Mary Helen Leonard, author of The Natural Beauty Solution and professionally trained culinary instructor, shares recipes, projects, tips, and stories about living a more natural, handmade, and creative life with her family in Austin, Texas.
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FarFromOrdinaryMilk #CollectiveBias
Apples Day is coming.
At least that's what my 2-year old tells me. At first I thought my little one invented his own holiday, but after a little investigation I found out that Apples Day is a real thing! Or, to be more exact, Johnny Appleseed Day is a real thing. September 26 is celebrated as Johnny Appleseed's birthday and his preschool class has been learning about apples all month.
CC has demanded an Apples Day party to honor the occasion. Being the overly-indulgent parent that I am, I quickly agreed and have had apples on my mind ever since. We're planning to host a family potluck for Apples Day later this month. I can't wait to see what apple-themed recipes our friends and family bring to the table.
To tell you the truth, I haven't thought about Johnny Appleseed much since I was a kid. He was a famous pioneer during the early 1800's and was known for his generosity, dedication to conservation, and of course, his love of apples.
I love apples too, so old Mr. Appleseed and I have that in common. Apple-flavored dairy products were something I fell in love with while living in Beijing. Apple yogurt, smoothies, and ice creams had an unexpected, but extraordinary taste that I quickly fell in love with. I've been meaning to work on an apple ice cream ever since. Our Apples Day celebration inspired me to finally make it happen!
Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream is sort of like taking the best flavors from pie ala mode and concentrating them into one rich and creamy dessert. This ice cream has a dense texture that works wonderfully with crispy cones, crunchy granola, and salty caramel sauce. Don't forget to include a nice dollop of whipped cream too. That's an Apples Day sundae you won't forget.
I used homemade apple butter in this recipe but you can save some time by using store-bought apple butter instead. Look for something with a little cinnamon to give your ice cream plenty of warm spicy flavor.
The other key ingredient in this ice cream is, of course, the milk! I used Promised Land Dairy's Homogenized Milk to make my Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream. This unique brand of milk gets it's extra rich and creamy flavor from Jersey cows, a breed that hails from the British Isle of Jersey. (Not the state of New Jersey!) According to Promised Land, extraordinary flavor comes from extraordinary cows. I couldn't agree more!
These special brown cows only make up about 10% of the milk produced in the United States. The majority of our milk comes from the classic black and white Holstein breed. I was surprised to discover a noticeable difference in the texture and flavor of Promised Land's milk. Not only does it have an exceptional flavor, it is actually higher in protein and calcium than other varieties of milk.
When it comes to making ice cream, the flavor of the milk used can make a huge difference in the final product. Promised Land has turned out to be an excellent choice. I noticed a thicker and creamier ice cream custard as soon as I started experimenting with it.
Try using Promised Land milk in creamy cheese sauces, chowders, bisques, and custards to showcase it's extraordinary flavor. I've also found it to be an ideal drinking milk - if you should find yourself with some cookies to nibble. My hubby, Scott Bobleo, who is pretty much a chocolate milk expert is a huge fan of Promised Land's Midnight Chocolate flavored milk.
Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream Makes about 2 pints
This dense and creamy ice cream tastes delicious over granola, graham crackers, or coffee cake. Serve with fresh whipped cream and caramel sauce to make a delicious apple cinnamon sundae!
In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of milk with cornstarch and set aside.
Combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat, then whisk in the cornstarch and milk slurry. Return the pan to burner. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
In a large heat-proof mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and salt. Remove the cinnamon stick from the hot milk and cream mixture, then pour over the cream cheese. Whisk gently to combine the melted cheese with the hot custard. Add 1/2 cup apple butter and whisk to combine thoroughly.
Pour the custard into a large ziplock bag, then submerge the sealed bag in a bowl filled with ice and water. Cool the custard completely.
Churn the custard in your ice cream machine for 30-40 minutes, or until the ice cream thickens enough to pull away from the sides of the barrel.
Scoop the soft ice cream into pint-sized containers, adding a spoonful of the reserved apple butter between every few scoops of soft ice cream.
Freeze the ice cream for at least 2 hours before serving.
I purchased my Promised Land milk at my local Target. Right now you can save an extra $0.75 on your purchase of Promised Land products using Ibotta. Click here to learn how you can earn rebates on Promised Land products and many other everyday purchased using Ibotta.
Disclosure:This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessPies #CollectiveBias
Effortless mini pies made with frozen Oikos® Key Lime Greek Yogurt, Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust, and Reddi-wip®.
We're always up for a celebration at our house. Whether we are kicking our heels up to honor a special accomplishment or simply congratulating one another on making it through an especially harrowing day, our revelry often includes dessert. While I am all for taking on elaborate recipes for holidays and big family parties, our everyday celebrations call for something more simple. By keeping my kitchen stocked with a few select shortcuts, like Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust or Reddi-wip® I can throw together a celebratory snack in minutes.
