8 Chefs Share Recipes to Liven Up Your Vanilla Ice Cream This Summer

What do you get when you challenge eight executive and pastry chefs to breathe new life into an ice cream flavor that all-too-often gets taken for granted? You get sundaes and banana splits and ice cream sandwiches laced with salted caramel and peanut butter and sour cherry, that’s what. You get dark rum pineapple sauce and kirsch and rhubarb and mint. You get plum jelly and chocolate-covered potato chip crumble. Most importantly, though, you get proven oh so wrong, if you’ve ever complained about vanilla ice cream being too plain or boring as a flavor. In the following recipes shared by eight professional chefs at the top of their field, vanilla is anything but.


Peanut Butter & Beach Plum Jelly Ice Cream
Executive Chef Daniel Kenney, Sea Crest Beach Hotel – Cape Cod, Mass.

Sea Crest Beach Hotel - Peanut Butter and Beach Plum Jelly Ice Cream
Sea Crest Beach Hotel – Peanut Butter and Beach Plum Jelly Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Yield 1 quart of ice cream
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • ¾ cup organic peanut butter
  • ¾ cup Cape Cod beach plum jelly
  • ¾ cup condensed milk
  • ½ cup organic heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla beans, fresh from pod

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until thick, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Pour milk into a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Gradually drizzle the hot milk into the eggs while whisking vigorously. Then pour the whole mixture into the saucepan.
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil.
  4. Remove from heat, and whisk in peanut butter. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and vanilla beans.. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold in beach plum jelly when mixture is still soft, then transfer to a container, and freeze until solid.

Banana Split
Executive Chef Caleb Lara, Harbor View Hotel – Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Harbor View Hotel - Banana Split
Harbor View Hotel – Banana Split

(Yield: one dessert)

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 scoop chocolate ice cream
  • 1 scoop strawberry gelato
  • 1 banana, sliced lengthwise
  • Dark Rum Pineapple Sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons Italian cherries in liqueur
  • Freshly whipped cream
  • 1 waffle cone, broken into pieces

Dark Rum Pineapple Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup dark rum

Directions:

  1. Make the pineapple sauce by simmering all the ingredients together until a glaze forms and the alcohol cooks off.  Let cool before serving.
  2. Arrange the ice cream ingredients in a platter (ice cream, banana, Italian cherries) and drizzle with pineapple rum sauce. Top with freshly whipped cream and waffle cone pieces and serve immediately.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Sundae with Chocolate Covered Cape Cod Potato Chip Crumble
Pastry Chef Brennan Froeschner, Chatham Bars Inn – Cape Cod, Mass.

Chatham Bars Resort
Chatham Bars Resort

Ingredients (Carmel Sauce):

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 each vanilla beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups cream scant
  • 3 sticks and 6 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ tablespoon Maldon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Warm the cream with the vanilla beans and the salt and set aside.
  2. Cook the water and the sugar slowly until golden brown.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the butter, stirring gently until incorporated.
  4. Add the warmed cream and whisk slowly until the sauce comes together.

 

Ingredients (Peanut Butter and Caramel Ice Cream):

  • 5 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 12 tablespoons Skippy Peanut Butter

Directions:

  1. Warm the milk with the sugar and butter in a sauce pan.
  2. Add the peanut butter and cook stirring until completely melted and smooth.
  3. Chill quickly and rest in the cooler overnight.
  4. Spin in an ice cream machine.
  5. When the ice cream comes out of the machine, fold in caramel sauce to create a caramel swirl.

 

Ingredients (Chocolate Covered Cape Cod Potato Chips):

  • 4 oz. Cape Cod Potato Chips
  • 64% dark chocolate

Directions:

  1. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the potato chips while stirring with a spatula.
  2. Continue stirring until chips are completely coated.
  3. Add more chocolate as needed.
  4. When chips are completely coated, pour them onto a sheet of parchment paper and leave at room temperature to set.

 

Chocolate dipped pretzel rods:

Dip the pretzel rods into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

 

To assemble:

  1. Scoop three scoops of the caramel peanut butter ice cream.
  2. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.
  3. Top with whipped cream, chocolate covered chips and the chocolate dipped pretzel rod.

