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I scream, you scream …

This is the time of year that I feel like a kid in an ice cream shop wanting to try all the innovative, newfangled flavors: French toast bacon, lavender coconut with black sesame seeds, Earl Grey tea with shortbread cookies, Black Forest licorice, everything but the kitchen sink and even movie time — popcorn-flavored ice cream with sea salt caramel swirls and caramel truffles.

Some don’t stray from the basic flavors like vanilla, the most popular flavor, or chocolate, and strawberry.

At every age, ice cream is a treat, especially on a hot, summer day. July is National Ice Cream Month, and this year National Ice Cream Day is July 21 (it’s always the third Sunday in July, wonder why “Sundae?”) So, let’s get out and celebrate enjoying this cool, sweet treat.

We have Sen. Walter Dee Huddleston of Kentucky to thank. In 1984, he sponsored a bill stating July as the month to celebrate this beloved treat. Following the proclamation, former President Ronald Regan signed the bill into law.

Did you know?

• In Thailand, people enjoy ice cream on a hot dog bun.

• Waffle cones are the most popular way to serve ice cream.

• It was in 1904 that ice cream cones were invented at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, so that people could more easily enjoy it as they strolled around the fair.

• New Zealand is the highest ice cream consuming country in the world, followed by the United States, Australia, Finland and Sweden, according to frozendessertsupplies.com.

• 87% of U.S. households have ice cream in the freezer, according to icecream.com.

• Nearly 10% of the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream.

I have several ice cream cookbooks in my ever-growing collection. The one I chose for inspiration is an older title, “Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States,” by Lindsay Clendaniel (2014, Page Street Publishing, $19.99).

Because I travel a quite a bit, the book’s concept was intriguing, as I enjoy checking out local ice cream shops, sampling their unique and sometimes quirky flavors and then savoring every lick of the flavors I chose.

The author writes: “As I kept churning scoops and writing blog posts, word got out about my blog and obsession with ice cream. I was approached with a book deal. Not only do I get to share some of my own favorite recipes with you, but I also get to share some of the best ice cream recipes the country has to offer. I have worked with ice cream shop owners from every region to bring you their most creative and innovative flavors. This cookbook features a collection of recipes from shop owners who are passionate about their homemade product.”

Seaport Salty Swirl Ice Cream. "Made in a town steeped in maritime and ice cream history, this ice cream has so many sweet and salty layers it could be considered a meal! Ice cream production began in this small shop by the town drawbridge in the 1800s." (Photo by Lindsay Clendaniel)
Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shop in Mystic, Conn., makes an array of unique flavors such as Seaport Sally Swirl. (Photo by Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shop)

With this book, you’ll be able to prepare innovative ice cream flavors from scoop shops in all 50 states. You’ll find unique flavors such as Honey Sunflower Seed, Blueberry Kale, Lemon Ricotta Cardamom Gelato, Orange Chocolate Decadence (one of my favorite flavor combinations), Balsamic Fig and Peach Honey Habanero.

The headnotes share the stories behind these flavors, and the vivid photos of the ice cream will tantalize your taste buds. Now, let’s get churning with these recipes from the book.

Mayan Chocolate Ice Cream. "The creamy combination of coconut milk and spices in this chocolate vegan ice cream is a spicy and refreshing scoop for all to enjoy.

For the recipe for Mayan Chocolate Ice Cream (Full Tilt Ice Cream, Washington State), visit https://bit.ly/4biErm2.

Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Ice Cream was Inspired by Gerenser's Exotic Ice Cream, New Hope, Bucks County. (Photo by Lindsay Clendaniel)
Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Ice Cream was Inspired by Gerenser’s Exotic Ice Cream, New Hope, Bucks County. (Photo by Lindsay Clendaniel)

Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Ice Cream

Inspired by Gerenser’s Exotic Ice Cream, New Hope, Bucks County

Makes 1 quart

The headnote says: “In addition to its cheesesteak, Philadelphia is a city famous for its soft pretzels. Philadelphians are rumored to consume twelve times as many pretzels as the average U.S. citizen, and the city boasts a pretzel museum. Given that cheesesteak ice cream would taste pretty bad, chocolate pretzel ice cream was the go-to flavor for Bob Gerenser to best represent the City of Brotherly Love. Situated in a small town outside of Philly, Gerenser’s has been serving classic and exotic ice cream flavors for 55 years. He knows how to make a winning dessert.” (Sadly, my research shows that this business has closed).

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE LIQUOR

1⁄3 cup cocoa powder

1⁄3 cup water

1⁄3 cup sugar

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

ICE CREAM BASE

1 ¾ cups whole milk, divided

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided

1⁄3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped chocolate-covered pretzels

Directions:

To make the chocolate liquor, combine the cocoa powder, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low boil, whisking constantly. As soon as you see bubbles, remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, and then stir the chocolate liquor until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside.

