It is riDICulously hot! Unless perhaps you’re reading this in Antarctica, in which case I’m a bit jealous. (Although I admit I’d rather be grumping about heat than cold.) Then again, a happy consequence of the heat is that ice cream keeps sounding better and better! Especially when you’re talking cream from pastured cows, tastily sweet maple syrup, and tart-sweet raspberries. Or strawberries or blueberries or whatever kind of chocolate-friendly fruit you’d like to include.
I’m not a big fan of appliances, but ice cream makers are stunningly useful and are fairly inexpensive — mine was $30 with one of those ubiquitous Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons that everyone always seems to get in the mail. (Normal price was $40.) Once you have one and start making your own batches of ice cream — or sherberts or sorbets, for that matter — you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy an ice cream maker last summer. Or the one before that.
And if you have an ice cream maker and access to raw cream, your ice cream will blow away anything that Edy’s or Breyer’s could ever make. Cold Stone, Schmold Stone! I ordered raw cream from my farmer for the first time recently and was amazed. I’d expected it to be extra-rich and naturally thick (commercial cream is thickened with carrageenan) and to be much easier to whip (pasteurizing and whipping are both forms of “cooking” the cream and solidifying it — in essence, pasteurized cream is already halfway cooked and therefore is harder to whip), but the raw cream exceeded even my high expectations. Not only was it far thicker than its purposely thickened commercial counterpart, it whipped so quickly that I almost accidentally had butter instead of whipped cream. It was also so rich that I wound up thinning the cream with water rather than milk when I used it to make ice cream. And then there was the color: a light golden hue. That’s the beta-carotene from the grass showing through. (The green chlorophyll normally hides the orange beta-carotene. The same is true of leaves — in fall, when the chlorophyll starts to dissipate, the leaves turn orange and red and reveal their true colors.) So if you have raw cream within your reach, by all means use it! If not, try for Organic Valley or a local, grass-fed dairy’s cream.
Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream
1 cup heavy cream, preferably from grass-fed cows or raw cream (see preceding paragraphs)
1/2 cup water IF you use a rich cream; 1/2 cup whole milk otherwise
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 egg yolk, preferably from pastured hens (I would not advise eating raw yolk from a carton of 99-cent eggs; if that’s all you have, leave out the egg)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. raspberries
Place all ingredients except raspberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into ice cream maker. Immediately pour raspberries into ice cream maker and proceed to make the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Ice cream will be soft-serve consistency when you first make it and then will get a little harder than commercial ice cream after it’s been frozen. Either let it sit out and thaw for a few minutes before scooping, or keep dunking your scoop in hot water to make it easier to portion out your summertime bliss.
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