Companies we Love: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
A copy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home recently landed in my lap and I totally fell in love! This book is instantly captivating: luscious flavors and beautiful imagery are found throughout this super cute (and James Beard Award winning) book. Who would ever think to combine ylang-ylang and clove into ice cream? What about coriander and raspberry? Orange Blossom with Dark Chocolate? Gouda with Cranberries? And the list goes on to include cucumber, orange, beer, and so much more! But better yet, these dairy queens (sorry, I couldn’t resist) have style AND substance.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is based in Ohio, where they work with local farmers to supply all their milk, cream, butter, cheese and almost all of their farm-fresh flavors. All ice creams and treats at Jeni’s are made exclusively with dairy from Snowville‘s herd of grassfed cattle, because grassfed milk is more healthful and more flavorful than conventionally raised dairy. The high butterfat content gives Jeni’s ice cream its signature flavor, a terroir if you will. They work with small scale vanilla farmers in Uganda, global fair-trade chocolate partners to source quality cocoa, and they get most of their fresh produce from local farmer’s markets to create flavors that reflect their midwest seasons: strawberries and rhubarb in the spring; corn, basil, and cucumbers in the summer; apples and cranberries in the autumn. Local food love!
In addition to being a beautiful and flavorful book, it full of the art and science behind ice cream making. Jeni nerds out on ALL the details of how good ice cream is really a balance between air and fat– but she makes it so interesting that you want to bust out your ice cream maker and get working! Each recipe was created on a home ice cream machine, using easy substitutions for those who might not have some of the more exotic ingredients. Chapters include a wide range of ice cream recipes, but also many tips and tricks for wannabe ice-cream chefs: basic cakes and cookies, macaroons, sauces, and nut recipes to add depth and flavor to your own treats. She also gives recipes for simple vanilla and frozen yogurt bases, so that you can get crazy with your own flavor combinations. Below we’ve reprinted the recipe for a truly captivating flavor, Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream, which Jeni notes is, “a complex blend of hot , salty, savory, and sweet.” She says for a more authentic flavor, “add a bruised lemongrass stalk and 4 coins of ginger during the boiling stage, then remove before whisking in the slurry.” Sounds good to me!
Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream
1¼ cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
1½ ounces (3 Tablespoons) organic cream cheese, softened
¼ cup natural peanut butter
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
¾ cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk
⅔ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup (or tapioca syrup)*
2 Tablespoons honey
½ cup toasted unsweetened, shredded coconut*
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more to taste)
Prep: (Note: be sure to have your ice cream maker canister frozen before beginning the recipe!)
Mix about 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the starch in small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese, peanut butter, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Cook: Combine the remaining milk, cream, coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes exactly. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the starch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Chill: Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the peanut butter mixture until smooth. Whisk in the toasted coconut and cayenne. Pour the mixture into a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice if needed, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Freeze: Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm.
Notes: Jeni notes that in her ice creams she prefers using tapioca starch and syrup, but offers corn syrup as an easier-to-find option for home cooks. Use whichever you can find, but choose organic corn products whenever possible to avoid GMO ingredients. To toast coconut, I use a toaster oven on the toast setting, for a few minutes only, stirring halfway to ensure even browning. Be sure to toast gently, as coconut burns quickly.
Green Living Ideas would like to thank Artisan Press for allowing us to reprint the recipe. GLI was not compensated in any way for this review.