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Homemade Ice Cream Exploits Range From Traumatic to Tasty

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Rebecca Plevin
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Valley Public Radio

I’m a self-professed ice cream lover. I like visiting local scoop shops and purchasing locally produced ice cream.

But there’s also something special about making ice cream at home. In the past year and a half, I’ve acquired a Cuisinart ice cream maker and three ice cream cookbooks.

My homemade ice cream exploits have ranged from traumatic to tasty.

There was the time I attempted Salted Licorice ice cream from the Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream Book. I diligently followed the recipe, which specifically called for black Red Vines licorice.

The next day, the state Department of Public Health recalled black Red Vines. Turns out the candy had unhealthy levels of lead in it. (Yeah, I ate it anyway.)

Then there was the time I attempted to make Salty Caramel ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home. The recipe’s opening line should have served as a warning: ‘Danger! This is the dry burn-technique… Caramelizing sugar dry means it goes faster, but you have to watch it more closely and be ready with your cream.’

I ran out of sugar and cream before I mastered this technique. I dejectedly purchased a pint of ice cream that night.

But, as they say: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try churning homemade ice cream again.

I’ve mastered Humphrey Slocombe’s Here’s Your Damn Strawberry Ice Cream. I love this recipe because it calls for no cooking: You just blend the fresh fruit (I’ve used Fresno State strawberries) with goodness, and then freeze it in the ice cream machine.

I also love making the Chocolate Coconut “Ice Cream” From Bi-Rite Creamery’s book Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones. Again, this vegan ice cream requires no cooking: You blend coconut milk (instead of cow milk) with sweetness, and freeze.

The good news? Summer’s just kicking off today, and that means many more ice cream experiments await.

Do you have a favorite homemade ice cream recipe? Share it in the comment section below. Your recipe or ice cream-making story could end up in an upcoming installment of Valley Public Radio’s Summer Scoop series.

Rebecca Plevin was a reporter for Valley Public Radio from 2013-2014. Before joining the station, she was the community health reporter for Vida en el Valle, the McClatchy Company's bilingual newspaper in California's San Joaquin Valley. She earned the George F. Gruner Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and the McClatchy President's Award for her work at Vida, as well as honors from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Plevin grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is also a fluent Spanish speaker, a certified yoga teacher, and an avid rock-climber.
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