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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

homemade creamsicle ice cream {recipe}

It started with a wedding cake.

Our wedding cake.

It wasn't vanilla or yellow, chocolate or even red velvet. Our wedding cake was creamsicle.

We had a beach wedding on a summer's day and we wanted a wedding cake that reminded us of happy summer days. During our cake tasting that morning in May we knew we hit it when we tasted something that reminded us of playing Marco Polo in the pool and tennis lessons and toes buried in beach sand. The creamy, orange vanilla taste could only remind you of one thing and that was happy summer days. We wanted that memory for our wedding guests but most of all we wanted it for ourselves.

As the days have been getting sunnier and warmer here in Seattle, I've been thinking more and more of creamsicles. Last night we had a dinner party with a friend from London. I contemplated serving creamsicles for dessert. Would he think we were cool or would he wonder why we were serving popsicles for dessert?

Several weeks ago L. bought me an ice cream maker after I took a cooking class where we made ricotta based ice cream in under half an hour with a Cuisinart ice cream maker. The first batch I made last week was Chocolate Peanut Butter and it was one of the best ice creams we've ever tried. I decided to make creamsicle ice cream as the dessert last night.

It couldn't be easier to make homemade ice cream. I followed the vanilla recipe in the Cuisinart cookbook that came with the ice cream maker. I added cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean seeds to the bowl. I also added the zest of one orange and 1/2 teaspoon of orange oil and let the ice cream maker do it's thing. In half an hour the kitchen smelled heavenly and I had a bowl of orange vanilla soft serve ice cream.

It was perfect and pure with no preservatives or artificial flavors. I scooped the ice cream into an airtight bowl and put in the freezer. After the bruschetta, Caesar salad and lasagne I served the boys two scoops of creamsicle ice cream with Nilla wafers. Our friend Scott was in the middle of a sentence when he tasted a spoonful. He said "This is the best ice cream I have ever had." I tasted it and it tasted exactly like your best childhood days of summer. This ice cream is one of the happiest flavors I've ever known and now we can have it anytime we want.

On this 1st of May I wish you many, many lovely, sunny, balmy days this summer, days to remember. Days to savor over ice cream.

{Creamsicle ice cream recipe}

1 cup of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
zest from one orange
1/2 teaspoon orange oil

The night before you want to make ice cream, place Cuisinart freezer bowl in freezer. (We keep ours in the freezer all the time in case the mood strikes us to make ice cream.)

In a medium bowl add the milk, cream and sugar. Stir. 

Slice vanilla bean down the side and carefully using the edge of the knife, remove all the vanilla seeds and add to cream/sugar mixture. 

Zest one orange and add to cream/sugar/vanilla mixture, follow with orange oil. Incorporate, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2 hours or more. 

Remove Cuisinart freezer bowl from freezer and place it on the base. Turn machine on and pour the ice cream mixture in. Let mix for 15 to 20 minutes. It will thicken the longer it's churning. 

Turn ice cream maker off  and scoop ice cream from freezer bowl. It will be a little firmer than soft serve ice cream. You can eat it right away. If you'd like it firmer, pour ice cream into an airtight freezer safe bowl and freeze for several hours.


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