Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream (#16)

27 06 2012

When I posted my recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger Ice Cream a few weeks ago, I had every intention of posting a sister recipe — Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream — the week following.  But alas, sweet local strawberries were no where in sight.  Vancouver’s wet, grey, and ch-chilly June weather meant a delay in the ripening of local strawberries.  While you can buy fresh strawberries at the grocery store at almost any time of the year now, those giant red berries coming out of California have spongy interiors and don’t seem to have much taste.  (Find out why in this NPR article.)  Local strawberries, on the other hand, while smaller in size, are darling little red gems bursting with flavour and sweetness.  And finally, THEY ARE READY!!!


Hooray, local strawberries are FINALLY in season!

The last time I checked, U-pick strawberries out in Richmond or the Fraser Valley are about $1.50 / lb, harvested berries at the farm gate around $2.00 to $2.50 / lb, and berries at the local farmers market or produce shops around $4.00 to $5.00 / lb.  It is definitely worth spending a couple hours in the U-pick fields or spending a few extra dollars for local berries – they will not disappoint!

This recipe employs the same method as Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream: cooking a fruit compote, then swirling it into a plain ice cream.  You can, optionally, puree and strain the compote and then mix it into the custard prior to churning, but I prefer having larger pieces of fruit mixed into the ice cream.  Yum, a true taste of summer, at last!!

strawberry rhubarb compote

Strawberry rhubarb compote.  Make extra to use as a topping for toast, waffles, pancakes, or yogurt

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

Ice Cream

2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
3 cups half-and-half cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote (makes about 1.5 cups)

2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp water
1 c hulled and quartered strawberries

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Banana Bread Ice Cream (#15-D/E)

20 06 2012

Ripe Bananas 29 cents / lb

These bananas just about overstayed their welcome at the produce store.  With so much competition from other summery fruits (Berries!  Melons!  Mangoes!), they were neglected, never chosen.  Brown spots started appearing, and that’s when they were demoted to the back of the store — marked with a blue felt-tipped pen and tossed into a bin that said Ripe Bananas 29 cents / lb.  Brilliant.  Eight pounds, please.

Speckly brown bananas are soft and sweet, have a deep flavour, and have none of those annoying stringy fibres.  While probably past their prime for eating outright, they are perfect for making banana bread — and even better — banana bread ice cream.

This is the first 52 Scoops ice cream recipe that is egg-free.  The gooeyness of mashed, ripe banana makes for a delectably thick ice cream mix that is very similar in consistency to a cooked custard.  When churned, it yields a well-structured ice cream where the flavour of the fruit takes centre stage.

As noted in my post on egg-free ice cream making tips earlier this week, egg-free ice cream recipes tend to work best with fruit flavours.  With summer officially in full swing (Happy Solstice, everyone!) and fresh fruit abound at the markets, I promise there will be more egg-free ice cream recipes to come!

Banana Bread Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

Adapted from Serious Eats

2 tbsp butter
4 bananas (about 2 cups mashed)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream*
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted

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Egg-Free Ice Cream Recipes and Tips

18 06 2012

A few 52 Scoops readers have recently asked whether I have any egg-free ice cream recipes.  So far, all of my recipes have eggs, since I love the richness and texture of custard-based ice cream.  But since I am quickly learning there are many ice cream lovers out there who are allergic to eggs or do not eat eggs, I’d like to offer some tips on how to modify 52 Scoops ice cream recipes so they are egg-free, as well as some general tips on successful egg-free ice cream making.  But first, a primer on the difference between ice cream made with and without eggs…

Egg vs. Egg-Free

Ice cream made with eggs is also known as French-style or custard-based ice cream.  It is made by combining eggs, sugar, and cream, and cooking it into a custard.  This style of ice cream has a richer and creamier mouth feel, a denser texture, and is more scoopable.

