The food and wine guide to making ice cream at home

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From the first time she produced a pint of vanilla, watching a batch of cream become thick and silky in an ice cream maker, chef Fany Gerson was hooked. “Making ice cream is just as fun as eating it,” she says. Gerson loved making ice cream so much that in 2010 she opened La Newyorkina, an ice cream and paleta shop in New York City that built on her expertise and passion for Mexican sweets and pastries, and went on to write a cookbook titled Mexican ice cream with all its tips and tricks.

Here, Gerson shares five fresh-flavored ice cream recipes that each demonstrate a different fundamental approach to making the frozen treat. Although each style of ice cream requires a slightly different set of ingredients – for example, there are egg yolks in French ice cream, while the non-dairy recipe is made creamier with the addition of yogurt. Coconut – Gerson likes to say there isn’t a right way to approach ice cream. However, there are some guiding principles that will help you through the process, ensuring smooth, creamy, and delicious ice cream.

The steps for making ice cream are simple: create the base, churn the base in an ice cream maker, add any mixes, freeze the churned mix, and let the ice cream harden. It’s the moments in between that can make or break the final product. You’ll want to make sure you have the right ice cream making tools; see “Tools and Fittings” below. Since the bowl of the ice cream maker must be frozen in order to use it, Gerson recommends buying a second bowl. When one bowl comes out of the freezer, another can come in to cool. This way you can make more ice cream faster.

Another pro tip? “Make sure the storage container is completely cooled before putting the ice cream in it,” says Gerson. “The coldness of the container will help prevent ice crystals from forming on the ice itself.” At the very end of the process, when all you’ll want to do is dig a spoon into the not-yet-regulated tub, Gerson cautions against too much taste testing. “Don’t rush. The longer you let the ice cream sit, the better the flavors will come together.” Everything will be worth it. —Friend Nina

Chocolate-Chipotle Vegan Ice Cream

Non-dairy ice cream is usually made with alternative milks or non-dairy yogurt to achieve the creaminess of regular ice cream. Gerson opts for a combination of the two, calling for unsweetened oat milk or rice milk as well as coconut yogurt. “I don’t like chocolate ice cream, but it’s my husband’s favourite, although he would never order sorbet. So the challenge here was to make vegan chocolate ice cream that isn’t sorbet , which has the creaminess of ice cream, and would please both of us. The finished product is as creamy as possible to be made dairy-free, and the chocolate and chipotle flavor combination, which is smoky and a bit spicy, adds personality.

Get the recipe: Vegan Chocolate Chipotle Ice Cream

Vegan chocolate and chipotle ice cream

Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food styling by Victoria Granof / Accessories styling by Christine Keely

Pistachio Straciatella Ice Cream

Pistachio Stracciatella Ice Cream

Gelato is denser than ice cream, partly due to the greater amount of milk compared to cream and the slower speed at which it is typically stirred. The slower churning rate incorporates less air, resulting in a less chewy texture, and the lower fat percentage makes flavors more intense. Gerson has long been an ice cream lover. “There was a gelateria that opened near my house when I was in high school. I thought it was just ice cream, but when I tasted it, I was like, no, there’s something very special about it. Stracciatella has always been my go- in this recipe, I love putting that classic Italian flavor with another traditional Italian ingredient: pistachio. It just works.

Get the recipe: Pistachio stracciatella ice cream

Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food styling by Victoria Granof / Accessories styling by Christine Keely

Raspberry-Hibiscus Sorbet

The two main ingredients in sorbet are fruit and sugar – no dairy in sight. (In fact, what differentiates a sorbet from a sorbet is that the sorbet contains milk or cream.) This sorbet has a creamy texture even without dairy, thanks to the addition of corn syrup or honey, which increases the sugar content. and helps make the end product richer, less icy and easier to grab. The flavor combination comes from a recipe in one of Gerson’s cookbooks, Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas. “It’s fruity but there’s a bit of tartness from the hibiscus. I like that the spiciness enhances the raspberry but also adds a bit of tartness.”

