A few months ago my friend Rain recommended to me a book called Sweets: Soul Food Desserts & Memories by Patty Pinner. Rain made a Facebook post about the Dr. Pepper cake and I was sold on the book and HAD to have it. I mean, look at that cover! It’s amazing, and I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but this time the cover speaks volumes about the content. Give me a bright pink cake & some old timey pictures and I’m done for, dude. I ordered it right away and I’ve had it for ages now, but of course, still haven’t made that damn Dr. Pepper cake! The book was read cover to cover within minutes of me getting it- I loved all the stories that went with the recipes, and the old pictures are amazing. Just reading this book made me want to pack up and move down to the South 40+ years ago in a Time Machine to share recipes with these phenomenal ladies. It really made you feel as though you were present, sitting at the bright kitchen table with My My (Patty’s grandma), Aint Bulah and the rest.
I have made some things from the book here & there, one cake (I turned it into cupcakes) but mainly cookies. However, every single cookie I made from it was awesome, some were even deemed “the best cookies ever made” (no kidding, Jay’s mother actually said that about the peanut butter cookies, although she says that about my favorite chocolate chip cookies too). I still have to get around to posting those peanut butter cookies, now that I think about it!
But anyway, this post isn’t about cookies. It’s about ice cream. In this weather, all I can tolerate making is either ice cream or stove-top stuff like fudge. By “this weather”, I mean the 98°-degrees-but-with-humidity-feels-like-110°-degree weather that New York has been slammed with this past week. Don’t get me wrong- air conditioning is a wonderful thing. But no amount of A/C can make you feel good bent over a stove, baking batches of cupcakes… whereas a big ass container of fresh homemade ice cream makes everyone feel good, A/C or no. So I turned to the back of this delightful book and went right to the ice cream recipes, keeping in mind the half-dozen organic lemons sitting in a jadeite bowl on my counter. What stuck out to me was “Aint Tee’s Luscious Lemon Ice Cream.” As the author writes:
“”Aint Tee” was what we called My My’s sister, Laura. Aint Tee wasn’t too quick to give out her recipes… not even to family. In fact, if she agreed to give you a recipe, you had to agree to give her one back. Aint Tee traded recipes the way children traded paper dolls and marbles.
This ice cream has a soft, smooth texture and tastes lemony delicious. I like to fix myself a heaping bowl with raspberry sauce.”
Isn’t that totally enough to make you want a big ol’ bowl of lemon ice cream? Yes, yes it is. And with this one you will not be disappointed. It’s super silky with an awesome lemon flavor. As a matter of fact, it tastes almost exactly like lemon saltwater taffy. It’s almost like the best of both worlds; sorbet & ice cream. I prefer it plain, but if you’re into that kind of thing then, like the author suggests, a raspberry sauce would be lovely. Here’s one by Emeril Lagasse. Also, fresh blueberries would probably be dee-lish as well.
I have an ice cream maker, actually the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment (an early birthday/anniversary gift from Jay last year). It’s the bees knees, trust me. I keep the bowl stored in the freezer so it’s all ready whenever I wanna get my ice cream on. But according to the recipe, any ice cream maker will work. The one caveat: you have to have one. So if you don’t, go get one. It’s worth it. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, I recommend the attachment. If you don’t, then there are plenty of stand alone ice cream makers to choose from.
LUSCIOUS LEMON ICE CREAM
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- In a large, heavy saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, milk, and lemon juice. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 175° F, about 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Add the cream and the lemon zest to the cooled lemon curd and mix well.
- Pour the custard into the canister of a 2-quart ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 1 ½ quarts.
What happened with the KitchenAid ice cream maker was that I mixed it in there for about 30 minutes, then I put it in an airtight container and froze it for 3 ½ hours. When I took it out, it was perfectly soft-frozen. So I plopped it in ramekins & topped it with some lemon rind. For firmer ice cream, freeze longer, even overnight. Then if it’s too hard, let it sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to soften a bit.
Enjoy! And get ready to eat summertime in a bowl!