Ice cream made without eggs is also known as Philadelphia-style or American-style ice cream.  Egg-free ice cream has a lighter, more delicate texture.  It is faster and simpler to make and typically does not require any stove-top action.

Modifying 52 Scoops Ice Cream Recipes So They are Egg-Free

The 14 recipes I have posted to date all contain egg, and most have been prepared following this method:

  1. Combine eggs and sugar.
  2. Add most of the cream.
  3. Cook until it thickens.
  4. Remove from heat, add remaining cream, and place in an ice bath to cool.
  5. Stir in flavourings (unless recipe calls for flavourings to be added in the final moments of churning).
  6. Chill overnight.
  7. Churn.

After reviewing the ingredients and preparation methods of numerous egg-free ice cream recipes, I would suggest that most 52 Scoops ice cream recipes can be modified to be egg-free.  Omit the eggs from the original recipe and follow one of the general preparation methods listed below:

For recipes using only sugar as a sweetener:

  1. Combine the sugar and cream.
  2. Whisk thoroughly until the sugar is fully dissolved.  (Be patient and thorough here.  You do not want to eat grainy ice cream!)
  3. Stir in flavourings (unless recipe calls for flavourings to be added in the final moments of churning).
  4. Chill overnight.
  5. Churn.

For recipes using a liquid sweetener (i.e. honey, syrup) instead of, or in addition to, sugar as a sweetener:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the liquid sweetener with 1/3 of the cream called for in the recipe.  Heat over medium-low heat until the liquid sweetener is dissolved into the cream, stirring constantly.  Let cool.
  2. Combine #1 above with any sugar called for and the remaining cream.
  3. Whisk thoroughly until the sugar is fully dissolved.  (Be patient and thorough here.  You do not want to eat grainy ice cream!)
  4. Stir in flavourings (unless recipe calls for flavourings to be added in the final moments of churning).
  5. Chill overnight.
  6. Churn.

52 Scoops Disclaimer!  I have not (yet) tested any of my recipes to be egg-free, so actual results might vary.  (But can you really go wrong when you churn sugar and cream together?!)  When I have the chance, I will go back and try egg-free versions of various recipes.  When I do, I will post an addendum, complete with a modified ingredient list, specific instructions, and Official Taster notes.  Egg-free ice cream recipes will be coded with an “E” (e.g. Classic Vanilla is coded #1, Egg-Free Classic Vanilla will be coded #1-E) and will be searchable under the category tag “egg-free”.  If you have the chance to adapt a 52 Scoops ice cream recipe to be egg-free before I get around to it, please let me know how it turns out — I’d love to hear from you!

I will also be developing recipes that will be egg-free from the get-go, so stay tuned.  I have an egg-free ice cream recipe in the test kitchen right now!

General Tips on Making Egg-Free Ice Cream:

– It goes without saying, always use the best quality ingredients you can find.

– Egg-free recipes tend to work best with fruit flavours (e.g. using fresh ripe fruit puree)

– Use superfine sugar, as it will dissolve much faster in the cream.  If you don’t have superfine sugar, use regular granulated sugar that has been pulsed in the food processor for a few seconds.

– Compared to custard-based ice cream, egg-free ice cream will freeze up harder and be less scoopable.  To achieve a more scoopable egg-free ice cream, you can add some alcohol to the mix.  One tablespoon of vodka per cup of cream used usually does the trick.  You can also try substituting some of the sugar with a liquid sweetener, such as a mild honey or maple syrup.

– Your best bet is to enjoy your homemade egg-free ice cream the same day it is prepared (four to six hours after freezing) when a softer texture is still maintained.  If you need to freeze the ice cream overnight or longer, do so in a shallow dish (an 8″ x 8″ glass dish works the best for 1 L of ice cream), and let the ice cream soften in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to scooping.

