Heat and humidity got you down? I have just the thing to help cool off: lush ice cream with a major citrus-y kick, paired with cool spicy gingersnaps. Oh ice cream maker, I love you all the time, but I love you most of all in summer.
For the Lemon Ice Cream:
2 c. heavy cream, divided
1 c. whole milk
1 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
6 egg yolks
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a quart-sized measuring cup. Place a mesh strainer on top and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine remaining 1 cup cream, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the mixture is hot and just barely beginning to simmer (do NOT boil). Immediately pour the hot cream/milk mixture into the egg yolks in a very thin, slow stream, whisking all the while to ensure the eggs don’t cook or scramble. Once the eggs and cream are thoroughly combined, return the custard to the saucepan and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens, begins to steam slightly, and reaches a temperature of no more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the reserved 1 cup cream and whisk in the vanilla extract. Chill the mixture until very cold, at least a few hours or overnight.
Once the custard is thoroughly chilled, whisk in the 1/2 cup lemon juice. Note that this will give you a huge punch of lemon flavor; if you prefer a more delicate, subtle hint of citrus, feel free to reduce this amount to 1/3 or 1/4 cup (and consider reducing the sugar to 3/4 cup). Freeze the lemon ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for 2-3 hours so it has a chance to firm up.
For the Gingersnaps:
3/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. molasses
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional—I didn’t have any in my baking stash, so I didn’t use it this time)
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
about 1/2 – 3/4 c. granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; stir in the crystallized ginger (if using) and set aside.
Combine the shortening, brown sugar, eggs, molasses and vanilla, in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix for 1 minute on low speed, then increase speed to medium and beat for 3-4 minutes until light and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and crystallized ginger (if using). Mix again on medium speed for 1 minute until smooth.
You may find that the dough is a little soft and sticky (mine was, because my oven is terribly insulated and GOOD GRAVY it gets hot in my kitchen in the summer). If it’s too sticky to roll into balls, refrigerate the dough for an hour or two before proceeding to the next step.
Using a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll out dough into small balls between the palms of your hands. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on prepared baking sheet, no more than 12 per sheet, as the cookies spread during baking. Bake for 13-15 minutes until slightly darkened and set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cookies are cool, transfer them (and a small baking sheet) to the freezer for at least 15 minutes or so, so they’re nice and cold and won’t melt your ice cream when you start assembling your ice cream sandwiches.
When you’re ready to assemble, place 1 small scoop of lemon ice cream on top of half of the gingersnaps. Top each scoop of ice cream with one of the remaining gingersnaps, pressing them together gently to flatten the ice cream scoop. Immediately transfer the ice cream sandwiches onto the cold baking sheet and return them to the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once the sandwiches are thoroughly frozen, you can either serve them or place them in an airtight container. While you can eat them right away, of course, I actually like letting them sit for a day or two, so that the cookies will soften and make everything both easier and less messy to eat.
Makes approximately 2 dozen ice cream sandwiches.
For our lingerie pairing, I’m sticking with the citrus family and sharing THIS TOTALLY FABULOUS lime green delight from Fleur of England.
I know Dash of Lime is an older collection, but this lace/silk/neon combo will never stop feeling fresh and vibrant. The lace racerback chemise, the high-waist shortie, the beautiful lace and silk bras– the whole collection is just giddy and gorgeous. I’ll be honest and say that I rarely consider neon lingerie for my personal lingerie wardrobe, but if Fleur of England made my size I’d be sorely, sorely tempted.
A Dash of Lime is available at the Fleur of England official site.