For this teacher, summer is a time for many things. Rest, relaxation, classroom cleanup, and prepping for next year’s crop of students. It’s a time to eat lots of corn on the cob. Lots of fresh caught and steamed crabs. Hot dogs and hamburgers. Jell-O salad and potato salad. And an absolutely obscene amount of ice cream.
Sure, you can get your ice cream from the ring-a-ding truck trolling through your neighborhood. Or you can stop by one of those en-vogue ice cream shops that serve tasty treats from cows on a local farm. Or, if you’re really lacking discriminating tastebuds, you can just go to the store and buy a half-gallon of the stuff that’s on sale.
But why do that? Invest half a Benjamin ($50 to those of you born before 1975) in an ice cream maker and you will experience the most wonderful summertime treat. You’ll know all the ingredients and you’ll probably eat much less considering you’re making it yourself, which is certainly a good thing!
First things first. Your ice cream maker will do lots of things. It will make tasty sorbets, frozen yogurts and, of course, ice creams. Sorbets are water-based frozen concoctions, usually made with fruit juices. They’re a good alternative for those looking to control their fat intake, as they’re completely fat and dairy free. Frozen yogurts are a great, lighter version of their dairy counterparts, ice cream. They’re usually lower in fat and calories and can be consumed by those who are lactose intolerant.
Ice cream falls into two categories. If you want something simple, you’ll make Philly style. This requires no cooking and is typically just milk, cream, sugar, and the flavoring of your choose. French-style ice cream, though, is much richer, thicker, and luxurious. It’s a custard made of eggs and typically takes much more time, as it must be chilled overnight before freezing in your ice cream maker.
Here are some great recipes to try this summer. They’ve all been created in my kitchen, so they’ve got the Mike Matthews Seal of Approval.
This is light, refreshing, and tart. Not too sweet, so don’t feel guilty about having another scoop!
Makes Two Quarts
4 cups of unsweetened, bitter cranberry juice (check the health food aisle. This is NOT Ocean Spray!)
1 3/4 cups of water
Two cups of sugar
4 TBSP vodka or other flavorless alcohol
Combine all ingredients. Chill in fridge for an hour. Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store in a container in freezer for up to two weeks.
Note: Alcohol in sorbets is normal. Because alcohol doesn’t freeze, it make your sorbet easier to scoop. If you don’t want to use it, get rid of it and up your water to 2 cups.
Plain, Tart Frozen Yogurt
I am a fan of West Coast yogurt shops. This flavor is the best. So simple to make and it’s tartness will be addicting.
Six cups of plain Greek Yogurt
Six egg whites
1 1/3 cups sugar
Beat the egg whites in a bowl until frothy. While beating, add the sugar until whites are stiff and shiny, about 4-5 minutes. In another bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Fold in the egg whites. Transfer to your ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer’s instructions. Can keep in freezer for a week, but it won’t last that long.
Nutella Ice Cream
OK, this one isn’t mine. I must give credit where it’s due. The wonderful Chocolate & Zucchini blog published this several years ago and it’s absolutely the easiest, most delicious ice cream you will EVER consume!
Two 12-ounce cans of evaporated milk
Two 13-ounce jars of Nutella
Whisk milk and Nutella until silky smooth. This will take a few minutes. Churn in ice cream maker and freeze for up to a week. You will go crazy for this.
Do you have any favorite ice cream, sorbet, or yogurt recipes? Share ‘em in the comments!