As temperatures rise we look for plenty of ways to beat the heat. So when the mercury soars the ideal remedy is to ice down. Drinks filled to the brim with ice, cool, creamy ice cream, crunchy crystals from a snow cone or sticky popsicles dripping down your wrist — it's easy to get lost in cold thoughts featuring frosty treats. The cold is overwhelming with the first bite, but eat fast or your favorite frozen confection will soon be a puddle of soupy sugar.
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec
Combine sugar, lime juice and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, stir in the tequila and triple sec. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until hard, preferably overnight. Remove from freezer and run under warm water to loosen popsicle. Note: When trying to freeze alcohol the amount used needs to be 20 percent or less the total volume of liquid. Higher proof alcohol will not freeze in a conventional freezer. The mixture will remain slushy if too much alcohol is used. As a guide you need 1 cup of other liquid per 1 1/2 ounces of alcohol.
Dr. Pepper Creamsicle
2 cups Dr. Pepper
1 cup chocolate ice cream, softened
Add ice cream to a large bowl. Slowly pour in Dr. Pepper. Allow fizz to subside. Stir gently to combine. Pour into molds and freeze until set.
Pomegranate Yogurt Pop
6 ounces pomegranate juice
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups vanilla yogurt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir to combine. Pour into molds and freeze until set.
Affogato al Caffe
(Coffee-Drowned Ice Cream)
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
6 ounces freshly brewed coffee or espresso
1 ounce amaretto (optional)
Add the scoop of ice cream to a glass. Pour in coffee and amaretto. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder. Serve with a straw or a spoon.
3-4 large ripe mangoes
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Using a small, sharp knife, make 4 lengthwise slits through the skin of the mango, cutting the skin into quarters. Peel off the skin and discard. Then slice the flesh from both sides of the large, flat pit, as well as from around its edges.
Place the mango flesh in a food processor; puree until smooth. Measure the puree; you should have 1 2/3 cups. Return the puree to the processor or blender. Add the sugar and corn syrup and process to mix well. Pour the puree into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Transfer the sorbet mixture to an ice-cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a container; cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
Yield: About 2-1/2 cups, 3-4 servings
Adapted from "Ice Creams & Sorbets," by Sarah Tenaglia
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns (see cook's note)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
Cook's note: If you can't find Szechuan peppercorns, use another 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns.
Crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or the side of a heavy skillet or heavy knife. Put them in a small bowl with the salt.
Melt the butter in a small pan, stir in the honey and remove from the heat. Add the sugar, flour and the pepper mixture and set aside for two hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Meanwhile, spray a couple of rounded surfaces such as rolling pins with nonstick spray.
Line one baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Place about 2 teaspoons of the paste on the liner or paper and spread it into as thin a circle as you can make (it will be easier if you use your impeccably clean fingers). Repeat with as many circles as you can fit, leaving plenty of space between them (six will fit on a standard baking sheet). Because timing is critical, make only one baking sheet at a time.
Bake about six minutes, until the edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest 1 minute.
Gently lift the cookies from the sheet with a spatula — they will be very soft — and lay over the sprayed, rounded surface. They will harden in a few minutes, and can be removed then. Serve with Chocolate Ice Cream or store in an airtight container.
Yield: 12-15 cookies
Recipe by Olivier Berte
1/2 watermelon, approximately 4 pounds
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Remove the rind and seeds from the watermelon. Slice the melon into 1-inch cubes and mash it with a knife, or puree coarsely in a blender or food processor. Refrigerate.
Heat the water and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes; remove from the heat and cool.
Combine the watermelon puree, sugar syrup and lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Pour into shallow pans (a 13- by 9-inch baking pan is perfect) and place in freezer. After 30 minutes, remove the pan and thoroughly stir the freezing liquid with a fork; be sure to get all of it, including the parts on the sides. Return to the freezer and repeat every 30 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency, 2-3 hours. Pack into a freezer-safe air-tight container.
Yield: 1 quart
Adapted from "Ice Cream & Ices," by Nancy Arum
ROASTED PISTACHIO GELATO
1 cup (6 ounces) shelled pistachios (about 12 ounces in the shell)
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven or (preferably) toaster oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pistachios out on a small baking sheet and toast until fragrant and just starting to darken in color, 9-12 minutes. Keep a close watch to make sure they do not burn. Allow to cool.
In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the pistachios to a fine powder.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat, add the pistachios, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Strain the milk mixture through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing on the nuts with the back of a large spoon to get as much liquid from the nuts as possible. Transfer to an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Yield: 1 quart
Adapted from "Gelato!" by Pamela Sheldon Johns