My sweet tooth has been in overdrive this summer, and I blame it on that ice cream machine I found at a secondhand store earlier this year.
This is the second ice cream maker I’ve picked up at a thrift store — I left the insulated base of the first one in the garage last summer, and it expanded and cracked open in the heat — and though it’s anything but fancy, the machine has been churning out some pretty amazing ice cream flavors.
I’m drawn to Creamsicle-inspired flavors that remind me of eating sherbet or Push-Up Pops when I was a kid. I’ve also been experimenting with boozy slushes and frozen pops, desserts that double as after-dinner drinks. If I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to make a dessert from scratch, I’ve started keeping La Michoacana paletas in the freezer so I can stick one in a glass and pour a little Paula’s Texas Lemon over it. As the paleta melts, the strawberry, mango or lime juice mixes with the booze to create an effortless cocktail and dessert in a glass.
With the Fourth of July upon us, these ice creams, frozen pops and paleta cocktails will keep you cool and keep that sweet tooth happy.
Pineapple and Coconut Ice Cream
If you’ve ever been to Disney World and tried a Dole Whip, you already know what this ice cream tastes like. I grew up eating Pineapple Whip, a Springfield, Mo., soft serve specialty that predates Disney’s Dole Whip by about a decade and is credited with saving the local county fair. A traditional dairy-free Pineapple or Dole Whip is made by freezing about 1 pound of pineapple chunks and blending them with a little pineapple and lemon juice, as well as about 1/2 cup coconut milk and only a tablespoon or two of sugar.
This French recipe is more of a traditional ice cream, where the pureed fruit and coconut mixture is mixed with whipped cream before churning in a machine. I preferred straining the fruit-and-coconut puree for a smoother ice cream; some of the coconut lovers I served this to liked the little chunks of pineapple and coconut in an earlier batch, so it’s up to you.
This version has quite a bit of sugar, so use the frozen pineapple and coconut milk method if you want a less sweet dessert. It also makes a lot of ice cream; you could cut this recipe in half, but I would use the same amount of coconut for the full effect. For even more coconut flavor, skip the heavy cream. Instead, chill a can of coconut milk and whip the coconut fat that solidifies at the top and fold into the pineapple puree before freezing.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the pineapple mixture in a metal bowl in the freezer. When it has hardened a little, remove from the freezer and whisk in the whipped cream. Return to the freezer until it has hardened slightly, then whisk again. Repeat this once or twice until the mixture is too hard to whisk. Store in a covered container in the freezer.
— Addie Broyles
1 (2-pound) ripe pineapple
1 cup sugar
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup shredded coconut plus 1 tablespoon extra, for garnishing
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Peel and trim the pineapple. Cut it into quarters and remove the hard core. Cut the flesh into cubes. In a food processor, blend the pineapple, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and coconut to a puree. Strain, if desired.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Churn until the mixture begins to harden, then add the whipped cream and churn until the ice cream is firm. Transfer to a container, cover and store in the freezer. Serves 6 to 8.
— Adapted from “So French, So Sweet” by Gabriel Gaté (Hardie Grant, $19.99)
Grapefruit and Basil Ice Cream
This pink grapefruit and basil ice cream was inspired by U.K. cookbook author Diana Henry’s time in San Francisco, first as a diner at Chez Panisse and then later as a friend of chef and author Alice Waters, whose love of fresh ingredients and nouveau flavor combinations left an indelible impact on Henry.
In her latest book, “How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places” (Mitchell Beazley, $34.99), Henry compiles menus inspired by places she’s visited and meals she’s enjoyed over the years. In the recipe introduction for this dish, she explains that she first made it with lemon, but by swapping in grapefruit, she created a floral, dreamy ice cream that she says is “possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever made.”
I made the ice cream a few weeks ago and was immediately transported to my childhood summers, when I used to fetch a cold orange Flintstones Push-Up Pop out of the freezer and eat it on the back porch during a sweltering Missouri evening.
Not everyone I served it to was convinced that grapefruit and basil were a wise combination, so I shared this ice cream at work to get others’ feedback. One co-worker said he thought the ice cream tastes like “a more refreshing summertime treat than any mixed cocktail” and that it would be something he could imagine feeding guests at a party. Another ice cream lover in the newsroom said the grapefruit flavor was a little too bitter for his taste but that it was “refreshing on a hot Austin day.”
