Oct 17, 2009

A Tangy Sweet Sorbet

When you've made as much homemade ice cream as I have over the years, it can sometimes feel like you've covered pretty much all bases ... but that thought has only ever lingered with me a second or two before a new ice cream idea then enters my head! That's the fun of ice cream and what happened recently when I gathered in the final apples of the season from my garden. I already have an apple sorbet recipe so what else might work?

I thought back to my childhood days when my mother would bake a traditional, English fresh apple and blackberry pie. I can close my eyes and still remember the warm, sweeet smell in the kitchen! We would look forward to it being served, freshly baked and hot from the oven - delicious.

Apple and blackberry pie was one of my father's favourite desserts and he was happy to eat it with custard or cream or ice cream. He loved ice cream in fact and was my "Knickerbocker Glory Champion".

Thinking of that good old, homemade pie gave me the answer .... I could use freshly picked homegrown garden apples with blackberries to make a sorbet.

How did it work out?

Well, as you can see from the photograph, it made a beautifully dark pink, luscious-looking sorbet with a tangy yet sweet taste. A true 'sweet and sour' water ice.

I served it for my family with some fresh fruit and they loved it. It's such a strong tasting sorbet that you only need a single scoop and it positively brings the fresh fruit alive.

Here it is my apple and blackberry sorbet recipe.

There's lots more reading on sorbet recipes on my website.

Labels: , , , , ,

Aug 3, 2009

The Knickerbocker Glory Champion

A Blog Of Ice Cream was born out of my website ice-cream-recipes.com which in turn was born out of a love of ice cream that I have had all my life. For as long as I can remember, ice cream has been a 'fun' part of life and has provided me with many, happy memories from childhood through to adulthood. Ice cream has a 'magic' that never fades.

So it was with my father. He loved ice cream all his life. He was a keen sportsman, always kept fit playing football or golf and was never overweight ... but he had a good appetite, enjoyed his food and adored an ice cream treat whenever the opportunity came along. That opportunity might not have been very often, particularly when he was a boy back in the 1930's in Britain, but he relished it when it was there.

At one end of the scale he could enjoy a simple vanilla ice cream cone or choc ice whilst at the other end of the scale he loved ice cream sundaes. Of all the ice cream sundaes I made for him, he never left a bit! His favourite was a Knickerbocker Glory. It was a rare treat but whenever he was at the seaside or anywhere where a good ice cream parlour might be located, he would look on the menu to see if the old 'Glory' was listed. If it was, he would have one.

My father was one in a million with a love of the simple things in life, an optimistic view on how things would turn out and always willing to share a laugh or smile, even with strangers. It is with great sadness that I realise I will never see that smile again or be able to watch him savour another Knickerbocker Glory. He passed peacefully from this life on 25 July 2009. If ever an angel deserved an ice cream treat, there is surely one in heaven now.


Jul 19, 2009

National Ice Cream Day 2009

If you celebrated National Ice Cream day last year and possibly in the years before, then you might just be looking to do something a little different with your homemade ice cream today. Take a look at my list of unusual ice cream recipes and see what takes your fancy!

Even if you don't make your own ice cream (shame on you!) you can still take part in the fun of National Ice Cream day ....
  • you could take the family out for a special treat to an ice cream parlor and try one of the many fabulous ice cream sundaes that are usually on the menu.
  • you could go to the movies and just enjoy a simple tub of ice cream whilst watching it
  • you could buy a quality, commercially made ice cream at your local store or supermarket, take it home and make your own Knickerbocker Glory
  • you could spot your local ice cream truck in a neighboring street and treat yourself (and others!) to a great ice cream cone

The list goes on!

That's the wonderful thing about ice cream as a food/treat - it's not confined to any one place or any one supplier. You can eat it indoors or outdoors and you can buy it made by someone else or yourself. It's almost infinitely variable in taste and methods of presentation and you can add toppings or sauces, fruit or nuts, chocolate flakes or wafers. I could go on all day writing about ice cream - it's a passion with a tradition and perhaps that's why it's worthy of its own national day. Long may it be so .... have a great National Ice Cream Day folks!

Labels: , , , ,

Jun 1, 2009

Knickerbocker Glory, Gordon Brown & National Ice Cream Week

As I reported in my last Blog Of Ice Cream post, 1 June 2009 sees the start of Britain's first National Ice Cream Week. Today could go down in history you never know .... if the British enter the spirit of celebrating ice cream this week, we could see all sorts of things never seen before!

