Spring officially starts today.
Break out the bathing suits, the grill and the flip-flops.
Don't forget the ice cream.
I usually keep a pint of good vanilla ice cream in our freezer, and occasionally we pick up strawberry, Danny's favorite. But it may be a while before I buy another.
We decided to make our own ice cream. Without an ice cream maker.
And it worked.
Danny found a no-churn coffee ice cream recipe from Nigella Lawson, the domestic goddess whose cookbooks are always a good place to start. I came home to find him setting the ingredients on the counter. Cream, espresso powder and a small tin of thick and rich sweetened condensed milk.
Lawson's original recipe calls for double cream, which has a higher fat content than the heavy cream we subbed in. We couldn't find the double cream at the time (we later spotted it at Whole Foods) but the heavy cream worked well. Instead of heading out again to find espresso or coffee liqueur, we used a couple of ingredients we always have at home: freshly brewed coffee and a hit of bourbon.
The rest is easy. Mix. Freeze. Eat.
We worked in shifts, whisking vigorously until our arms tired out until I suggested we use that big old KitchenAid mixer we have. After that, it came together quickly. Soft peaks. Light and airy. I dipped my finger in the bowl and it tasted intensely of coffee.
This no-churn ice cream tasted just as good, if not better, than any store-bought coffee ice cream we've ever had. It was creamy, reminding me of gelato at times, and the texture was just right. It even melted slightly at the edges like regular ice cream.
It was so perfect I wanted to give it a hug. But I thought of something better. A proper ice cream scoop. A big spoon just won't cut it anymore.
The only thing left to do is play around with different flavors and make some more. We're ready for ice cream season.
Ileana Morales is a freelance writer who cooks in a small apartment kitchen in Tampa with boyfriend Danny Valentine, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. For more of their kitchen adventures, visit Ileana's blog, alittlesaffron.com. She can be reached at [email protected]