frozen summer desserts

It’s summer, the temperatures are up (way up lately) and it’s time to enjoy some fabulous outdoor desserts on the patio, or to get ready for the Labor Day weekend feast. Ice cream, and really a host of frozen desserts, are easy to prepare and most importantly, inspiration is plentiful with all of the fresh fruits and berries currently in-season.  I have previously posted recipes for Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream as well as Mango-Coconut Sorbet and Cranberry Ice if you find yourself stuck for inspiration, but the techniques in making each of these carry-over to whatever ingredient you choose to make the star.

Today’s inspiration, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, comes from a recent visit to a distillery where I tasted a fabulous caramel liqueur.  Whether your making  salted caramel, peach, or blackberry, or blueberry ice cream/gelato, or a creation based on your own inspriation, let the season and the beauty of what’s available in the market guide your creative juices so you can enjoy the most flavorful and delicious frozen desserts ever. And should you need a fancy topping, try dulce de leche!

Want to make up your own fruit ice cream delight? Here is my version of a master recipe, to give you a head start:

fruit ice cream master recipe

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 11/2 cups best quality fruit, washed, pitted or seeded if necessary, peeled & sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon liqueur of choice (see recommendations below)
  • 2 cups buttermilk, cream, or combination

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and fruit to a boil; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, corn syrup, salt and vanilla extract. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chilled.

In blender jar, blend cooled fruit mixture and buttermilk/cream. Freeze in an ice-cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes about 5 cups.

Variations:

Strawberry — add a little of the lemon zest to the base mixture.

Blueberry or blackberry — add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to the base mixture plus a dash of cinnamon

Banana — use ripest bananas, no need to do the cooking step, just combine all in blender.

Peach, nectarine or apricot — season with nutmeg and a little peach schnapps!

Cherry — pit and halve cherries. Cook with a dash of cinnamon; flavor with cherry vodka or cherry brandy


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