Served in a cocktail tumbler with ice-cold Topo Chico and/or a local vodka, this would make a lovely Austin affogato.
— Addie Broyles
Zest and juice of 1 grapefruit
1/4 plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups whole milk
About 20 basil leaves
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place the zest and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a mortar and pestle. (Reserve the grapefruit juice for later in the recipe.) Grind until the mixture forms a citrus sugar paste.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, place the milk and the citrus zest mixture. Heat to almost a boil and then remove from heat. Tear the basil leaves and add them to the pan. Cover and let rest for at least an hour on the stove-top so that the flavors can infuse.
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the yolks and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until the yolks have turned pale and creamy. Strain the flavored milk and then add to the bowl, stirring to combine. Place the custard mixture into a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stirring often, heat the mixture until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. (Do not boil the mixture or heat it above 180 degrees or the eggs will curdle or scramble.)
While the custard heats, place a bowl over ice in the sink. When the custard has thickened, pour it into the cool bowl to help stop the cooking. Let the custard come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, use a hand-held or stand mixer to whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled custard, and then add the grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Gently stir to combine and then either refrigerate the mixture to churn it later or add it to your ice cream maker. If using an electric ice cream machine, churn according to manufacturer’s directions. (To make the ice cream manually, place the custard in a shallow container with a lid in the freezer. Remove the custard mixture from the freezer three times during the freezing process to churn with a hand-held mixer, once after an hour and then in two-hour intervals.)
Place the ice cream in the freezer for at least 4 hours to continue to freeze and then serve. Serves 6.
— Adapted from “How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places” by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, $34.99)
Frosecco (or Frosé) Slushy
As much as I love the frosé (and now frosecco) trend, I don’t frequent the bars that serve these frozen drinks all that often, especially when my kids are out of school for the summer. We’re spending a lot of time cooking, reading and enjoying lazy summer nights, and this homemade frosecco recipe is one I’ve been playing with.
The first time I made it, I followed a recipe I found online and froze an ice cube tray’s worth of prosecco, then blended the prosecco cubes with a little St-Germain and lemon juice. Although it was refreshing and delicious, there’s no way I could tell that the ice cubes were made with prosecco and not everyday white wine. For the second batch, I saved all those wonderful bubbles for the last step instead of the first, opting to freeze cheap white wine from Trader Joe’s as the base and then topping the cocktail off with a splash of prosecco at the end. The result was similar enough for my palate (and my pocketbook) to be pleased. Note that St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur, can overwhelm the drink, so go easy on it if you’re unsure, or feel free to skip if you don’t have any on hand.
— Addie Broyles
12 white wine ice cubes
1 ounce St-Germain
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces prosecco or rosé
Add about six wine cubes to a blender with the St. Germain and lemon juice. Pulse until slushy. Add chilled prosecco or rose and give it one more pulse. Pour into a glass and serve with a straw. Makes 2 drinks.
— Adapted from a recipe on Supercall
Mixed Berry and Riesling Poptails
If you’re into boozy frozen pops, you’ll love this mélange of berry flavors and fruity riesling from “Ice Kitchen Poptails” by Nadia Roden and Cesar Roden (Quadrille, $19.99). You’ll need ice pop molds (or at the least, Dixie cups and wooden sticks) and at least five hours to freeze them, possibly more. You can use other kinds of white wine, but riesling is nice and sweet, which is perfect for a frozen pop.
— Addie Broyles
1 pound mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or quartered strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups riesling wine
Lemon slices and/or mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
Put all the berries in a bowl, then sprinkle over the sugar, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the riesling. Leave to macerate for a few hours, until the berries are soft and the flavors have mingled. Stir in the remaining riesling.
Pour the mixture into the molds, making sure you distribute the berries evenly, leaving a little space at the top. If you like, drop in a sliver of lemon and a mint leaf. Freeze until slushy, 60 to 90 minutes, then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, at least 5 hours or overnight. Makes 8 to 10.
