If you search the internet for Mason Jar Ice-Cream, what pops up is a simple recipe by Lena Abraham, the Food Editor at Delish. With a prep time of only 10 minutes, and a total time to prepare of 3 hours 10 minutes, which includes freezing for three hours, this recipe might seem too good to be true. It’s not!
And during this time with folks cooped up at home with children to entertain, a simple recipe for homemade ice-cream requiring the mere shaking of a mason jar for five minutes and then freezing for three hours is like a magic trick perfect for anyone to perform. In fact, the exact same recipe appeared last month in the How We Live Now column in the At Home section of the New York Times, Make Ice Cream In a Jar (5/10/20) by Amelia Nierenberg.
Both recipes are for vanilla ice-cream and require only 4 ingredients: heavy cream, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Although the recipe in Delish does not suggest how to make other flavors, one of the comments simply notes add 1/2 to one tablespoon of cocoa for chocolate ice-cream.
Amelia Nierenberg’s recipe provides some ideas on what can be added to the basic recipe to make other flavors including chocolate peanut butter ice cream, rosemary olive oil ice cream (which she writes will make the ice cream extra creamy) and berry ice cream.
With organic cherries becoming available in late spring at my hometown Honest Weight Food Co-op, I decided to use the basic Mason Jar Ice-Cream and make my ice-cream favorite: cherry vanilla ice-cream.
Besides the fact that cherries are delicious, they’re nutritious. A recent article in the 8-page newsletter, Focus on Healthy Aging, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, provided a list of nine fruits, recommended by Mount Sinai nutrition consultant, Fran Grossman, to give your health a fruit boost. Included in the list are cherries, described as a good source of anthocyanins as well as calcium and potassium.
The Bulk Foods department of the Honest Weight Food Co-op was the perfect source for vanilla extract, as it always is for organic fair trade sugar and sea salt.
The half pint of heavy cream was sourced from Stewart’s Shops which bottles milk from 30 local, family-owned dairy farms from Saratoga, Rensselaer, and Washington Counties of upstate New York. This local chain of convenience stores proudly notes it only collects milk from local family farms that meet our high standards for milk quality and the proper treatment of animals. On its website, Stewart’s includes Our Farmers Pledge. In part, this pledge notes: This means milk free of added hormones and antibiotics. We know all or our farmers personally. We visit their farms and see their cows nearly every day.
Stewart’s Shops also made local news in the Albany Times Union in a recent business story, Stewart’s employee stock ownership plan creating millionaires by Brian Nearing (4/5/18) spotlighting its company retirement plan that provides workers with nearly 40 percent of company stock. Brian Nearing writes that the Stewart’s retirement plan has minted dozens of longtime current and former employees with million-dollar retirement accounts. Also setting it apart from other businesses, Stewart’s Holiday Match Program in which Stewart’s matches all customer donations made in it shops from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day, has helped the company contribute over $30 million to thousands of organizations since the program’s inception in 1986.
Cherry Vanilla Ice-Cream (yields about 3-4 servings)
1 cup (half-pint) heavy cream
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of cherries (about 12 cherries), sliced into small pieces
1. Pour the cream, sugar, vanilla and salt into the jar, and screw on the lid tightly.
2. Shake vigorously, until the cream thickens and almost doubles in size, which should take about five minutes. You’ll know you’re done when the mixture doubles in volume and is about the consistency of brownie batter.
3. Unscrew the lid and spoon in the sliced cherries. Screw on the lid, not so tightly this time, to make it easier to unscrew later.
4. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
5. I suggest letting the frozen jar thaw for about 10 to 20 minutes to make it easier to unscrew the lid and to spoon out the ice-cream. (A warm hand held over the lid for a minute or two will also make it easier to unscrew.)
Enjoy! Next time, turning the ice-cream treat into a banana split is a strong possibility!
(Frank W. Barrie, 6/5/20)