After the past few weeks of “healthy living” posts, let’s have dessert! Its hot, and will be for another few months, so you know I’m thinking…
I bought an ice cream machine last year. I found it at a thrift store, plugged it in and it seemed fine, so I brought it home. Its the kind that has an insert you have to remember to put in the freezer a day or more ahead, but I pretty much just keep it in there all the time just in case, so that’s not an issue .
I’ve tried a variety of recipes for home made ice cream, from avocado (rather greasy mouth feel, but tasty) through various custards, to a sugar- and dairy-free chocolate rice milk and duck egg frozen concoction (not half bad, actually). The problem was never flavor, (ok, maybe once or twice) but texture. Most of these ice creams were grainy or sort of, well, icy. This one, though, stays creamy to the max without leaving an oil slick on the tongue, and it is delicious!.
I got the original recipe from one of my recipe-of-the-day emails, but it called for a heavier-flavored liqueur; not summery enough for my taste. I love (love, do you hear me!) lemon. And, even more, I love lemon and chocolate together. It may seem an odd combination, but consider the often paired orange and chocolate, and just move over a note or two on the keyboard. See? MMmmmmm…
I first became aware of the potential for lemon and chocolate just a few years ago. I was lucky enough to be in Sorrento, which seems to be the lemon capital of the Amalfi coast. I found a little shop that specialized in hot chocolate right on the main street.Adding lemon and pine nuts (cioccolata al limone e pinoli) to hot chocolate had never occurred to me, but oh my… it was heavenly.
The thing about Sorrento is, anywhere there is a square meter of earth there are lemon trees, remarkably happy lemon trees, pushing their roots out into that volcanic soil. I have never seen so many lemon trees, and so laden with fruit.
The local specialty drink is an after-dinner liqueur called limoncello that everyone seems to make at home. Its really easy… and it keeps well. I still have part of a bottle that a friend made for me over a year ago! You can make it with Meyer lemons, or part lemon and part orange if you’re feeling creative, and you can adjust the sweetness to suit your palate. Of course, the vodka you use will affect the flavor as well. I use an inexpensive “builder-grade” vodka… no point is using the high end stuff since its the lemons that matter here!
So, once you have made your limoncello, try using a bit in this ice cream for a summer delight. I served it with waffles and strawberries and good coffee for brunch one day this week — why not?
Nutella-Lemon Ice Cream
1 C heavy cream
2 C 2% milk
1 t each lemon and vanilla extracts
pinch of salt
3 T limoncello
1/2 C sugar
2/3 C Nutella
Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until completely blended. Chill well, then put in ice cream machine and follow machine instructions for freezing. Don’t substitute milk or half and half for the heavy cream this once… it really does make a difference. Freeze for 5 hours before eating (or, as one friend suggested, just stick a straw in the blender… NOOOoooooo!) (Makes one quart)
Enjoy most any time of day… or night… and stay cooooool!