Ready yourselves comrades… ready yourselves for a perpetual flow of sweet iced-up glory.
Seriously, I’m so ready to block off a select day each week specifically to feature frozen dairy products. Do Thursdays work for you? Thursdays say frozen dairy to me. But so does every other day. Heck for the summer season, we could temporarily make Beauty and the Feast an exclusively ice cream focused blog.
Not just ice cream… ice cream, gelato, fro-yo, you name it. It’d be dagum delicious!
Too much? Know what… let’s stop. We need to backtrack for a minute.
Growing up, I was a smidge on the porky side.
Not fat or anything. Just kind of close to it.
I had chubby cheeks and stuff. My mom called me chunkarella for a while.
It was both bizarre and traumatizing.
You could blame it on any number of things… genetics, baby fat, the 90’s
Really, the 90’s marked the ultimate rise of video games and junk food. I feel like a lot of 90’s kids were a little pudgy. Right?
For some reason, pretty much all parents in the 90’s seemed to be under the impression that Pop-tarts, Fruit by the Foot, Kraft mac-n-cheese and Tyson Chicken Nuggets constituted a well-rounded kid diet. Not so, 90’s parents. Not so.
All the same, I’d never blame my chub cheeks on the era that yielded MMMBop and All That. No see, I think my pudge problem stemmed mostly from my inherent fanaticism for ice cream. I don’t know how or why it came to be, but my goodness, this little girl’s zeal for ice cream runs long and deep.
I’m talking true love. Infatuation at it’s finest.
I may or may not be overly glorifying this obsession with romantic verbiage. Hint– I am.
Legit, it was so heinous. There was a point when I consumed a hearty dish of ice cream every. single. night. Sometimes two.
It’s truly a wonder people didn’t have to roll me from place to place like that blueberry girl in the Willy Wonka movie. It’s a wonder my parents could afford to keep our freezer in stock with ice cream. And that they actually did.
So one day (once I was well into high school and realized I had an abnormal ice cream consumption level) I said enough is enough… I took a good hard look at my relationship with the smooth creamy frozen bliss I adored, and I ended it. Just like that.
Of course, time does wonders. Today, I can appreciate the occasional rendezvous with a fine serving of frozen dairy products far more than in any period of my life when blowing through a full carton of Breyers every week meant nothing. Still don’t let it stay at the house though. I’m too old for that kind of risky business. Temptation is a devil.
But I’ll tell you, here lately, I’ve been feeling that old familiar itch… the infatuation creeping back in. It’s all because I finally learned to make my own ice cream. Gelato actually. Even better. I’ve always wanted to say I make ma own gelato. Now, I can. And I am stinking excited about it.
As soon as I dug out that first spoonful of this basic milk gelato, I knew. Oh I knew. I went straight to the bathroom mirror– sure enough, my eyes were a full of that wolfish hunger I know so very well. Ughh devil.
I may open an ice cream parlor. Or at least an ice cream truck? I’ll just start with just bombarding ya’ll with frozen creamy delights. Starting now.
This is a fantastic starter recipe for anyone new to the frozen dairy game, especially if you’re working without an ice cream maker. The important thing is to keep stirring your boiled cream mixture at regular intervals throughout the freezing process, until you have a smooth luscious gelato. When making any sort of ice cream-like entity, you gotta break those ice crystals up… or else you’re going to end up with a texture totally like ice, but minus the cream. No bueno.
This recipe calls for apricot, but you go use whatever type of preserves your perdy little heart desires. I actually went with apple butter, which worked out incredibly well with the bourbon. And once all is said and done, scoop it up however suits your fancy. I just so happened to have some leftover pound cake in my freezer, so I sandwiched gelato between thin slices for some crazy good ice cream sandwiches (with partially trimmed crusts… for that homey effect ish). It was a good idea. It was also a good idea to blend cake crumbles into the leftover gelato for a whole new flavor. Highly recommended.
Slap it on a brownie, in a cone, in between cookies, simply in a bowl, whatever. Do what you do. But to be perfectly honest, all you really need to enjoy these goods is a spoon and an open mouth. Get at it you animal.
Vanilla Milk Gelato
Adapted from Saveur
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
7 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. apricot preserves (or whatever flavor you prefer)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. bourbon
Bring cream and 2 cups of the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, dissolve sugar and cornstarch in the remaining milk in a small bowl.
Remove pan from heat and stir in milk–cornstarch mixture. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in preserves, strain into an 8×8 baking pan, and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, 2–3 hours. Then, move the container to the freezer.
After 45 minutes to an hour (as soon as the gelato begins to freeze around the sides of the pan), remove the gelato from the freezer and with a hand mixer, thoroughly mix the cream mixture–completely breaking up any frozen hunks. Place back in the freezer, and continue to check and mix every 1/2 hour until the gelato reaches a frozen, creamy consistency throughout. Scoop and enjoy!