For a fun weekend activity, try whipping up some freshly made ice cream. Lisabet Summa, the namesake behind Elisabetta’s in Delray Beach and executive culinary director of Big Time Restaurant Group, shares the recipes for a custardy vanilla ice cream and a fruity gelato to get you started.
French Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise (seeds removed), or 2 tsp. vanilla bean extract
3 egg yolks
To make the base, add whipping cream, milk, and half the sugar (1/4 cup) to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vanilla bean to saucepan and stir. Heat the mixture until hot (do not let simmer) or until instant-read thermometer registers 185 degrees. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolks with remaining sugar and whisk until mixture is pale yellow and thick. Pour egg mixture into the saucepan with the other ingredients and remove vanilla bean. Stir over low heat to cook the eggs (do not beat with a whisk). Reheat the mixture until hot (do not boil) or until instant-read thermometer registers 185 degrees. Remove from heat and let cool completely, stirring often. Alternatively, stir over a bowl of ice until cool. Churn with an ice cream maker, electric mixer, or by hand. Freeze overnight.
Add a Chocolate Chip Ripple
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 oz. coconut oil
Melt bittersweet chocolate in a saucepan. Add coconut oil to mixture and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside. Spoon the French vanilla ice cream into a container and pour chocolate in a thin stream to create a chocolate ripple. Other fun add-ins include chopped almonds and marshmallows.
Tip: If you overcook the custard, the base will look curdled or scrambled. To correct, plunge the pot into a bowl of ice water and whisk vigorously, or add to an electric mixer and blend until the texture is smooth.
18 oz. ripe strawberries
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
8 egg yolks
Wash and hull strawberries, then puree in a blender and refrigerate. Combine milk and half the sugar in a saucepan. Heat the mixture until hot (do not boil) or until instant-read thermometer registers 185 degrees. Stir, remove from heat, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolks with remaining sugar and whisk until mixture is pale yellow and thick. Pour egg mixture into the saucepan with the heated milk and return to 185 degrees. Stir constantly as mixture begins to thicken, being careful to not overcook. Remove from heat and allow to chill. Add strawberry puree and then refrigerate overnight to allow the flavor to intensify. Churn with an ice cream maker, electric mixer, or by hand.
Tip: Homemade ice cream should be enjoyed fresh. Store in the freezer for at least four hours and consume within one week. Before serving, soften ice cream by allowing it to sit out for up to 20 minutes at room temperature.
Summa recommends the Cuisinart ice cream and gelato maker ($257, available at Bed Bath & Beyond locations) for gourmands looking to make restaurant-quality ice cream at home. Those who don’t want to invest in another appliance can achieve similar results by using the coffee can or mason jar methods, or by pouring the mixture in a durable container and freezing it over the course of a few hours, stirring vigorously as it solidifies.