July is National Ice Cream Month, and nothing stirs up summer memories like that wonderful dessert.
And for the 50-plus generation, even greater memories can be recalled about the making of homemade ice cream, cranked by hand until both arms got tired and someone had to take over until it was almost impossible to turn the crank. No electric ice cream makers were available back then.
In our house, nothing was sweeter than taking off the lid and looking at the frozen goodness.
The Steubenville Spirits 4-H Club made this “Layers of Spirits” parfait for the 4-H Iron Chef Clinic. They fashioned it in the 1950s style, with 78 rpm records and six-pack glass bottles of Coca Cola.
-- Esther McCoy
My parents would tell us that the ice cream needed to rest for a time so the flavors would blend. But we never cared about the blending of flavors or letting it rest back then. We just wanted to dish it up and eat.
Cleaning off the dasher that stirred the ice cream was always a treat, too. We waited anxiously with a spoon in hand until the mixers were pulled out, bearing a great sample portion that we could spoon off.
The Romans of Julius Caesar's day made ice cream from the snow in the high mountain passes. The frozen matter was gathered and brought back by fleet runners, flavored with fruit juices and enjoyed as a rare delicacy.
Centuries later, Marco Polo returned from Japan to Venice with a recipe for a kind of milk ice, and Italians quickly introduced it to the rest of Europe. It was called cream ice by Charles I, who enjoyed it very much.
Virginia cavaliers brought the idea of cream ice to the new world, and then generations later, Dolly Madison reversed the name to ice cream and it appeared on the White House menu.
The above information is from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.
The Betty Crocker book gives instructions on how to make freezer ice cream in a crank freezer:
Place the can in the freezer tub. Put dasher in place and fill can two-thirds full, allowing for expansion. Cover and adjust crank.
Fill freezer tub one-third full with ice that has been crushed until it resembles rock salt. Add remaining crushed ice alternately with layers of coarse salt.
Use three to six parts ice to one part salt for ice cream, ices and sherbets. The larger amount of ice to salt, five to one, gives finer grained ice cream, but it freezes more slowly.
Let mixture stand in an ice-packed freezer about five minutes before turning the crank. Turn slowly at first, 5 to 10 minutes, to insure smooth, fine grained ice cream. Then turn rapidly until crank turns with difficulty.
Drain off water. Wipe off and remove lid. Take out dasher. Plug opening in lid and pack ice cream down. Repack in ice and salt. Cover with heavy cloth. Let ripen several hours.
This recipe is called Philadelphia Ice Cream - no explanation for the name - and is only adaptable in a crank freezer, not a refrigerator. To scald the milk means to bring it almost to the boiling point or 180 degrees on a food thermometer.
Philadelphia Ice Cream
1 quart coffee cream, scalded
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
After scalding cream, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Cool and add the vanilla and salt. Put in ice cream freezer, using five parts ice to one of salt. To make it a different flavor than vanilla, mash 1 cup fresh peaches and 1/3 cup sugar and added to the cream and sugar mixture. Or melt 2 squares unsweetened chocolate with 1/4 cup water and add to the warm cream for a chocolate flavor. The recipe makes a quart.
This is a refreshing ice for a warm summer night. It is made in a freezing tray.
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Juice from1 lemon
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 cups cold water
Cook cranberries in water until skins are broken, about 10 minutes. Rub through a sieve to make a smooth pulp. Stir in sugar, lemon juice, orange zest and cold water. Pour into freezing tray and freeze until firm, taking out and stirring two or three times to make it smooth. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours. Makes a quart.
Frozen parfait can be layered in sundae glasses with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
It is another recipe from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
Boil together the sugar and water for 5 minutes to make a syrup. Beat the egg yolks until very light and lemon colored and slowly beat the hot syrup into the eggs.
Cook over hot water in double boiler, stirring until thick, 15 minutes. Cool thoroughly. Blend in the vanilla. Beat the whipping cream until it stands in stiff peaks. Fold it into the cooled, cooked mixture. Pour into a freezing tray. Freeze until firm. No stirring is necessary. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours. Makes a quart.
Lee Esposito, the Ruggles brand ice cream guru, sent me this recipe for a refreshing dessert using Ruggles strawberry Greek frozen yogurt, another frozen dessert that is great in taste and yogurt is said to be quite healthy.
Strawberry Frozen Moogaritas
Two 1-pint containers Greek frozen strawberry yogurt
10- to 12-ounce can frozen, non-alcoholic margarita mix
1 quart thinly sliced strawberries, with 8 whole berries set aside for garnish
One-half lime, thinly sliced, for garnish
1/2 cup coarse sugar, to coat rims of serving glasses.
Mix slightly softened yogurt with 1 cup slightly thawed frozen margarita mix. Cover and put in freezer until needed. Set aside the 8 whole strawberries for garnish. Thinly slice remainder strawberries and combine with remaining frozen margarita mix. Cover and chill in refrigerator.
Coat the rims of serving glasses with coarse sugar to resemble the salt on margarita glasses by rubbing the rims with a cut lime or dip the rims in a little lime juice or water. Then dip the rims in the sugar and set aside. To serve, layer strawberry mixture and frozen yogurt mixture. Thickness of layers will depend on the type of serving dish. You can substitute any parfait glass or ice cream dish if you prefer not to use margarita glasses. Garnish with a fresh strawberry or a very thin slice of lime. Makes eight servings.
Here is the recipe for the Steubenville Spirits 4-H Club "Layers of Spirits" dessert that was an entry in the Iron Chef Clinic, using chocolate as the ingredient. It is an easy dessert.
Although not an actual ice cream recipe, it could be placed in the freezer after putting the ingredients together in parfait glasses and served frozen.
Layers of Spirit
Two 8-ounce containers of whipped topping
Two 4-ounce packages instant chocolate pudding mix
3 regular size or 12 fun-size candy bars of choice, such as Baby Ruth or Heath
Chopped walnuts, pecans or peanuts
Make pudding according to pie filling directions on the box. Let it thicken. Meanwhile, chop candy bars and nuts. Begin layering pudding, nuts, whipped topping, candy bar pieces, pudding, whipped topping and a finishing touch of chocolate syrup in parfait glasses. Add a maraschino cherry to the top, if desired.
(McCoy can be contacted at email@example.com.)