On a hot summer’s day or a cold winter’s night, I can enjoy rich, creamy, sweet, and refreshing ice cream. Gelato is an even better substitute. I can eat it in a cone, in a bowl, on a stick. It is indeed my No. 1 comfort food. So, last year when I was gearing up to return to the United States after a three-month stay in Italy, I decided to look into buying an ice cream maker. After research and budgeting, I settled on purchasing the ice cream maker accessory for my Kitchen Aid mixer. I made a slew of ice creams, most of which my family devoured. One batch of eggnog ice cream was a miss. The rest were all winners. In fact, my cousins are still raving about the gingerbread ice cream from Christmas. Here in Italy, I haven’t given up. I bought the accessory for my Kenwood mixer here, and I’ve already added some new recipes to my repertoire. I can’t take credit for these works of food art. I have recipes written and shared by others to thank. Here are the ones I suggest you make at home as soon as you can. After all, wouldn’t homemade ice cream be the perfect 4th of July dessert?
Vanilla Ice Cream – For this one, I use the recipe from the Kitchen Aid mixer manual, which has been reprinted at My Recipes. You can add strawberries (as suggested at My Recipes) to make strawberry ice cream, which I’ve done and is delicious. Or you can crumble up Oreo cookies and stir them into the ice cream by hand before you put it in the freezer to make cookies and cream. Whenever I make this cookies and cream version, my guests eat it all and we’re left with no ice cream. I think they would lick the bottom of the container if it was socially acceptable. Still, eating the plain old vanilla is a treat, too. And I enjoy sandwiching it between homemade chocolate chip cookies for a dessert sandwich.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – This recipe from Amanda’s Cookin’ is by far the simplest one I’ve made so far. And it comes out perfectly. The latest version I made of this featured Kinder chocolate because that is what I had on hand, and it gave the ice cream extra punch.
Pineapple Ice Cream – Anyone who has ever had a Dole Whip at Disney will love this homage to it by Our Little Family Adventure. It’s creamy and delicate and the final blast of flavor in every bite is unexpected in the most wonderful way. Yes, we ate it both as ice cream, soft serve, and in a float (with pineapple juice).
Fior di Latte Gelato – Americans have vanilla and Italians have fior di latte. Literally translated it means “flower of milk,” and that is kind of what it tastes like. It’s probably my favorite gelato flavor for its simplicity and versatility. You can use it in an Oreo milkshake or to make an ice cream cake. It can be sandwiched between cookies or smothered in chocolate sauce or Nutella. Or you can eat it plain. This recipe by the Italian site misya is simple, but it requires conversion for those not used to cooking in the metric system.