Preparation guide: Raspberry-Hibiscus sorbet

Raspberry Hibiscus Sorbet

Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food styling by Victoria Granof / Accessories styling by Christine Keely

Peach Ice Cream with Caramel Bourbon Swirl

Peach Ice Cream with Caramel Bourbon Swirl

“This flavor reminds me of when I first moved to the States and discovered classic American desserts, like peach pie,” says Gerson. “I thought about making a caramel-based ice cream with a peach topping, but then I thought, who doesn’t love a caramel swirl, especially if there’s bourbon in it?” American-style ice cream is egg-free and is usually made from a combination of milk and cream, sometimes containing cornstarch as a thickener. Gerson’s version uses cream (without milk) and creme fraiche or sour cream to balance out the flavors and add creaminess to the chewy texture.

Get the recipe: Peach Ice Cream with Caramel Bourbon Swirl

Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food styling by Victoria Granof / Accessories styling by Christine Keely

Roasted Strawberry-Vanilla Ice Cream

The basis of French ice cream is egg yolk. Egg yolks are added to cream and milk to form a custard base, resulting in thick, silky ice cream. According to Gerson, the key to French ice cream is to make a base so good you could eat it without freezing it. In this recipe, Gerson wanted to celebrate the flavors she grew up eating. “My mother would take strawberries and put a little Mexican cream and sugar on them, and it became a dessert. For this ice cream, roasting the strawberries gives a new dimension to the fruit.”

Get the recipe: Roasted Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream

Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food styling by Victoria Granof / Accessories styling by Christine Keely

Hot or cold infusions

Infusion is the process of steeping one ingredient in another ingredient, usually a liquid, to extract flavor and aroma. There are two types of infusion: hot and cold. In hot infusions, a hot liquid is used to extract particles of an ingredient. Heat allows this to happen quickly and completely, often altering an ingredient’s original flavor. (Think, for example, of hot brew coffee.) In cold brew, a cold liquid is extracted in a slower, more selective process, resulting in flavors that are smoother and more aligned with the ingredient’s original flavor. (That’s what cold brew coffee is.) With ice cream, there’s no hard and fast rule as to when to use which type of brew. Gerson experiments with both methods (it’s the best way to determine which you prefer for a given ingredient), but she tends to use cold brew for herbs and citrus zest, like the lemon zest in the peach ice cream with a swirl of caramel and bourbon, and prefers hot brew for spices, like the vanilla bean in the recipe for Roasted Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream.

Making ice cream at home is much easier when you have the right equipment, and eating it is more fun when you have the best dustings and sauces. Here, Gerson shares her picks for the tools and toppings that make homemade ice cream a breeze.

Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet and Ice Cream Maker

“Of all the ice cream makers I’ve tried, this one gave the best results. It’s not very expensive and doesn’t take up much space on the counter.” $100 on cuisineart.com

SUMO Kitchenware Ice Cream Container

“If you’re not going to eat the ice cream right away, I recommend storing it in an insulated container; it will hold the texture longer than if it were in a regular Tupperware. I like this one because it “It’s long and shallow. It doesn’t take up a lot of space – you can usually put it in the freezer door – and it cools quickly.” $15 at amazon.com

Zeroll 1020 Original 2 oz Ice Cream Scoop

“Ice cream scoops that have the lever you push with your thumb break easily, but this old-fashioned one is very durable and makes great scoops.” $25 to williams-sonoma.com

Supernatural waterings

“If I’m using store-bought nuggets, I want to make sure they’re all-natural. These hit that note, and they’re colorful and fun.” $8 at supernaturalkitchen.com

Sunday Night Premium Dessert Sauce

“I love this hot fudge because it’s not too sweet. You can taste the good quality chocolate, and it’s really gooey and delicious.” $12 at sundaynightfoods.com

Konery waffle cones

“I’ve seen no other brand of cones play so much with fun and interesting flavors, from toasted coconut to matcha.” Prices vary, thekonery.com


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