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Dressing up vanilla ice cream

 
pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Unless you've got deep pockets, finding good ice cream in interesting flavors that's not full of junk can be difficult.

One way to accomplish this, however, is to buy good ole' plain Jane vanilla and dress it up from the pantry.  Since there are straightforward no-nonsense vanillas commonly available, this is often the route I take to more interesting varieties.

Mostly what I'm looking for are textural variation and flavor balance.  There are plenty of ways to achieve the former.  My go-to method for achieving the latter is a good sprinkling of salt.  Like chocolate-covered pretzels, the salty-sweet combination is more than the sum of its parts.  

Here are two of my favorite options:

Olive oil and pistachio
Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the ice cream, then sprinkle lightly-crushed pistachios, followed by a good flaky salt.  Olive oil sounds like an odd accompaniment to ice cream, but it works.  Start with a little; you can always add more.

Maple-pecan
Same as above, just switching the olive oil with maple syrup and the pistachios with pecans.  Keep the salt.  I like a darker, richer maple syrup.  (If it comes from a squeezy bottle it doesn't count.)  Grade B seems to have enough punch to it to give it balance and prevent the end result from being too sweet.


Other ideas?  Anybody else do this?  If so, what are your favorites?
 
pollinator
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Blackcurrent jam on top
:-)
 
Mother Tree
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I generally make 'ice cream' by dropping frozen bananas into a bit of liquid in a blender.  Orange and chocolate (well, cocoa powder) are my favourite additions.  

Honey ice-cream is awesome too.
 
garden master
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My wife made Dulce de Leche last year, and it was one of the most stellar ice cream toppings I've ever had. It's pretty straight forward and easy to make too.
 
pollinator
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Wes Hunter wrote: Other ideas?  Anybody else do this?  If so, what are your favorites?



Homemade strawberry jam, elderberry pie filling and plum syrup are all favorites with my kids.
 
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So I've started making jams and jellies for sale alongside my produce and eggs at the local Farmer's Market.  

The issue is that sometimes, it just doesn't work... I'm currently sitting on 9 1/2 jars of Rhubarb Jelly that hasn't set, although it's slightly thickened into a thin syrup.  It'll make a nice topping for drizzling on ice cream.  Also popular was the failed Mint Jelly, and I'm guessing that the Chokechery/Black Cherry Flops down in the basement would work as well.  
 
pollinator
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I'm with Burra: my "ice cream" consists of frozen bananas.  

One of my favourite things to add to the Yonanas is frozen apple and cinnamon.  Then I sprinkle walnuts or roasted sun seeds on top.  Maybe sub applesauce for on ice cream.

I'll also do a banana-strawberry one with some crunchy peanut butter swirled through.

The Yonanas website has a tonne of recipes that might give you some ideas.

I made a bunch of this elderberry vinegar that would probably be tasty on ice cream.

Jalapeno jelly?

Miso caramel?
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Oregon
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Mostly I make my own ice cream, but jams and syrups are good toppings. I also swirl them into ice cream after I've turned it before I put it in the freezer, like meyer lemon ice cream with a blackberry swirl.
 
pollinator
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I think there is too much crap in shop bought cheap ice cream. I don't make my own ice cream because my daughter does it since ages she's 13 now. She uses less sugar than the recipe states and her ice cream tastes wo much better even we don't own an ice cream machine. Instead of adding interesting flavours to a bad product I would rather make a better product for half the price. If you can't afford real vanilla there are other good flavours and fruit.
 
master steward
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I don't eat much ice cream but buy it for DH.  Unfortunately Blue Bell Cookies and Cream has HFCS in it.

When I did eat ice cream, I liked it topped with bananas and chocolate syrup.  I haven't tried frozen bananas since I don't really miss ice cream.
 
pollinator
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Try eating your ice cream on Ritz crackers. Sweet and salty. Smooth and crunchy. It’s great! Not very Permie, but I guess you could make your own crackers.
 
pollinator
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My favourite is a handful of raspberries straight from the garden on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Only available in July but that is the best time to eat ice cream anyway.
 
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