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Ice cream is made by mixing cream, sugar and flavorings (like chocolate or strawberry) and then carefully lowering the mixture’s temperature until it sets. Using salt to help control the temperature of the ingredients, along with the invention of the home ice cream freezer, was a major breakthrough in creating ice cream as we now know it.
Once imported to the United States, ice cream was served by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Dolley Madison. Jefferson’s favorite flavor was vanilla. The creation of ice cream has also led to recipes for ices, sherbets and milk ices.
Origin of the ice cream cone
One of the more popular stories concerning the origin of the ice cream cone is it was invented at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Supposedly, an ice cream vendor ran out of paper cups and went to a nearby waffle booth, where he made some thin waffles he could roll up to hold the ice cream. However, an Italian inventor apparently had taken out a patent for an ice cream cone in the late 1890s. To be sure, the ice cream cone was probably popularized at the St. Louis Fair, but not actually invented there.
Did you know at one time, it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas?
This recipe does not require an ice cream maker to perfect, just a deep-sided pan.
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 can (7 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. rum flavoring
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
Combine heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and rum flavoring in a large bowl; mix well. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and beat just until soft peaks form; do not overbeat. Fold in cherry pie filling, almonds and chocolate chips. Spoon into an 8-inch-by-8-inch-by-2-inch pan. Cover and freeze about 4 hours or until firm. Scoop out to serve. Makes about 1 quart.
Raspberry Orange Sorbet
This sorbet can be made using an ice cream freezer or the ice tray method.
3 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. orange oil (or 1/2 tsp. orange extract and 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest)
2 Tbsps. raspberry liqueur
For best consistency, all ingredients should be chilled. Puree raspberries and strain through a fine sieve. Combine puree with other ingredients and stir for several minutes until all sugar is dissolved. Transfer berry mixture to an ice cream freezer and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately or spoon berry sorbet into covered airtight container and freeze. Makes 4 servings.
Ice Tray Method
If you do not have an ice cream freezer, here’s an alternate method: Pour the berry mixture into a shallow pan no more than 2 inches deep. An 8-inch cake pan, bread loaf pan or an ice cube tray with slats removed all make suitable containers. Cover with foil and freeze about 2 hours. Remove from freezer, cut into chunks and transfer to mixing bowl. Beat with hand mixer until slushy and smooth. Serve immediately.
Peach Ice Cream
5-1/2 cups pureed peaches
1/2 cup peach schnapps
2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups simple syrup*
Combine all ingredients; mix thoroughly. Pour into 5-qt. ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 4 quarts.
*Simple syrup: Combine one cup each sugar and water. Bring to boil to dissolve sugar and cool.
Frozen Fruit Pops
This is a tasty, healthful and inexpensive way to take advantage of whatever fruit is seasonally available. Use single fruits or combine several for special “house blends.”
1 ripe honeydew melon
2 ripe bananas
2 pints ripe strawberries
1/4 cup honey or sugar
Put fruit and honey or sugar in blender in small batches and puree. Ladle puree into Popsicle molds and freeze at least 4 hours or until frozen. Puree can also be frozen in plastic ice cube trays. Poke Popsicle sticks into place when the pops are almost frozen so that the sticks will stay upright. Makes 12 pops.
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tsps. sugar
2 medium mangos, peeled and cubed
In food processor or blender, process mango and sugar until smooth; add yogurt. Pour mixture into freezer container of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
To prepare without an ice cream maker, pour mixture into an 8-inch-by-4-inch freezer container. Cover and freeze 4 hours, whisking from time to time. Makes 4 servings.
Plum Praline Semifreddo
Italian for “half cold,” semifreddo refers to a variety of cold or frozen desserts. This recipe is very similar to ice cream and combines fresh plums and pecans for a delicious frozen treat.
1cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsps. butter, melted
2/3 cup chopped glazed pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 very soft plums, peeled, pitted, mashed, drained and coarsely chopped (1-2 cups)
1-1/2 Tbsps. sugar
Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan with 2 layers of plastic wrap, extending the wrap over the edge of the pan. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter in a medium bowl; press firmly into lined pan and sprinkle with glazed pecans. Place in freezer until ready to fill.
In a medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup sugar and eggs together for five minutes or until doubled in volume. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water so that it fits tightly. Continue beating an additional five minutes or until mixture has reached 140 degrees. Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form, and then fold into egg mixture. Stir together plums and 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar and lightly fold into cream mixture. Pour into prepared pan and freeze overnight.
To serve, pull up sides of plastic to remove from pan. Cut into slices with a sharp knife.
Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.