Dish It Up
Cool, creamy treats make summertime oh-so-sweet
When the weather heats up, nothing cools off a summer day like sweet and creamy ice cream. Instead of the typical vanilla and chocolate, why not try a bowl of a delectable flavor like Gorgonzola Candied Pecan or Milk Chocolate Goat Cheese? Those are two favorites of sisters Meredith Kong and Kelly McCall Beerbower, co-founders and owners of Lick Ice Cream, served at the Broad Ripple Farmers Market starting May 5. They began dishing up their artisan herb- and spice-infused ice cream in 2010 after falling in love with making ice cream at home.
Kong, a baking and pastry student at Ivy Tech Community College, found a recipe for fennel ice cream on the Smitten Kitchen blog.
“I thought, We can start making herb-infused ice cream,” she says.
Kong and McCall Beerbower hosted an ice cream social to bring in friends and see what flavors they liked. With their support, the sisters began making more luscious, custard-based varieties in addition to the fennel ice cream that’s still prized for its “woodsy” taste.
“We are proud that we have a five-ingredient custard base of two parts Horizon organic cream, one part hormone-free milk, eggs, sugar and sea salt,” Kong says.
Lick uses local and organic ingredients as much as possible, such as lavender from the garden and sage from the farmers market.
“I have been a big fan of (author) Michael Pollan for a long time,” Kong says. “His philosophy is eat real food and mostly plants.”
The duo reflects those values by providing customers with high-quality treats.
“By eating our ice cream, which is made from scratch, you can tell we have fun making it,” McCall Beerbower adds. “Every one of our flavors is something we have studied and perfected.”
Kong says they don’t feed customers anything they wouldn’t feed to her 5-year-old son Miles.
“He’s our biggest critic,” she says. “His favorites are Coconut Curry and Fennel (Vanilla Bean). He doesn’t care for our Bourbon Bacon and Maple Syrup, though.”
These ice cream divas have fun making their cool treats and bringing happiness to the lives of others at the same time.
“We couldn’t be happier creating anything else,” McCall Beerbower says. “Our faithful followers are our inspiration. There’s nothing in the world like making something that you love and seeing a stranger’s face light up as they taste it for the first time. They say so much without any words.
“Every time it happens, I say, ‘I know! That’s how I felt making it!’”
Fennel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
This recipe takes 30 minutes of active work for a delicious dessert ready in two and a half hours.
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed in a food processor
1 cup whole milk
3⁄4 cup sugar, divided
4 large egg yolks
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Bring cream and fennel seeds just to a simmer. Cover and let steep about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring milk, vanilla extract, vanilla bean, 1⁄2 cup sugar and salt to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring regularly.
Whisk together yolks and remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar in a large bowl, then add milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Return mixture to medium saucepan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (do not let it boil). Immediately strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl, then quick-chill by setting bowl in an ice bath and stirring occasionally until cool, about 15 minutes.
Strain fennel cream through fine-mesh sieve into custard, pressing on solids. Continue to chill in ice bath until custard is very cold, then freeze in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, about 1 hour.
Custard with fennel cream can be covered and chilled in a refrigerator up to 24 hours.
Get the Scoop
6 tips for delicious homemade ice cream success
1. Keep it clean. Make sure all your equipment has been washed thoroughly and stored properly to remain sanitary.
2. Use fresh, high-quality ingredients. Use raw milk if possible. You can get this from a local farmer. In-season fruits are best, but frozen fruit works well too.
3. Be ready to go. If your ice cream maker’s freezer bowl requires pre-freezing, store it in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic so it’s clean and ready for use.
4. Keep it cold. For faster freezing, make the ice cream mixture the day before. Then pour into a closed container and store in the refrigerator –– the colder the ingredients, the better.
5. Here’s a secret for custard-style ice cream: Temper eggs correctly for custard-based ice creams by slowly raising the temperature of the egg yolks up to the temperature of a hot liquid custard base you have on the stove. Never pour more than 3 or 4 tablespoons of hot cream into the yolks before whisking them back into the cream. Nothing is worse then causing eggs to become scrambled or undercooking eggs, which may cause salmonella.
6. Eat it up or store it tight. Keep ice crystals from forming on your homemade ice cream by limiting its exposure to air. Place plastic wrap or parchment paper over the surface and secure the lid tightly to keep it smooth and creamy. This will also keep your dessert from taking on other odors from your freezer.
Want to keep it simple?
Cuisinart’s Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker lets you make your favorites in about 20 minutes. Just add ingredients to the bowl and let the machine do the rest. $59.95; Crate & Barrel, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Sears, Macy’s and Williams-Sonoma.