I Scream, You Scream – Your Restaurant Needs Ice Cream
When it comes to dessert there is one undeniable and universal truth: everyone loves ice cream. The ultimate team player, ice cream is the perfect complement to almost any other dessert. This ability to pair well does not relegate it to side-kick status. Ice cream easily stands alone, delicious with or without its ubiquitous cone. We could wax eloquent on the virtues of ice cream for untold and untested amounts of time, but let us instead turn around and explore where such a delicious dessert came from.
The Ice Cream Ancestry
The true origin of our modern ice cream came from the Arabs who enjoyed a chilled fruity beverage called Sherbet. In order to properly freeze sugary syrups ice must be brought well below the freezing point of pure water. The only way to do that, back then was with the addition of salt which lowers the freezing point of ice far enough to freeze sweet cream. This salt effect was known and utilized by the Arabs as early as the 13th century.
That knowledge eventually made its way westward to Italy and then the rest of Europe. The method was embraced so quickly and so rapidly in Italy that many think the technique originated there. Though the Italians didn’t discover the technique they quickly became the undisputed masters of it. Creating frozen confections called sorbetto. It was around the late 1600’s that we see the first milk-based sorbetto, and what many claim to be the first true recipe for ice cream written by Italian steward Antonio Latini.
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Throughout the years, ice cream continued to change and evolve as discoveries were made. The French learned that frequent stirring during freezing created a finer texture, and the addition of egg yolks made for a richer end product. By the 17th century the term “ice cream” had officially been coined in England and had become a favorite sweet of the wealthy and influential.
Ice Cream Today
Thanks to advances in refrigeration and the industrial revolution, ice cream has become accessible to all and what better time to enjoy it than on a hot summer day? Ice cream is a cinch to put together and more than worth the minimal effort to make your own.
Consider adding house-made ice cream to your summer menu this year, or perhaps adding an entire dessert section devoted to the modern marvel that is ice cream. Here is our favorite all-purpose vanilla ice cream recipe, consider it a blank canvas that can be decorated any way you see fit. Try stirring in roasted fruits, local jams, chocolates, or nuts. The possibilities are endless.
Not “Plain Old” Vanilla
Yield: 10 pints
- 12 cups whole milk
- 8 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 9 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 7½ cups heavy cream
- 4½ cups sugar
- 9 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 6 Tablespoons vanilla paste
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
Use a large saucepan to combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla paste. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
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Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.
Finally, you are left with delicious ice cream. Stock pile the delicious treat to make into anything you desire. Milkshake cocktails, sundaes, brownie bowls, and everything you could ever want! I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!