I’m grateful that summer is upon us, longer days = more time for me to enjoy nature, family, and the simple pleasures in life. I definitely need the extra light to ease all the intensity and additional stress that seems to be part of living in America right now. While we may want to avoid it, it is important to acknowledge that our current political climate can add anxiety, fear, and feelings of compression. It is also important to not dwell in those feelings and to consciously move away and take a break from social media, news, and political conversation.
It's summer and that calls for cooling and refreshing activities and simple things like the pleasure of smelling the flowers, the sun on your face and body, a dip in the pool or river, and, of course, ice cream! I love ice cream and while I don't indulge often, I do engage the sweet pleasure in these summer months by making my own. I invite you to join me on this journey.
Dreaming of Ice Cream
Ice cream has a special place in my heart as it reminds me of family. When I was a little girl, I remember summers in Pennsylvania with my Grandfather. We'd drive out into the woods at night with a big spotlight on the car to watch deer and their sweet and majestic beauty. On the way home we'd stop at a small ice cream shack called the Robins Nest and I'd always order the best chocolate milkshakes ever. Or the drive out to World's End State Park where we would stop at the tastee-freeze for a cone of soft serve. These were great times and sweet memories, I wish my Grandfather a Happy Father's Day with much love and nostalgia.
Flash forward to my adulthood: my son wanted to attend school abroad so I made and sold ice dream (vegan versions of ice cream) to raise the money for tuition. Looking back, I realize that I was making coconut milk ice cream before it was all the rage…with names like Hippie Chip and Temple Treat it was a big hit. Recently, I was gifted with some super strong Nitro Brewed coffee and I immediately knew what to make!
Coffee Crush Ice Cream with Maple Glazed Pecans
(vegan options at the end of the recipe)
For the Ice Cream:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup whole Milk
- 1/3 cup really strong coffee - cold brew or nitro brew
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp guar gum* (optional)
- 2 oz. dark chocolate shaved with a veggie peeler (freeze 30 minutes before use)
- 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
- Dash of cinnamon as desired
- Ice cream maker
For the Pecans:
- 2/3 cups whole pecans
- 1 Tbs ghee or butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- a dash of cardamom
*Guar Gum is a thickener and emulsifier derived from the Guar Bean. If you are using guar gum mix it in with about 1Tbs. of sugar till it disappears, then mix that amount back into the larger portion of sugar this will help keep it from clumping.
In a heavy bottomed pot, mix the milk, cream, coffee, sugar, and salt over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and then temper the yolks by pouring 1/3 of the milk/cream mixture into them, then stirring well. Return the egg yolks and milk/cream mixture to the pot. Over medium heat, stirring frequently, cook until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and when you run your finger through it, there is a clear line. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Remove the chilled mixture from the fridge and churn the ice cream base in your ice cream maker according to its directions. Mine takes about 25-30 minutes. About 5 minutes before the churn is complete, add the chocolate shavings. Serve immediately with Maple Glazed Pecans
Make the Maple Glazed Pecans
Heat ghee in heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Once ghee melts, add the pecans and sauté until well coated. Pour in the maple syrup and cook until syrup starts to thicken and coat the pecans. Remove from heat and set aside, the pecans will glaze nicely as it cools.
Vegans can easily substitute about 3 cups of full fat coconut milk for the milk, cream and eggs. Other vegan milk doesn't typically have enough fat to make the ice cream creamy.