I can’t believe it.
I went the whole month of July without an ice cream post.
This makes me two things:
1. A bad ice cream maker lover
2. A bad pregnant woman
Homemade ice cream has kind of been my thing since we received an ice cream machine for our wedding six years ago. We didn’t register for it and I almost took it back, but I thought I would at least look at it.
Once I opened the box I saw that not only was there a manual, but a recipe book. I paged through it and found a recipe for peanut butter ice cream that sounded like something Adam would love. He is not much for dessert… unless it’s got peanut butter and chocolate. Then he is all in.
Being the sweet newlywed I was… and because I didn’t have a job that whole summer thanks to budget cuts and moving to the country, I made the peanut butter ice cream. I was instantly hooked on my ice cream maker.
Adam didn’t seem to mind.
He served as taste tester all summer as I tried new flavors and got more adventurous with ingredients. He even knew better than to say anything the day he came home to find me in our small kitchen with what must have looked like the aftermath of a natural disaster.
I was trying to perfect Salty Caramel ice cream, a favorite of mine from Jeni’s, an ice cream store I grew up with in Columbus.
But, I scorched my first caramel base and the pot sat in the sink soaking in soapy water in hopes of it being easier to clean. Every and any measuring utensil and bowl we owned was on the counter. Sugar and salt dusted the floor. Ingredient containers were everywhere. Caramel colored, not yet churned and frozen, milk dribbled down the cabinets.
I stood in the middle of it all watching the milk mixture spin around and around in the frozen bowl becoming ice cream. I looked up at him and said “You want to try it? It’s salty caramel!”
Being the nice newlywed he was, all he said was “Yes” and grabbed a spoon.
That memory always makes both of us smile… and want some ice cream.
I wanted to use the garden as inspiration for this batch. Melons are still a couple weeks out. Berries are done. So, the obvious choices were out. But, what I did have were a whole lot of cucumbers.
Oh man. She really is pregnant.
But it works!
With lime juice it’s like a creamy cucumber cocktail without the bite of booze. It’s fresh and light. And the carrot juice cookies give the tart a little balance with sweet and some crunch.
A perfect way to celebrate ice cream and the summer garden.
(And, not nearly as messy as my Salty Caramel experiment.)
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 3/4 pound cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons carrot juice
- Bring cucumbers and sugar to a simmer over medium low heat in a medium saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes, until very tender. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.
- Add the honey, lime juice, and buttermilk to the cucumber puree and stir. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Transfer to an ice cream maker and process. Serve right away or freeze.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a food processor, combine pecans, sugar, flour and salt. Pulse until the pecans are fine.
- In a medium saucepan, cook the butter and carrot juice over medium heat until the butter melts. stir in the nut mixture and cook for two minutes, stirring until lightly thickened and bubbly.
- Spoon a tablespoon of batter at a time onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies a few inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until set. Let cool and serve with ice cream.