 


3 Vanillas Ice Cream
Pastry Chef Evan Sheridan, The Umstead Hotel and Spa – Cary, North Carolina

The Umstead Hotel and Spa - Three Vanilla Ice Cream
The Umstead Hotel and Spa – Three Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 5 each egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 oz. dry milk powder
  • 1/2# granulated sugar
  • 1/4# Nielsen Massey vanilla sugar
  • 1 each Nielsen Massey Whole Tahitian vanilla bean
  • 1 Tbsp. Nielsen Massey Mexican vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer with the whole vanilla, milk powder and sugars.
  2. Allow the milk mixture to sit covered off heat until cooled (or overnight) in order to infuse.
  3. Strain the milk mixture through a mesh sieve and bring back to a simmer.
  4. Temper the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks slowly.
  5. Add the remainder of the ingredients and allow to cool completely before spinning in your favorite machine.
  6. Top with fresh, local berries and mint.

McCoy’s Rum & Sour Cherry Ice Cream
Sous Chef Richard Pelliccia, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa – McCoys Rum and Sour Cherry Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Rum Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups McCoy’s rum
  • 1/2 pound of butter
  • 2 cups of dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

Directions:

  1. In mixing bowl add heavy cream, half and half, and sugar. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add vanilla extract to mixture.
  3. Pour mixture into ice cream machine and mix until it becomes thick.
  4. Remove and place in the freezer.
  5. Start to reduce rum in a sauce pot to burn off the alcohol, add sugar.
  6. Reduce until thick.
  7. Add dried cherries and whisk in butter.
  8. Slow simmer until cherries become moist.
  9. Let liquid cool.
  10. Fold into the ice cream and return to the freezer.

 


Black Forest Ice Cream
Pastry Chef Brittani Szczecina, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa - Black Forest Ice Cream
Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa – Black Forest Ice Cream

Ingredients:

Yield: 3 quarts

  • 2 qt. heavy cream
  • 12 oz. egg yolks
  • 4 oz sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup Kirsch Liquor
  • ½ cup Amarena cherries
  • ½ cup raspberry jam
  • 1 cup chocolate shavings

Directions:

  1. Bring half sugar, kirsch liquor and heavy cream to a boil.
  2. Temper the other half of sugar and yolks into the hot liquid.
  3. Cook to 178 degrees, strain and cool.
  4. Pour cooled mix into an ice cream machine and churn until semi thick, but still pourable.
  5. Swirl in the raspberry jam, cherries and chocolate shavings by hand.
  6. Portion into desired containers and let sit in freezer overnight.
  7. Scoop, garnish with extra cherries and shavings and enjoy!

 


Rhubarb-Mint Ice Cream
Executive Chef David Haick, Whiteface Lodge – Lake Placid, New York

Whiteface Lodge - Rhubarb Mint Ice Cream
Whiteface Lodge – Rhubarb Mint Ice Cream

Ingredients:

Yield 1 qt.

  • 2 cups rhubarb puree
  • 1 liter heavy cream
  • 14 fresh egg yolk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup fresh mint

Directions:

  1. Heat heavy cream until 180 degrees. Add mint and steep 10 minutes. Strain through chinois.
  2. Combine yolks and sugar and mix until ribbon stage. Add warm cream. Bring to a thick consistency or until 185 degrees.
  3.    Add rhubarb puree, and combine well. Use a Paco Jet machine to continue the process.
  4.    Serve with fresh fruit

Brown Sugar Pineapple Ice Cream Sandwich
Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Erin Staton, Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills – Plymouth, Mass.

Mirbeau Pinehills - Brown Sugar Pineapple Ice Cream Sandwich
Mirbeau Pinehills – Brown Sugar Pineapple Ice Cream Sandwich

Yield: 1.5 qt.

Ingredients (ice cream):

  • 1 qt. heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 8 egg yolks (pasteurized)
  • 7 oz. granulated sugar

(see below for pineapple brown sugar addition)

For Pineapple Brown Sugar Addition Ingredients and Instructions:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 oz. butter, unsalted
  • 1 lb. pineapple, diced small
  1. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add brown sugar. Stir until melted.
  2. Add diced pineapple and cook until tender.
  3. Spread out on a sheet pan and allow to cool completely.

Directions:

  1. Heat cream with scraped vanilla bean in saucepan.
  2. Whisk together yolks and sugar.
  3. Slowly add hot cream to temper the yolks.
  4. Strain and cool over ice bath.
  5. Spin.
  6. Gently fold brown sugar pineapple mixture in and freeze.

To create an ice cream sandwich, ingredients are below for the Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie:

Yield: 24 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugars.
  2. Add egg and vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add chocolate chips and coconut.
  5. Spoon and roll into ball.
  6. Bake at 350 until golden brown.
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