Ice Cream: Too Cool For School!

In honor of National Ice Cream Day today (and July is National Ice Cream Month), I wanted to share the fun of my recent ice cream experience, because  even though it has a lot of class, ice cream really is too cool for school!

If you’ve ever churned ice cream the old-fashioned way, with a hand-cranked churn, bags of ice, rock salt, a brimming bowl of ingredients all stirred together, and at least one hardy soul who’s agreed to crank for as long as it takes to turn all that into ice cream, you can imagine how alluring the idea of an electrice ice cream maker can be (especially if you’re the hardy soul who has to crank the churn and keep the melting salt from invading the ice cream cannister!).

Williams-Sonoma to the rescue! They recently offered their 2-quart, stainless steel Cuisinart ice cream maker at nearly 50% off, plus a $25 gift card rebate with the receipt.–way too good a deal for me to pass up! I purchased it on a Friday afternoon, made fresh peach ice cream on Saturday night*, and went to an ice cream class at the store on Sunday. What a lovely weekend!

Ice cream class was held on Sunday morning before WS opened. There were about 20 people there; some were experienced ice cream makers and others were newbies to the process (like me). The WS staff were WONDERFUL–everything was prepared and ready and there was a helpful handout with tips and recipes–and it was quite enjoyable and informative. And delicious, as we were able to sample six different ice creams they’d made ahead of time:

  • Strawberry with a balsamic reduction and fresh basil
  • Lemon and blueberry with fresh mint
  • Chocolate espresso
  • White sangria
  • Peanut-butter-chocolate
  • Cookie crumb
Instructors demonstrate how to temper eggs so they can be added to the homemade custard ice cream base without scrambling the mixture
Fresh strawberry ice cream topped with a balsamic vinegar reduction and fresh basil
Cookie Crunch and Chocolate-Peanut-Butter ice creams with a bit of a pizzelle for crunch
Another instructor explains how easy it is to use an ice cream base if you don't want to prepare a custard
* My new toy was very easy to use, but I didn’t let the cannister freeze long enough–and it was a day of hellishly hot temps and humidity, so the resulting peach ice cream was a *little* soft, but it didn’t deter anyone from gomming it down…especially when I served it over toasted, buttered waffles!

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