Whip a 14 oz. can Eagle brand milk with an 8 oz. bar of softened cream cheese. Add a half cup freshly-squeezed lime juice, a mashed ripe banana, and a jolt of vanilla. Pour into a cooled 8 in. graham cracker crust (just buy one, for Pete’s sake) and freeze until firm.
Macerate 4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries with 1 cup sugar; mash and strain. This will yield about 3 cups of syrup. Sift together 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and a generous dash of salt. Drizzle this mix into a quart of warm half-and-half, add 2 eggs well beaten and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes, maybe more. Remove from heat, add 2 cups whole cream, another teaspoon of vanilla, and the blackberry syrup. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate before processing in the ice cream freezer. This recipe works well with any berry or stone fruit.
You’ll always find angel food cake but never angel’s food; conversely, you’ll always find devil’s food cake, but never devil food. This sponge cake owes its fluffy texture to a tremendous amount of egg whites and no butter. This use of egg whites is similar to that for a souffle; the bubbles expand in the oven heat, and like a souffle, an angel food cake does take time and precision. You can find mixes for this cake in the store, but they cannot compare to scratch. It’s a delicate, impressive recipe, a perfect platform for summer fruit in season, particularly stone fruit and berries. It also makes beautiful toast. Learn how to make it.
Preheat oven to 350. Separate a dozen eggs while cold, using caution to ensure no yolks make it into the whites. Bring whites to room temperature and stir in a tablespoon of water. Sift a cup of cake flour with a half cup sugar until it’s very light. (Yes, you can use plain flour.) You want to sift several times; some recipes say as many as five. Beat the egg whites in a large, very clean, dry bowl. Start on a low speed. When the eggs are foamy, sprinkle in a teaspoon of cream of tartar. This acid helps stabilize the egg whites when they are whipped. Since most of the volume and structure of the cake comes from these egg whites, you’re not going to want to take the risk of substituting this ingredient. As the texture of the bubbles begins to even out, add a teaspoon or two of pure vanilla extract, and incorporate another cup of sugar bit by bit, about a tablespoon at a time. Keep beating at a medium speed until the sugar is dissolved and the whites form stiff peaks. Then carefully FOLD in the flour while sifting it over the egg whites. Use a spatula, and turn the bowl; the key is not to deflate the bubbles. Make sure the flour is evenly combined throughout the whites, but don’t over-mix.
Gently pour the batter into a 10-in. ungreased tube pan; the cake has to cling to the sides as it rises, forming a bit of a crust. Bake for 30 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN BEFORE THAT TIME. When done, the cake should spring back when touched. Remove from oven and invert the pan until over a rack while it cools, otherwise it might deflate. You’ll find specially-made tube pans with legs for this cake. When cool remove by running a thin knife around the sides of the pan. You can buy a comb to slice this cake, otherwise use a serrated knife dipped in warm water before each cut.
Homemade ice cream makes everyone happy, and though we do have an (electric) churn, most of the time we just use this recipe, which is easy, with simple ingredients, and you don’t have to bother with ice. Most recipes for no-churn ice cream recommend a loaf pan lined with parchment paper, so that’s your first step, line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour one chilled 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk into a cold bowl, and add two teaspoons vanilla. Whip two cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks. Working quickly, GENTLY fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk, along with any additions—mashed macerated fruit, chocolate syrup, or crushed cookies or nuts—until thoroughly blended. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least four hours. Some recipes will tell you to stir the mixture after about two hours (while you still can) but this is superfluous. I recommend making this in the morning for an afternoon gathering.
This rich custard makes a sumptuous base for any homemade ice cream, simply add flavorings to taste. Admittedly it is a little time-consuming and takes a bit of patience, but custards were most likely the basis for the rich, unforgettable ice creams your grandmother made on the porch when you were growing up.
Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and a scant teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in a quart of half-and-half, stirring constantly and place over low heat. In a large bowl beat together 2 large eggs and a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract until whites and yolks are thoroughly blended. Add this mixture very slowly into the half and half, stirring constantly and gradually increasing heat until thickened. It should have the consistency of eggnog. Stir in a pint of whipping cream and remove from heat. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to cool, then add fruit, nuts and/or flavorings and sugar to taste, place in your ice cream freezer and process according to directions.