Fresh Mint and Spring Peas Ice Cream (#14)

13 06 2012

Earlier this week, my co-worker Andrew brought me a bunch of fresh mint from his community garden in East Vancouver.

garden fresh mint

Garden fresh mint

Seeing that I had already used mint (albeit in extract form) in a classic ice cream recipe just a couple of weeks ago (Cacao Nibs and Mint Ice Cream #12), an unusual ice cream recipe was once again in order.  Mint and peas can be whirled into a wonderful soup… so, why not in ice cream?

You can buy fresh mint at most produce and grocery stores, but use garden fresh mint for this recipe if you can.  Inhale deeply and it smells so amazingly cooling.  Mint also grows like a weed.  If you don’t already have some in your backyard, chances are, your neighbour does and will gladly invite you over to harvest a bunch.  Fresh shelling peas tend to be a bit harder to come by, unless you hit up your local farmers market at the right time.  If you can’t find any, frozen peas will do just fine.  Frozen vegetables are picked at their peak of ripeness and then immediately flash frozen — they can be more delicious and nutritious than “fresh” veggies that have been sitting around for weeks.


Fresh peas at the Saturday Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon. Sadly, I wasn’t able to bring any back with me to Vancouver.  A trusty bag of Green Giant peas worked just fine for this recipe.

The resultant ice cream is a gorgeous bright green colour that screams Hello, Spring!  Still raising an eyebrow at this flavour?  Don’t.  I assure you it’s a wonderful combination on the palette.  Subtle flavours, refreshing, and with an ever so slightly grainy texture, somewhat reminiscent of Matcha Ice Cream #7.  Try it out for yourself!

Fresh Mint and Spring Peas Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

3 cups of peas (enough to yield 2 cups of puree)
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 cups half-and-half cream, divided

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Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream (#13)

8 06 2012

Week #13!  This means I’m 25% through my year of ice cream making.  So far, I’m having loads of fun time developing new recipes and churning out batch after batch of delectable home made ice cream.

I really like using fresh, local ingredients, so I recently put out a call to my co-workers: If you grow interesting things in your backyard and want to bring me some freshly harvested goodies, I can probably transform it into ice cream for you.  And the next day, I came to work and found a bunch of rhubarb on my desk.  (Thanks Hildie!)

bunch of fresh rhubarb

Freshly picked rhubarb

Rhubarb is a fascinating vegetable.  It looks like pink celery and has an absolutely puckering bite if you try to eat it raw.  I thought this bunch of rhubarb ought to be cooked into a luscious compote loaded with ginger, then swirled into an ice cream custard.  Don’t be scared by the amount of ginger called for in the compote.  When mixed into the ice cream, there’s a wonderful balance of sweet and heat.  If you have a lot of rhubarb on hand, double the compote recipe and save some for topping yogurt, waffles, pancakes, or toast.

Jar of rhubarb ginger compote

Rhubarb ginger compote

Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream:

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Rhubarb Ginger Compote (makes 1 cup):

2.5 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp water

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Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream a Grand Prize Winner!

7 06 2012

I’m thrilled to announce that 52 Scoops’ Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream recipe is the Grand Prize winner in Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s Home Grown Chef Contest, with 36% of reader votes!

A big shout out to friends, family, and fans who voted for 52 Scoops.  Thanks also to my fellow contestants — it was a pretty tight race at times!

I love classic ice cream flavours, but I also love unusual ice cream recipes — and Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream is one of my favourites so far.  Keep your eye out for more quirky & original 52 Scoops ice cream recipes in the weeks ahead.  And if you have any interesting ideas, please email me or post a comment!

Hot cross buns ice cream

Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream – a prize winning recipe!

It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!

7 06 2012

June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, so I thought I’d reprise an oldie but a goodie: Week #5’s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream.

Chocolate ice cream

Week #5’s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream

This super simple ice cream recipe uses only four ingredients, and I assure you it will taste better than any premium chocolate ice cream you’ll find at the grocery store.  If you have time to make and chill the custard this morning, you can churn out a creamy batch of ice cream for dessert tonight.  Cheers to chocolate!

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