6 Homemade Frozen Treats to Make the Ice Cream Man Jealous

Need we say more?

Summer is finally here, but it will not be complete without everyone’s favorite frozen treat – ice cream. Making your own ice cream may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you want to enjoy your favorite summer splurge, but why not? Making it at home can ensure that it’s made exactly to your liking. Think fresh milk and cream, farm fresh eggs, fruit from the farmers market, buckets of ice and rock salt. But gone are the days of relentless churning and turning the crank until your arms fall off. Now there are many affordable homemade ice cream machines to add to your kitchen inventory. And don’t forget to bring the kids into the mix to make their favorite ice cream concoctions and spark lifelong memories. I’m going to give you a few basic recipes to use as a base for your ice cream, but then feel free to add or change ingredients to make your own family favorite. Did someone say cookies and gummy worms?

| story and food styling by Beth Maya | photography by Alex Lepe | prop styling by Deborah Points |

BASIC VANILLA ICE CREAM

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Fill cylinder of ice cream maker no more than two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer's directions. (Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Serve immediately or store in covered containers in freezer.

CHERRY SWIRL ICE CREAM

  • Homemade vanilla ice cream, freshly churned but not frozen
  • 1 jar of good-quality cherry preserves

Transfer freshly churned ice cream to a freezer container. Layer the ice cream and drop good-size dollops of cherry preserves across each layer. Take a butter knife and drag the preserves through the layer until a beautiful swirl forms. Continue to fill freezer container layer by layer until all ice cream has been used and you have a beautiful chunky cherry swirl.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until set, a few hours or overnight is best. This can be scooped over a simple angel food cake or served in a small bowl with a drizzle of bourbon for adults.

BLACKBERRY POPSICLES

  • Homemade vanilla ice cream
  • Fresh blackberries or any summer berry
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
  • Crushed graham cracker or shortbread cookies (optional)

Smash a carton of fresh blackberries in a small bowl with a fork. Leave them chunky or as large or small as you like. If the blackberries are not very sweet, add one tablespoon of sugar to the smashed mix to taste.
Using popsicle molds, pour some of the blackberry mixture to the bottom of each popsicle, then fill the rest with soft ice cream. For extra crunch, finish the very top of the popsicle with crushed graham cracker or shortbread cookies. Add popsicle lids and freeze according to package directions.

GRILLED PEACH SUNDAE

  • 3-4 whole peaches
  • 3-4 almond biscotti cookies
  • 1 teaspoon per peach half, local honey
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar per half peach
  • 1 scoop homemade vanilla ice cream per half peach
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Cut peaches in half and remove pit. Set grill pan on medium high and sear peach halves cut side down 3-4 minutes until some nice grill marks appear. Flip peach over and sprinkle with brown sugar and grill another 1-2 minutes until brown sugar starts to dissolve. Pull from grill pan and set aside.
Set one scoop vanilla ice cream per half peach and top with crumbled biscotti, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of cinnamon. Serve while peaches are still warm.

BASIC CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, milk and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer. Place the egg yolks into a small bowl. Gradually stir in about 1/2 cup of the hot liquid and return to the saucepan. Heat until thickened, but do not boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until chocolate is melted. Pour into a chilled bowl, and refrigerate for about two hours until cold, stirring occasionally.
When chocolate mixture has completely cooled, stir in the cream, and vanilla. Pour into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

THE COOKIE SHAKE

  • 1 cup homemade vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite cookie, roughly chopped

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth and delicious. 

Special thanks to Central Market for providing the food. For more on Beth Maya, please visit foodbybethmaya.com.