We’re at the tail end of National Ice Cream Month, however all day today was National Ice Cream Day! Jason and I celebrated with some homemade Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream! What is your favorite flavor? Or, where’s your favorite ice cream shop and why? What makes it so unique? I’d love to hear all about them.
As a child I had several favorite shops. I grew up in California, so naturally, we had lots to choose from. Different ice cream shops inspired different cravings too. There was a small place in Castro Valley, in “The Village,” called Loard’s where I had to have bubble gum ice cream. Fentons required a hot fudge sundae or banana split, as did Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. Baskin Robins always meant Prailines and Cream; my twin brother and I would hurry down Redwood Road after school to buy two scoops before our mother picked us up. Clancy’s in the Manor, my go-to flavors till this day are still Mint Orea Cookie AND Pralines & Cream together slathered in hot fudge with whipped cream. Last, but definitely not least, Val’s Burgers is the best stop for the largest two-serving milkshake in your life. No diner in New York City can even come close. You know that silver cup they use to make your shake? Yeah, that thing comes to your table practically full -in addition to the tall fountain glass your shake comes in!
These iconic ice cream parlors have all the charm and nostalgia of better times; generous portions, and homemade goodness at reasonable prices. None ever skimmed on their portions and $4 dollars got you more than one tiny scoop on a plain cone like we get here in New York City. If ever you have the pleasure of making it out to the east bay of northern California and you’re a fan of ice cream, then check out at least one of these places.
My recipe for Strawberries & Cream:
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
6-8 blueberries (for color)
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 of vanilla bean seeds from the inside of pod
1. Put strawberries and blueberries in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Set aside in a bowl.
2. In a medium bowl whisk or use a hand mixer on low-speed to combine the milk, sugar and salt until dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Last, add the strawberries and any juices. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or place in the freezer for one hour.
3. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and make according to manufacturer’s instructions.