— From “Ice Kitchen Poptails” by Nadia Roden and Cesar Roden (Quadrille, $19.99)
Double Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
At my mom’s house, it’s not summertime unless you have bags of freshly picked blueberries in the freezer. Even if you don’t pick your own, this is a great time of year to buy fresh blueberries and cherries, which you can freeze to enjoy this fall and winter. Pit and wash the cherries first, but don’t wash the blueberries or else the skin will become tough and rubbery. Store in freezer-quality zip-top plastic bags.
When you find yourself fresh or frozen blueberries this summer, here is a Double Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from “Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt: 56 Amazing Flavors Plus Recipes for Pies, Cakes & Other Frozen Desserts” by Nicole Weston (Storey, $16.95).
They key to all the recipes in Weston’s book are those egg whites and the cold Greek yogurt. Together, they form a base with the water and sugar that won’t get icy in the freezer.
As the author notes in the recipe, you can use a high-quality fruit jam instead of a homemade sauce. You could substitute cherries, raspberries or blackberries, and if you only have a handful of one kind of berry or fruit, don’t hesitate to mix up the sauce and fresh fruit mixture, using blueberry jam and fresh chopped cherries, for instance.
— Addie Broyles
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt, cold
2/3 cup blueberry sauce or blueberry jam
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, without stirring, over medium-high heat. When the sugar mixture comes to a full boil, continue to boil for 1 minute.
While the sugar boils, beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a large clean bowl. When the sugar is ready, continue beating the eggs on low speed and very slowly stream in the hot sugar mixture. When all the sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the meringue is glossy and has cooled almost down to room temperature, 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk together the yogurt, blueberry sauce and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in the meringue. Pour the yogurt mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.
When the yogurt has finished churning and is still soft, transfer to a large bowl. Fold in the fresh blueberries until evenly distributed. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and chill in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours to allow the yogurt to completely set. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
— From “Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt: 56 Amazing Flavors Plus Recipes for Pies, Cakes & Other Frozen Desserts” by Nicole Weston (Storey, $16.95)
Homemade Blueberry Sauce
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
Combine the blueberries, water, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit begins to break down. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the sauce has reduced slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Makes about 2/3 cup sauce.
— From “Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt: 56 Amazing Flavors plus Recipes for Pies, Cakes & Other Frozen Desserts” by Nicole Weston (Storey, $16.95)
TIPS FOR MAKING FOOLPROOF ICE POPS
Pour the poptail mix into the molds from a small jug or measuring cup. If there are pieces to suspend, make sure you distribute them evenly. If you want to insert a garnish, such as a sliver of orange or lemon, or a mint leaf, then now would be the time to do it. Leave a 1/4-inch gap at the top for expansion during freezing.
Turn your freezer to the coldest setting and clear a flat surface to put the molds on. Prepare ahead, allow for plenty of freezing time and avoid opening the freezer often. Poptails take longer to freeze because of the alcohol content – about five to eight hours depending on size and alcohol content. Freezing overnight is best.
The easiest method for inserting the sticks is to leave the molds uncovered and insert after the mixture has frozen enough that the sticks stay straight when inserted, about 60 to 90 minutes. Another idea is to secure them in place with a sliced piece of fruit. If your timings don’t fit, you can cover the top of your molds with foil and cut little slits where you will want the sticks, then insert the sticks through the foil to secure them in place.
You have to take care when unmolding poptails because the alcohol in them makes them more delicate. Metal or rubbery silicone molds work best. With the latter, all you need to do is push them out. For other types of mold, you can leave the poptails sitting at room temperature for a few minutes or dip them in room temperature water for a few seconds as you pull gently on the stick. If the mold is a shot glass, hold it in your hands until you are able to pull the poptail out. Twisting the stick a little as you pull will make them come out more easily. If the poptail melts too much, the stick will come out without the pop.
Keep the poptails in their molds as long as possible to prevent freezer burn. It is best to serve poptails as soon as possible after unmolding, but if you need to store them, wrap them individually in cling film (plastic wrap) and store in the freezer in an airtight freezer bag. They taste best within a week of making.
— Reprinted with permission from “Ice Kitchen Poptails” by Nadia Roden and Cesar Roden (Quadrille, $19.99)