OLD CHILDHOOD WAYS FOR NEW BETHLEHEM SUMMER DAYS…
By Dea Castrejon
On a recent road trip home, my husband and I were passing the time by playing a simple “What if” game. The question was posed, “What if you could have only one dessert for the rest of your life. What would it be?” He pondered this for a couple of miles and decided on toffee. My turn to answer? Simple. Ice cream.
In part, I am sure my love for ice cream is slightly nostalgic. Growing up, I cannot say we had a lot of sweets or candy around the house, but, (and I laugh thinking about the truth of this next statement), I can confidently say that I had ice cream every single night after dinner for as long as I can remember. Every night! Upon leaving for college and now starting my own family, my ice cream habit has certainly become less frequent, but, there is still something so refreshing, so creamy, so perfect with the occasional ice cream indulgence.
So, August has arrived, and this is the first summer my husband and I have experienced here, since our move to Bethlehem. Although temperatures seem to be moderate compared to my hometown in California, we are certainly experiencing a much higher percentage of humidity. And, since we have decided to rough it out without an air conditioner, one of my most instinctive solutions is, of course, a chilling ice cream treat!
For unusually hot and sticky days, one of my favorite choices is buttermilk ice cream. The rich flavor of cream mixed with the crisp and tangy zing of buttermilk creates a one-of-a-kind taste. To complement the twangy edge of this ice cream base, I have decided to add a touch of sweet chocolate chips and the slightly salty smack of crunchy Organic Honey Pecan granola. You ready for this?
Granola Chip Buttermilk Ice Cream
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cream
Heaping 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola
1/4 cup chocolate chips, finely chopped or food processed into small pieces.
This recipe is very simple. In a large mixing bowl, combine and stir together the buttermilk and cream. Add sugar and whisk until incorporated. Finally, add vanilla extract and give it one final mix.
At this point, I like to put my mixture in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes while I pull out my ice cream maker and prepare any of my other ice cream additions. Measure out granola and set aside. Measure out chocolate chips, and dump into food processor. Pulverize until you have a fine coffee grind looking composition. If you’d prefer, you can also just chop the chocolate chips on a cutting board into the desired piece size for the ice cream. For me, I like the idea of having a crunchy granola with very fine pieces of chocolate.
Pull the ice cream base out of the freezer and pour into the ice cream maker. In my Cuisnart freezer, it takes about 20 minutes for the ice cream to become fluffy in texture. It is important to wait until this point to add the granola and chocolate chips so that the mix-ins are evenly distributed. Let the ice cream do its magic for 5-10 more minutes, or until ice cream consistency is reached.
Quickly turn off the ice cream maker and grab a spatula to help pour/scoop ice cream into a freezer safe container. The ice cream is good to eat at this point, but if you are like me, I prefer it to be really firm and compact (I get this preference from my father), so I let it sit in the freezer for a couple of hours.
Side note to reader before I move on: even though I have added the granola and chocolate chips right into my ice cream maker, please be guaranteed that these ingredients would work just as well as toppings on many of your favorite ice creams!
Okay, you ready for part two? In addition to the ice cream, I decided to try something I had never done before: homemade sugar cones. One of my favorite forums for new recipes is Pinterest, and the moment I typed in “homemade ice cream cones,” you can bet I was inundated with options on options. Wow, I am impressed! I decided on a recipe posted by Popsugar Food, created by the talented David Lebovitz. Popsugar’s reprint of Lebovitz’s recipe, found in his bestseller, The Perfect Scoop, is clearly described in manageable steps, and the corresponding pictures were detailed and simply straightforward, especially for an intimidated first timer.
These sugar cones turned out excellent! They were thin and crispy, and they served as a perfectly understated accessory to my granola chip ice cream! Thank you Popsugar and David Lebovitz!
Homemade Ice cream cones
Makes about 6-8 cones
1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large egg whites)
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
*See article link for step-by-step instructions
*See website below to learn more about David Lebovitz and his recipes