Imagine it .... Members of Parliament taking a welcome fresh-air break from the House of Commons and rushing to queue up at the nearest ice cream van for a vanilla ice cream cone - paid for of course out of their own pocket! That's provided of course that their local ice cream van has not been banned by the local council. Banning ice cream vans sounds a crazy idea but it has been happening in Britain recently!

Continuing on with the idea of what we might see this week in Britain's National Ice Cream Week, I would like to think that everyone will join in, even the British Royal family. HM The Queen is known to sometimes offer delicious ice cream on the menu at formal dinners in Buckingham Palace and many of her grandchildren have been photographed enjoying ice cream cones at outdoor events.

What about the British Prime Minister? Will he allow himself to be seen eating ice cream this week? C'mon Mr. Brown, have an afternoon out with your family and visit an ice cream parlor - after all President Obama (clearly an ice cream cone fan) didn't mind being photographed doing just that with his family last year on the Presidential Campaign.

Tell you what Prime Minister Brown, if you go out this week and visit a British ice cream parlor, I will personally pay for your Knickerbocker Glory! Just email me the receipt. I sincerely mean that - it's time you had something to smile about and what better than a great British ice cream tradition.

Long live the Knickerbocker Glory!

Labels: , , ,

May 7, 2009

Mother's Day Ice Cream

Most countries have a 'Mother's Day'. In Britain it's in March each year yet in the USA it's in May - this year 10 May is the day.

I'm not going to linger over any complicated suggestions of what to do on Mother's Day this year, simply to say that if your mother likes ice cream, you could do worse than to give her a special ice cream surprise.

Make some homemade ice cream fresh that morning - such as vanilla ice cream - or take her out to an ice cream parlor for a special ice cream sundae. It doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to be a great big serving of ice cream. Then again if she really likes ice cream sundaes then order her something like a Knickerbocker Glory! Just as long as i'ts something you know she likes.

After all, Mother's Day is about showing that you care and how better to do that than recognise that she deserves a little treat occasionally. That's the magic of ice cream!

Labels: , ,

Jul 20, 2008

National Ice Cream Day 2008

It's here ... National Ice Cream Day for 2008! The third Sunday in July: this year it's 20 July.

It's a rather unusual 'Special Day' but one that more and more people are getting to know about and learning to celebrate. For some it will be a special trip to one of their favorite ice cream parlors whilst for others it will be to just stay home and make a batch of delicious homemade ice cream.

If you've never made your own ice cream before, now's the time to try. It's great fun and both children and adults alike can get involved and if you have an electric ice cream maker it doesn't take very long either. You can make a gelato (soft scoop) ice cream or choose from a whole range of sorbets; alternatively you can opt to make one of the more traditional custard/cream base ice creams such as vanilla ice cream or strawberry ice cream.

When you've made your ice cream it doesn't end there .... you can serve it in an ice cream cone or as an ice cream sundae or even go for the big one and try a Knickerbocker Glory (as in the photo).

Once you've made and eaten your ice cream you can then sit down and relax - and know that on this special day you have really played your part. So go to it and enjoy!

Labels: , , , , , ,

May 14, 2008

Ice Cream Sodas

Say the words "Ice Cream Soda" to most people and instantly it will transport them to a different world! It could be fond childhood memories or a favorite movie memory or simply that they have always loved an ice cream soda and will never tire of it.

Apparently it's not clear who exactly came up with the idea of mixing ice cream with carbonated water or soft drink but it's probably 1 of 2 people - Fred Sanders (Detroit, USA) or Robert M Green (Philadelphia), both back in the 1870's. Whether either of them knew the 'science' of why the combination works so well is not clear, but, as I understand it, when you mix ice cream with carbonated water or a carbonated drink, a scientific reaction takes place triggering the creation of large bubbles of carbon dioxide.

One of the first, popular ice cream sodas was the Boston Cooler - a mixture of vanilla ice cream and ginger ale and believed to have been served as far back as the 1880's in Detroit. I must admit that the flavors of vanilla and ginger do blend together well so it's not surprising this ice cream soda was a favorite for many people.

