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Dog Days of Summer Bearable with Homemade Ice Cream

Kara Kimbrough

I love vintage items as much as the next junk store aficianado. So when I saw a hand-crank homemade ice cream maker for sale on the internet, I got excited. “Make ice cream the old-fashioned way!” drew me in even further. When I saw the nearly-$200 price tag, my interest turned to disbelief. Obviously, the manufacturers never spent hours outside on a sweltering Mississippi summer day packing down the rustic models of the past with rock salt, ice, and newspapers, then turning the crank for hours. I didn’t buy the pricey ice cream maker, but reading about it stirred up childhood memories and resurrected favorite homemade ice cream recipes.

First, a word about ice cream makers. My current favorite is Cuisinart’s Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker. No crank on this compact machine, which sells for less than $100 in kitchen stores. Simply freeze the interior bowl, add ingredients and flip the switch.

Two favorite recipes that get me through the summer are Orange Crush and Cheesecake Ice cream. The beauty of the first two-ingredient recipe is that it can be made in an ice cream maker or if you don’t have one on hand, a freezer will do the trick.

Combine two 14-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk with a 2-liter bottle of Orange Crush. Use a hand mixer to mix ingredients well, then add to the ice cream freezer container and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Or, even simpler, pour into a 13x9 inch baking pan and freeze to a firm mush, about an hour. Break into pieces and return to the mixing bowl. Beat until smooth, then return to the pan, and cover. Refreeze until firm, an hour or two.

Kids of all ages – and I’m including myself in the disclaimer - love Ice Cream in a Bag. In a quart sized Ziploc bag (I recommend the name brand), add a cup of heavy whipping cream, two teaspoons sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla, and three tablespoons of your favorite flavor (I use peach preserves.) Seal the bag.

In a gallon sized Ziploc bag, add five cups of crushed ice and 3/4 cup rock salt. Place the small bag with the cream into the larger bag with the ice and seal the larger bag.

Shake and squeeze for 10 minutes or until the cream has started to harden and turn into ice cream. Remove from the bag and serve. If you prefer a firmer consistency, just pop in the freezer for 30 minutes or more.

I’ve professed my obsession with Blue Bell Ice Cream. It’s hard to top any flavor of this freezer case treasure. Each one is delicious, but Banana Pudding is in my top five. Imagine my delight when I found a cake recipe containing elements of both my favorite dessert and ice cream flavor. Enjoy a chilly slice along with the perfect side: a bowl of delicious ice cream, of course.

Bananas, Pudding, Ice Cream, and Cake Delight

1 box vanilla cake mix

3 cups of heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup of vanilla pudding mix

1 cup of sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cup of crushed Nilla wafers for filling

2 sliced bananas, divided

1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers for topping

20-22 whole Nilla Wafers for topping

Cake layers: Prepare cake batter according to package instructions. Divide between prepared cake pans and bake until done, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Ice cream layer: In a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, cup of crushed Nilla wafers, and three-fourths of the banana slices, reserving leftovers.

Assembly: Add one cake layer to serving platter. Spread half of the ice cream mixture onto cake, then top with a layer of whole Nilla Wafers. Top with the second cake layer, then spread the remaining ice cream mixture on top. Garnish with more crushed Nilla Wafers, whole Nilla Wafers, and remaining banana slices. Freeze until ice cream is firm, about 4 hours.

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