You scream, I scream…

Even though the calendar says September, fall seems to be the last thing on our climate’s mind.  Up here in Worcester, Massachusetts at least, we’re hanging onto to the summer weather, clocking a scorching 97 degrees last week!  While I was excited to finally break out the cinnamon and pumpkin, I think it best to instead offer a final homage to the waning summer season.  It’s time for some homemade ice cream!

This time around, I’ll be using a recipe from The art of confectionary: With various methods of preserving fruits and fruit juices; the preparation of jams and jellies; fruit and other syrups; summer beverages, and directions for making dessert cakes.  This cookbook was published in Boston in 1866, and is a compilation of “recipes…from the best New York, Philadelphia, and Boston confectionaries.”  A dessert dish will be a welcome change, and The art of confectionary agrees, stating that “while the preparation of soups, joints, and gravies, is left to ruder and stronger hands, the delicate fingers of the ladies of a household are best fitted to mingle the proportions of exquisite desserts.”

The ice cream recipes in this volume are fairly standard, all including milk and/or cream, sugar, and egg yolks.  What’s interesting are the additions made to create the wide array of flavors.  Classic variations include the addition of one ingredient, such as chocolate, strawberries or ginger. The more daring cooks out there could try recipes for Italian ice cream, which includes almonds, cloves, coriander, orange rind, and brandy, or bourbon ice cream, with almond milk, almonds, currants, candied orange peel, dried cherries, pineapple and vanilla.  But I think I’ll try a classic chocolate recipe to start.

As a disclaimer, I think I should mention the presence of eggs in this dish.  I’ve posted an alternative chocolate ice cream recipe without eggs.  While the heating of the eggs with the cream may be enough to kill any bacteria, some folks may not want to take any chances.  So take your pick!  I’ll most likely cook both, but probably only taste one!

Happy cooking!

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Tracey Kry

Assistant Curator of Manuscripts and Assistant Reference Librarian, American Antiquarian Society

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