It's officially National Ice Cream Month. Thank goodness President Reagan designated the third Sunday in July as the National Ice Cream Day, which is today. I don't know what we would do otherwise. In 1984 he stated that these two events, National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day, should be observed with "appropriate ceremonies and activities". Okey dokey, Mr. President! I just did a great activity in honor of my country and it was making a batch of homemade ice cream. Oh, and I didn't even use a machine! Thank you for making sure there was a holiday for this, Mr. Reagan. Who knows, if there wasn't we all might have forgotten about ice cream.
I want to explain how this ice cream is made without a machine. You put the ingredients into a ziploc freezer bag and shake it with ice and salt. Easy, right?! Not. When your standing in your house shaking a bin filled with ice and cream for 15 minutes the time goes by incredibly slooooooow. Oh, and when the weather channel tells you that outside currently feels like 104 degrees and your apartment is even warmer, it goes by even sloooooooower. I'm sorry I'm complaining so much, but this heat wave has turned me into an uncomfortable shrew.
Back to delightful things like ice cream. When I think of ice cream two people immediately pop into my head. My mom and my grandpa. My mother because when I was growing up she would eat a giant bowl full of ice cream before bed. Once again, how is she not 300 pounds?? Anyway, with her bowl of Bridgeman's Vanilla she would pile on fruit or cereal or syrups. It was pretty amazing, and my grandfather was no different. For grandpa's Bridgeman's Vanilla Ice Cream I specifically remember that he would put corn flakes on top. Oh, and after he put the corn flakes on top he would put the bowl in the refrigerator for them to melt together. I know! What sense does that make? I seriously wish I could ask him what the hell he was thinking. Soggy, plain corn flakes with melted vanilla ice cream??! It's just too confusing.
So, after my homemade ice cream was all finished shaking and after I was done shoving it in my face, I realized that this ice cream turned out pretty tasty. The candied pecans were especially amazing. Who knew stirring pecans into melted butter and sugar would be so delcicious?! Ok, maybe I did. Also, this is not a low fat ice cream, lots of buttermilk in this one. It's all natural, but still. Don't eat all of this by yourself or you will feel guilty for at least a week. Just saying. I hope you get a chance to try it out. I think it would be a great activity to do with kids as well. You can always omit the nuts if there are allergies and, I am just guessing here, I bet chocolate chips would work pretty well in here if need be. Enjoy!
Buttermilk-Pecan Ice Cream:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup candied pecans (page 138)
- 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
Make the mix.Whisk the sugar, cream, buttermilk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla and candied pecans in a large bowl.
Pour into a bag.
Prop a 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag open in a large container; pour in the buttermilk mixture. Press out the air and seal. Chill the bag until ready to make the ice cream.
Fill your container.
Put about 10 cups ice in the container, filling it about three-quarters of the way, then pour in the sea salt. Nestle the sealed bag of buttermilk mixture in the ice.
Tightly cover the container with the lid. Shake vigorously for about 15 minutes, or until the buttermilk mixture is thick. How long it takes depends on your shakin'!
Serve and eat.
For soft-serve, rinse the outside of the bag, snip a corner and pipe into bowls. For firmer ice cream, freeze 1 hour before scooping.
- (Makes 1 cup)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, then add the pecans, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is sticky, 6 to 8 minutes. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet to cool, then refrigerate at least 10 minutes before using.