. Pour ice cream mixture into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. Once ice cream is made, stir in reserved nuts. Yields 18 1/2 cups.
Peanut butter ice cream topping
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter
Mix sugar and water in small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until melted and well-blended. Serve warm over ice cream. Yields 1 cup.
Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.