Wednesday, August 31, 2011

cheesecake ice cream

So pretty much all my ice cream recipes come David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, which I received pretty much exactly a year ago from Tenli and Marie. I can't believe that this time last year I was still days away from getting my jaw unwired after five weeks of total misery. Compared to that, this summer was an absolute dream. A brand new job, plenty of sailing, a two week vacation in California and general good times in the city. I feel very blessed.

I made this ice cream as a housewarming gift for Jess and Kristen, who I have basically known my whole life, and their new roommate Janet, who is totally fun and awesome. Sadly, Kristen just moved out this past weekend, but revisiting this ice cream brings back plenty of good memories. I wish I had taken photos of the spectacular pizzas that Kristen made us with all these fancy Italian ingredients that Janet brought back from her job at a food importing company. A thing of beauty, and so delicious.

This ice cream wasn't QUITE as successful, but through no fault of the recipe. My container of kosher salt is mostly empty at this point, so I have to tip it pretty far over to get any out. Unfortunately, I tipped it a little too far and a little too fast, and wound up with MORE than a little too much salt. Whoops. I added some extra sugar to compensate, but it didn't really do the trick. I made Janet toss in some fresh cut strawberries to try and disguise the saltiness, and that actually helped a lot.

All the same, I'm going to have to have a do-over on this one. This ice cream is cinch to make, and it tastes incredibly rich and creamy, just like cheesecake. It deserves better than a salty slip of the hand.

Cheesecake Ice Cream, Philadelphia Style
(from David Lebovitz's One Perfect Scoop, published 2007)

8 ounces cream cheese
1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
½ cup half-and-half*
⅔ cup suar
pinch of salt

Cut the cream cheese into small pieces. Zest the lemon directly into a blender or food processor, then add the cream cheese, sour cream, half-and-half, sugar and salt, and purée until smooth.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator according to the manufacturer's instructions.

* I actually had some almond milk on hand, and that worked as a perfectly serviceable substitute. Of course, using a dairy free milk is almost laughable when the other primary ingredients in the dish are sour cream and cream cheese, but I suppose it would work in other ice cream recipes if you wanted to make them vegan.

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