To make the ice cream base, fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch, whisk and set aside. Combine the remaining milk, ½ cup of the cream, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour the base into the chocolate liquor and whisk to combine. Stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Once cool, add the vanilla. Refrigerate the ice cream base until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Pour the base into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is complete, gently fold in the chocolate-covered pretzel pieces. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Banana Pudding Ice Cream. "Banana gives ice cream a gloriously creamy texture while imparting sweetness. Add a pinch of nutmeg, a touch of lemon and a generous amount of vanilla wafers and you are left with a frozen version of the South's favorite dessert.

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Inspired by Sam & Greg’s, Huntsville, Ala.

The headnote says: “There are plenty of banana-based desserts, but none are as dear to the hearts of Southerners as banana pudding. To this day, some Southern men claim to marry wives based on their ability to make banana pudding! The best banana puddings are made with real bananas, and the same is true for ice creams. Banana gives ice cream a gloriously creamy texture while imparting sweetness. Add a pinch of nutmeg, a touch of lemon and a generous amount of vanilla wafers and you are left with a frozen version of the South’s favorite dessert.”

Makes 1 ½ quarts

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

1 ¾ cups heavy cream

1 ¾ cups whole milk

2⁄3 cup sugar

1⁄8 tsp salt

2 ripe bananas

Pinch of nutmeg

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups chopped vanilla wafers

Directions:

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the cream, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar dissolves, 4 minutes. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring ½ cup of the warmed cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly until combined. Return the warmed yolks to the pan with the remaining cream mixture. Heat the custard over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Cut the bananas into chunks and purée in a blender with the nutmeg and lemon juice until smooth. Add the hot milk mixture and blend to combine. Pour the custard into a medium bowl. Place the bowl in the ice water bath and cool, about 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Freeze the vanilla wafers overnight.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is complete, gently fold in the vanilla wafers. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Seaport Salty Swirl Ice Cream. “Made in a town steeped in maritime and ice cream history, this ice cream has so many sweet and salty layers it could be considered a meal! Ice cream production began in this small shop by the town drawbridge in the 1800s.” (Photo by Lindsay Clendaniel)

Seaport Salty Swirl Ice Cream

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, Mystic, Conn.

The headnote says: “Sea shanties, Mystic Seaport, and local pub fare were the inspiration for this sweet and salty creation. Made in a town steeped in maritime and ice cream history, this ice cream has so many sweet and salty layers it could be considered a meal! Ice cream production began in this small shop by the town drawbridge in the 1800s and changed hands several times over the next two hundred years. The current owners are the fourth shop owners at this landmark location, and they continue to make delicious and creative flavors like the owners before them.”

Makes 1 generous quart

Ingredients:

ICE CREAM BASE

2 cups heavy cream

¾ cup milk

¾ cup sugar

1⁄8 tsp salt

¼ cup chopped salted peanuts

½ cup roughly chopped chocolate-covered pretzels

CARAMEL SAUCE

1 cup sugar

¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup heavy cream

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons whole milk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

4 tablespoons honey

Directions:

To make the ice cream base, fill a large bowl with ice water. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar and salt. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat, bringing to a temperature of 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (do not boil). Remove from the heat and pour into a medium bowl. Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and chill overnight.

To make the caramel sauce, cook the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Do not touch the sugar until all edges begin to melt. Cook until the sugar begins to brown, stirring frequently, allowing it to reach a deep amber color. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until dissolved (the mixture will bubble). Add the heavy cream and sea salt. Return to low heat and stir until the ingredients are combined, 1 minute. Cool to room temperature before adding to the ice cream. Use leftovers in various desserts or eat with a spoon.

To make the peanut butter sauce, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the ingredients are combined and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature before adding to the ice cream.

Once the base is chilled, pour it into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is nearing the end of churning, add the peanuts and chocolate-covered pretzels and complete churning. Spoon a small layer of caramel and peanut butter sauces into a freezer-safe container and lightly spoon a layer of ice cream on top. Continue to alternate layers of sauces and ice cream until the container is full, gently swirling with a spoon (careful not to muddy the ice cream). Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Recipes and images reprinted with permission from “Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States” by Lindsay Clendaniel. Page Street Publishing Co. 2014.

Stephen Fries is professor emeritus and former coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Conn. He has been a food and culinary travel columnist for the past 16 years and is co-founder of and host of “Worth Tasting,” a culinary walking tour of downtown New Haven. He is a board member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Email him at Stephen@stephenfries.com. For more, go to stephenfries.com.


Source: Berkshire mont

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