We all scream for ice cream!
When ice cream was first starting to cultivate in the 1600’s, it was done so through the invention of an automatic pail or metal can that used a mixture of salt and ice to freeze ingredients. Later, in the 1700-1800’s, sorbets and “ices” became highly popular through Europe’s high class, and were mainly made out of almond milk due to its long-standing use in the country. Instead of being stored in cartons, these frozen treats were formed and served in fancy molds. Interestingly enough, it was not until 1968 that dairy free ice cream was even allowed to be sold in New York, and not until 1978 that California let up on its prohibition of banning dairy-free soft serve. You will also notice that, due to the state departments of agriculture, the term “ice cream” will not be seen on any non-dairy dessert. Instead, “frozen dessert, “coconut bliss,” or “rice dream,” is used in place of the original term. So what is the difference between ice cream, gelato, sorbet, sherbet, and granita? Mainly, it has to do with the amount of air whipped into the finished product. Regular ice cream can have 60% air content, and 10-11% butterfat. Soft serve is the same as ice cream, except for it is served at a higher temperature, tricking your taste buds into believing it is tastier. Gelato, Italian for “ice cream,” is slightly different than ice cream in that it has egg yolks for an added creaminess, and only contains 20% of whipped air, therefore is denser and truly more flavorful. Sorbet, and sherbet, both of which are close cousins, are almost identical due to the very light whipping process involved. However, sherbet has an added 2% (no more) of butterfat, where as sorbet is all fruit puree with no dairy. Granita, originally from Sicily, is similar to sorbet but is made by hand with no whipping processes, therefore allowing large ice crystals to form into a harder block.
Whether making ice cream, gelato, sorbet, sherbet, or a simple granita, homemade takes these treats to a whole knew level. When I was younger, my Nanny and Papa gave me a Cuisinart ice cream machine as a Christmas present. I was intrigued by the kitchen device, but had yet to begin my true journey in the kitchen. Even though it was still mid-February, dreary, and cold, I decided to make my first raspberry sorbet. After anxiously waiting for the sorbet to freeze, and finger-testing the consistency every five minutes, I finally was rewarded with my finished product. Let me tell you, it was nothing like I had ever had in my life! Ever since that day, I have been experimenting with different ice cream and sorbet recipes. Some with egg yolks, some without, some dairy based, some non-dairy. The key is to have enough sugar and fat in the recipe, whether naturally occurring or not, to make sure that it does not freeze into one solid chunk of pure ice. Buying an ice cream maker is a rather cheap investment, and pays itself off after using it just a few times. Below are my own recipes for some decadent ice creams and fruity sorbets. The basic ice cream base is adapted from this recipe, created by the one and only Jeni Bauer from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Instead of using corn products, I substituted potato starch and maple syrup for the corn starch and syrup. If you do not have potato starch, tapioca starch is another great option. Depending on if you can handle dairy or not, I encourage you to either order Jeni’s online, or search for the nearest store location. You will not be disappointed.
Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups raw milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream + 4 Tbsp
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 pure orange juice concentrate
- 2 Tbsp potato starch
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Blend raw milk, 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, vanilla, sugar, orange juice together.
- In a separate bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of potato starch with 4 tbsp of heavy cream.
- Whisk (or) blend the slurry into the ice cream base until smooth.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker, and churn for 20-25 minutes.
Citrus Mango Sorbet
- 2, 16 oz bags of frozen mango (thawed)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2-3 tbsp honey *depending on tartness of lemon
- 1/4 tsp turmeric *optional, adds to the great orangey color.
- Food processor
- Process mango until a thick liquid.
- Add water, juice of lemon, 2 Tbsp honey, and coconut sugar, processing until fully incorporated.
- If the sorbet is too tart, add an extra Tbsp of honey.
- Add turmeric for extra color.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn for 20-25 minutes.
Nehemiah 8:10 “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”