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Put It on Ice

Nothing will refresh you faster on a hot summer day than a delicious frosty treat. Don’t wait for the ice cream truck to pass by, though: Create your own tongue-chilling, brain-freezing, goose-pimply delights! Here are a few recipes to help get you started.


By Patti Plummer

Watermelon Granita-Filled Lime Cups

6  limes (reserve 2 tablespoons juice) 

1
  cup sugar 

2
  cups water 

4
  cups watermelon cubes 

1/2
  cup currants or raisins 

Crushed ice (optional) 


Cut limes in half lengthwise; cut around pulp of each half with sharp knife, leaving peel intact. Scoop out pulp, using spoon to loosen pulp from peel, and reserve 2 tablespoons lime juice for granita. Set lime cups aside. Stir sugar and water together in small saucepan; heat to boiling. Cool slightly. Place watermelon in container of food processor; pulse to puree watermelon. Place colander over bowl; pour pureed watermelon into colander to strain out seeds, forcing watermelon through with back of spoon, if needed. Stir reserved lime juice and cooled sugar mixture into pureed watermelon. Pour into 13x9x2-inch pan; freeze until firm, about 4 hours. To serve, scrape frozen watermelon mixture with spoon to make granita. Stir in currants for seeds. Mound granita in lime cups; serve on bed of crushed ice. 

Serves 12

Recipe by Chef Gale Gand, Brasserie T, Northfield, Illinois; Recipe and photo courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Ginger Peanut Ice Cream

1 1/4  cups unsalted roasted peanuts

  1/3  
cup chopped candied ginger

     1
 cup whole milk

     2  
cups heavy cream

  1/4  
cup light brown sugar

  1/3  
cup sugar

  1/4  
teaspoon salt

     2  
large eggs

     1  
tablespoon ginger, freshly minced


To make peanuts more fragrant and flavorful, dry roast them in a frying pan over moderate heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not allow them to turn brown, as they will become bitter. Remove from heat. When cool, coarsely chop peanuts and set aside.

Place candied ginger in a small bowl and add just enough water to barely cover. Set aside to plump and soften the ginger. In a saucepan over moderate heat, add milk, cream, sugars, and salt and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large metal bowl. Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, then pour into saucepan. While stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, simmer over moderately low heat until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 170 to 175 degrees F on a thermometer. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean metal bowl. Cool to room temperature. Stir in soaked ginger. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in an ice cream maker until soft-frozen, and then add fresh ginger and 1/2 cup peanuts. Continue churning ice cream until frozen. Transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer to harden. To serve, scoop ice cream into dessert bowls and garnish with remaining chopped peanuts. 

Serves 12

Recipe created by Mai Pham; Recipe and photo courtesy of the National Peanut Board

Blueberry and Citrus Sorbet “Layer Cake”

1/2  cup finely chopped walnuts

1/4  
cup plus 2 tablespoons blueberry preserves or jam, divided

   1
  pint orange sorbet, slightly softened

   1
  pint lemon or other citrus sorbet, slightly softened

   1
  cup fresh blueberries


Line the bottom and sides of an 8x4-inch loaf pan with a double layer of waxed paper, folding the paper to fit smoothly. In a small bowl, stir together walnuts and 1/4 cup of the blueberry preserves; set aside. Spoon orange sorbet into the lined pan, smoothing the top to make an even layer. Spread the reserved walnut-preserves mixture evenly over the orange sorbet. Spoon the lemon sorbet evenly over the preserves and smooth the top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze several hours or overnight. Just before serving, in a medium bowl, stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of preserves until smooth; fold in fresh blueberries. Invert the cake onto a chilled serving plate. Remove the pan and waxed paper; spoon about 1/4 of the blueberry mixture down the center of the cake. Cut the cake into 8 (1-inch) slices. Serve on chilled dessert plates; top each slice with a spoonful of the remaining fresh berry mixture. Serve immediately. (Pictured at right)

Serves 8

Recipe and photo courtesy of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council