People have been eating flavored frozen treats since at least 500 B.C. when the ancient Greeks put various syrups on snow. The practice spread both east and west, resulting in churned ice cream and gelato in Europe and kulfi in Persia and India. Even now kids commonly put sweet syrups like maple or cola on snow.
If you are making fresh fruit sauces, there are some good sales out there.
Blueberries 88¢ 6 oz.container
Peaches $1.29 lb.
Cherries: $1.99 lb.
Cherries: 97¢ lb.
Organic Blueberries, Raspberries or Blackberries, $3.99/container
Strawberries: $5/2 lbs.
Cherries: $1.98 lb.
Strawberries: $5/2-1lb. pkg
Organic blueberries/blackberries $2.98 pkg
It used to be that if you wanted ice cream you had to buy it or use the laborious hank crank machine with ice and salt. Even though you can now use various electrically powered machines, it’s still messy and a lot of trouble, and results in a gallon or so of ice cream. But now you can make any quantity of ice cream at home with no special equipment.
In a recent internet search I found two recipes that looked possible. The most basic is one you may have made in middle school science class, using plastic bags, ice and salt, milk or half and half, and vanilla. The second and easiest uses only a hand beater (or stand mixer), cream, sweetened condensed milk and usually vanilla or some other alcohol based flavoring. It can also easily be varied by adding in nuts candy etc. In terms of ease, texture and flavor the whipped cream method is the best non-churned method I found.
Adding a little alcohol to the mixtures is advised. Alcohol reduces the freezing temperature of the mixture, which helps reduce the formation of ice crystals and creates a creamier texture. By the way, real vanilla is an alcohol based flavoring.
I also obtained an electric churner with a 1-quart insert you freeze in your refrigerator, thus doing away with the mess of the ice/salt churners.
Of course, even ice cream might be improved with a delicious sauce. Chocolate is great for the chocoholics among us. Salted Caramel is a modern favorite, and various additions of fruit or other syrups like maple are also wonderful.
Three Ingredient Ice Cream
This makes about 6 cups of ice cream, but can easily be halved to make only about 3 cups.
While only three ingredients are necessary, flavorings and add ins can be used. This is the basic recipe. Some variations are given below.
2 cups heavy cream
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1-2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract or alcohol based flavorings
Whip the cream to the firm peak stage. Either a hand beater or a stand mixer can be used.
Place the condensed milk in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla (or other liquids).
Spoon about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Fold them together using a circular motion, lifting and pulling the mixtures together. At this stage it is ok to use some stirring. You are just lightening the mixture. (Hard to describe, easy to see)
Now fold in the rest of the whipped cream.
Spoon into a 6 quart container. Freeze for at least 6 hour. If you let it stay frozen for more than about 12 hours you may have to let it warm up a little to scoop it out.
Chocolate—Mix in 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder with milk mixture. Try adding 2 T Trader Joe’s roasted cocoa nibs, or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, brandy is good in this.
Peanut Butter—Add 1 cup smooth peanut butter to milk mixture, use 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon vodka
Plastic Bag Ice Cream
2 cup half and half
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Vodka
pinch of table salt
2 quart size plastic freezer bags (double zip or slider)
1 gallon size plastic freezer bag (double zip or slider)
about 4-5 cups of ice, cubes or crushed
1 cup ice cream or rock salt
In a small bowl, mix together half and half salt and sugar. Stir till sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla and vodka. Carefully pour into a quart size bag. Get some of the air out. Close the bag, place closed bag in the other quart bag, close and set aside.
In the gallon size bag, put about 1/3 of the ice in the bottom. Put about 1/3 of the rock salt over the ice. Now place your double bagged cream mixture into the gallon bag on top of the ice and salt. Pour the rest of the ice into the bag, trying to nestle the bagged cream into it. Pour the rest of the salt over it.
Wrap the whole thing in a towel. Start rotating and moving the package around to mix up the ice and salt. Now shake the whole thing, up and down, back and forth, fast and slow. Keep this up for 15 minutes. Check to see if your mix has hardened, if not, wrap it back up and continue for another 10 minutes. This should do it, it will be a little soft and maybe slushy.
Pour mixture into a freezer container and place in freezer until it hardens.
Laura Vitale’s Fudge Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
pinch of salt
Place sugar, cocoa and cream in a saucepan. Whisk together over med/low heat, stirring just to a simmer whisking frequently until sugar dissolves. Add butter 1 Tablespoon at a time whisking constantly. Let each Tablespoon melt before adding another. Whisk until smooth.
Remove from heat, add salt and chips. Stir until chocolate is melted. Let cool completely. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. To serve reheat to room temp in microwave or by placing jar in a saucepan of simmering water.( Even if you don’t refrigerate you will need to nuke it 10-20 seconds
Quick Salted Caramel Sauce
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar (light or dark)
4 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon brandy (optional)
1-2 teaspoons coarse or Kosher salt
Place all ingredients except salt in a small saucepan. Heat carefully, stirring. Cook over low/medium heat until bubbly and thickened. Take off heat, stir in salt, cool. If it is too thick when cool, add another Tablespoon of heavy cream and stir in completely. Place in a covered jar.
This is for cherry sauce. I was intrigued by the directions for making your own cherry pitter. I must ask Alton Brown if a single use gadget that you make yourself is o.k.
Easy Nutella® Sauce
This is a snap and mmmmmmm...
3 heaping Tablespoons of Nutella® or other hazelnut/chocolate spread
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Place all ingredients in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat 30 seconds on high. Stir vigorously, it may be a little seized, but continue to stir. If you need to add more liquid, be cautious, only add 1 teaspoon at a time. When it is mixed, pour it into a jar.
Another really easy one.
Ingredients and Directions
1/4 cup lemon curd (you can usually find lemon curd in the jelly section of the grocery store. Trader Joes also carries it. You can also make your own. ) in a small bowl
heavy cream (start with 2 Tablespoons, keep adding and stirring until you reach the consistency you want.
2 cups blueberries
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
Combine blueberries, water and sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until it reaches the *consistency you want. While it is simmering, mash the berries a little with a potato masher to release some of the juices.
Other fruits can also be used.
5 peaches or nectarines (try to find some that are not hard as rocks. It is not true that peaches will ripen after picking like apples, bananas or tomatoes. They will never develop more sugar, although they will soften up.)
1/2 cup white or brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy (optional, but you will cook out all the alcohol)
Peel and cut up the peaches. To peel, dip briefly in boiling water. Let cool, the skins will just slip off. Place peaches, sugar and brandy in a small pot. Bring to a boil until the peaches are cooked and the sauce is of a *satisfactory consistency. Let it cool.
*If you need to thicken sauces, use about 1 teaspoonful of cornstarch and mixed with an equal amount of water. Stir the cornstarch and water together first to create a “slurry" before adding it to the sauce.
Of course, you don’t have to make cooked sauces for delicious toppings. Slice up some strawberries and add about a teaspoon of sugar. Stir up and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, and the strawberries will juice up and taste delicious over ice cream. For peaches, you can do the same, except use about a tablespoon of brown sugar.
A video for a very easy strawberry sauce. Would be prettier and probably better if berries were a little riper.