In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities.” I knew there was a reason I liked President Reagan and I am not the only American who enjoys ice cream. Statistics show that more than 90 percent of Americans like ice cream.
The ice cream industry takes in over 10 billion dollars a year and ice cream accounts for 10 percent of the milk that dairy farmers produce. That comes to about 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream produced a year. That’s astonishing indeed!
According to a recent survey of International Ice Cream Association member companies, vanilla remains the most popular flavor among their consumers. Companies said that Mint Chocolate Chip Mint and Cookies and Cream were the next most popular flavors.
Ice cream's origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C. with mentions in the Bible referring to King Solomon’s love of a cold treat during harvest. Ice cream was enjoyed during the Roman Empire by Nero and Julius Caesar among other notables and of course was enjoyed in France, Italy and many other European countries.
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When America was discovered, recipes were brought to the new country and one our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, was the first to serve ice cream in the White House. Thomas Jefferson even had an 18-step recipe for what we now call Baked Alaska, but I like his basic vanilla recipe.
Thomas Jefferson’s Ice Cream
2 bottles of good cream
6 yolks of eggs
1/2 lb. sugar
Mix the yolks and sugar and put the cream on a fire in a casserole, first putting in a stick of vanilla. When near boiling, take it off and pour it gently into the mixture of eggs and sugar. Stir it well. Put it on the fire again ,stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it from sticking to the casserole. When near boiling, take it off and strain it through a towel. Put it in the Sabottiere, then set it in ice for an hour before it is to be served.
Put into the ice a handful of salt. Put salt on the coverlid of the Sabotiere and cover the whole thing with ice. Leave it still half a quarter of an hour, then turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes. Open it and loosen the ice from the inner sides of the Sabotiere with a spatula. Shut it and replace it in the ice. Open it from time to time to detach the ice from the sides. When well taken, (prise) stir it well with the spatula. Put it in moulds, justling it well down on the knee, then put the mould into the same bucket of ice. Leave it until serving. To withdraw it, immerse the mould in warm water, turning it well until it will come out and& turn it into a plate.
Recipe Source: www.monticello.org
This recipe seems pretty basic and I notice the absence of vanilla, but I am sure that would come later along with other flavors of local fruits from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
As for this chef, ice cream is like pie to me: I never really met a flavor I didn’t like. I will admit, I do not care for some of those gritty ice creams and mass produced icy milk gummy frozen ice cream but I really admire large producers such as Kansas City’s own Belfonte and Texas’s Blue Bell Ice Cream for getting that almost homemade flavor into their ice cream. Artisan producers such as Christopher Elbow and Shatto Dairy are tops in my book.
Many local chefs in Kansas City are making their own ice cream including some of our most well -known such as Michael Smith, Rosso’s Brian Archibald and his outstanding Local Honey-Ricotta Gelato, Megan Garrelts of Bluestem and Rye with her Popcorn Ice Cream and of course local food artisan supporter Rene Kelly of Rene Kelly’s Harvest and Michael Foust of The Farmhouse with their in-house ice cream selections. The list is really endless with our local chefs and artisan ice cream production.
Recently, I was in Florida and I hate to admit that not a day went by that I did not enjoy some ice cream whether served à la mode, in a cone or a cup. I am not particular; I will eat ice cream any way that it is erred to me. My most memorable experience this vacation was at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My wife, daughter and I had a special preview of Harry Potter’s new park, Diagon Alley and were one of the first to experience Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour. I of course experienced the now famous Butterbeer Ice Cream while Lisa enjoyed Salted Caramel Blonde and my daughter savored the Lavender & Earl Grey. Even though Rubeus Hagrid did not present me with chocolate, raspberry and nut ice cream like he did Harry Potter in the book and movie, I was like a kid in a candy shop in the colorful and quaint ice cream parlor.
I returned to Kansas City this past week and did some research for Butterbeer Ice Cream. I came across a few recipes, experimented and came up with my own. The result was absolutely delicious and almost exactly as I experienced at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour. I do hope you try it out for yourself, as it is National Ice Cream Month and we all should celebrate. I am sure our former presidents would approv.
Chef Jasper’s Butterbeer Ice Cream
Vanilla Custard Base
6 egg yolks
1 qt heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Bring cream and sugar to a boil in a 2 quart pot. Remove from stove. Whisk egg yolks and add 1 cup of the hot cream. Add vanilla and whisk. Add remaining cream, stir well and set aside until cool.
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup Lost Trail Cream soda
1/2 cup Butterscotch topping
Place butter, brown sugar, water and salt in a sauce pan on medium heat. When butter melts, mix well. Add vinegar, cream and rum. Mix until creamy. Add cream soda and cool.
Place vanilla custard base in ice cream machine. Churn according to manufacturer’s directions. When ice cream begins to thicken, usually after 20 minutes, add Butterbeer mix until all is incorporated. Continue to freeze until ice cream is thick but creamy. In the last 30 seconds of freezing, drizzle a ribbon of butterscotch topping into container. Turn off machine. Place ice cream in an air tight container and place in freezer or enjoy right away.
History and Fact Sources: International Dairy Foods Association