The ice cream soda became so popular at one time in fact that it's claimed it was banned in some parts of the USA on 'holy days' and lead to what we now refer to as the ice cream sundae. Which leads me onto another term that I love! I have always enjoyed making ice cream sundaes and my dear old Dad's favorite is the Knickerbocker Glory. Follow the link to see how I make my favorite one, called 'Shelagh's Knickerbocker Glory'.

Ice cream is such a fascinating subject then I never tire reading about its many facets. If you're like me and find this sort of thing interesting you might like to read more on Wikipedia - ice cream soda page ~ Knickerbocker Glory page.

Labels: , ,

Feb 29, 2008

Knickerbocker Glory & Chocolate Frog Ice Cream

I recently had 2 'Harry Potter' related experiences so thought I would bring them together here, particularly because there's a nice ice cream connection.

First of all, my family and I visited Alnwick in Northumberland, England and enjoyed a super tour of Alnwick Castle which was used for many of the Hogwarts' scenes in the movies. Standing on the lawn from which Harry took his first broomstick flight was especially exciting! Follow the Alnwick Castle link and you'll see a photo of the very lawn.

Following this trip, I watched an excellent tv documentary about J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books and it reminded me of the many, happy hours that I spent reading the books with my son when he was younger. I thought back to the very first book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" which we read together with great excitement and then my mind turned to ice cream - to a Knickerbocker Glory in fact. What's the connection? Well, any avid Harry Potter fan will guess the answer but for those of you unfamiliar with the series, or at least the first book in the series, there's a scene at a zoo where Harry is out for a day with his loathsome aunt, uncle and spoiled cousin Dudley. When Dudley's Knickerbocker Glory isn't as big as he wants, he throws a tantrum. Now despite the fact that Dudley is an obnoxious character, wanting a Knickerbocker Glory to be as big as possible is something I can actually understand! Not that I eat them very much (I tend to always be making them for others to eat) but I know from watching my own dear Dad enjoy many a Knickerbocker Glory over the years that it's an addictive pleasure! Read my post about the Knickerbocker Glory Champion.

Anyway, going back to Harry Potter, I don't recall ever reading that Harry himself actually ate ice cream in any of the stories, so I began to wonder what ice cream Harry might enjoy, given the chance. The obvious one that came to mind was pumpkin ice cream and then I let my imagination run a little .... chocolate frog ice cream! To make this you could consider using my recipe for real chocolate ice cream and simply substitute Harry's favourite chocolate frogs for what I call 'normal' milk chocolate. What a 'magical' experience that would be!

If J.K. Rowling ever writes another Harry Potter book, maybe she'll let him or another character have fun making ice cream. The possibilities for rewriting the recipe books are endless!

Labels: , , , ,

May 30, 2007

The Ultimate Ice Cream Sundae

A few days ago I was browsing through the hundreds of photos we've taken over the years for ice-cream-recipes.com - everything from a vanilla ice cream cone with sprinkles to fresh mint leaves just picked from our garden to a chocolate ice cream sandwich which I made and my husband promptly ate the moment we finished the shoot! But there was one section of photos I was drawn to looking at over and over again - the ice cream sundaes. Then I sat back and got to thinking why is that?

What is the appeal of an ice cream sundae?

  • Color - this is what makes an ice cream sundae a feast for the eyes, not just the palate. Choose from succulent red ripe strawberries, rich dark blue fresh blueberries, creamy orange peaches, rich brown chocolate sauce ... oh, the list goes on!

  • Texture - more sensations for the palate - from the smoothness of fresh, whipped cream to the crunchy nuttiness of a great fan wafer to the inimitable texture of the ice cream itself and then the chunkiness of fruits and other ingredients as you spoon your way down the sundae!

  • Taste - the combination of ice cream, cream, fruits, toppings and sauces is as exciting a taste experience as any you'll find.

So what are the world's favorite ice cream sundaes? Until I get the opportunity to run a poll for this on the site, here are my suggestions for the main contenders:

The most expensive ice cream sundae in the world is currently served at Serendipity 3 in New York - called the "Serendipity Golden Opulence Sundae" it costs $1,000 and requires a minimum 48 hours advance notice to prepare. Ingredients include a very special vanilla bean ice cream, a rare chocolate and 23 carat edible gold leaf. For more details see Wikipedia's page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundae#Hot_fudge_sundae

Labels: , , ,