This simple no-bake recipe uses fun-flavored Greek yogurt, a simple homemade blackberry sauce, and Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust to create adorable ice cream pies. These little cuties can be stored in your freezer and served any time a cause for celebration arises. Just pull them from the freezer, top them with a dollop of Reddi-wip®, and some fresh fruit and it's party time.
I used Oikos® Key Lime Greek Yogurt in this recipe but you can create a strawberry version simply by swapping this yogurt for Dannon® Light & Fit® Strawberry Cheesecake Greek Yogurt. Try freezing other flavors of yogurt for an almost endless variety of mini ice cream pies.
Miniature Key Lime & Blackberry Ice Cream Pies Makes six mini pies
This easy make-ahead recipe uses flavored yogurt as an easy ice cream base. Try swapping the Oikos® Key Lime Greek Yogurt for another flavor, like Dannon® Light & Fit® Strawberry Cheesecake Greek Yogurt, to create your own unique recipe. The type of berry in the sauce can also be substituted. Try using raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries instead.
4 5.3-oz. packages Oikos® Key Lime Greek Yogurt
1 package Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust (6-count)
1 cup blackberries (plus 1/2 cup more for garnish)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 13-oz. can Reddi-wip®
6 slices lime and 6 mint leaves (optional, for garnish)
Turn on your ice cream maker, then add the contents of all 4 packages of Oikos® Key Lime Greek Yogurt to the tumbler. Set a timer to churn the yogurt for 30 - 45 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the tumbler. (If you are using an ice cream maker with a freezer tumbler make sure it has been frozen for at least six hours before use.)
Combine the blackberries, sugar, water, and lime juice in a small sauce pan. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low when it begins to boil and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes before removing the pan from heat. Allow the pan to cool for 5-10 minutes before pushing the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Place the strained liquid in the refrigerator to chill. Discard the solids or refrigerate in a separate container to use as jam.
When the ice cream has finished churning, stop the machine and set out the pie crusts. Spoon 1-2 teaspoons of blackberry sauce into each crust followed by a scoop of ice cream. Press the ingredients down with the back of a spoon or spatula, then repeat until you've used up all the ice cream. Place the pies on a small dish and cover with plastic wrap. Place the dish in the freezer and let the pies harden for at least 1 hour.
The frozen mini pies can be stored in the freezer in tightly covered saran wrap for several weeks. If you plan on storing the pies for more than one day it is best to re-wrap each of them individually in saran wrap. This helps keep them from becoming freezer-burned.
When you are ready to serve your pies remove them from the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Top each pie with a generous amount of Reddi-wip, then top with berries, lime, and mint leaves.
I let my little CC help add the toppings when we enjoy these pies together. He loves to "help" in the kitchen. Anyone who has ever cooked with a toddler can tell you that it tends to be an extremely messy venture, but this recipe isn't so bad. Since these little pies come out of the freezer almost ready-to-go I can satisfy CC's urge to help by letting him place the berries on top of the pie.
He usually sneaks a little extra Reddi-wip® while he's at it. It's an indulgence I don't sweat too much considering that the dessert we're enjoying is a slightly healthier option than most ice cream - or most pie for that matter!
I shopped for the ingredients in this recipe at my local Walmart. CC and I always have a grand time speeding around that particular superstore. I like the low-priced groceries and he likes trying to grab everything off of the colorful end-caps.
I've got some good news for you, and some bad. The good news is that I'm sharing a formula today for the greatest banana flavored ice cream on God's green earth. The bad news is that this recipe involves a process that takes about three days to complete. So while you now have the power to create mind-bendingly good banana ice cream, you'll have to wait three days to eat it.
<insert sad trombone sounds. waah waaaaaah.>
The key to giving this ice cream the most intense banana flavor possible is freezing and thawing overly ripe bananas. When you freeze a ripe banana it almost ferments, transforming into a caramelized goopy banana slop - chuck full of concentrated banana goodness.
Starting a batch of ice cream two days in advance might seem a little extreme, but trust me on this one. If you are thinking of skipping the rotten banana bit, don't even try it. (I'm watching you.) This recipe deserves your full cooperation.
Besides, what is it they say about a life half lived? That's nothing compared to an ice cream half bananaed.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream Make about 1 1/2 quarts
3 overly ripe bananas
1 1/4 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoons salt
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 package of Chessman cookies (or another shortbread cookie), smashed into chunks
2 cups Cool Whip
Freeze the bananas (with their skins on) for at least 24 hours. They should turn dark brown or black. Thaw them in a bowl in the refigerator for another 24 hours. Once they are thawed, poke a hole in one end of the banana peel and squeeze the innards out into a small bowl. It will look pretty gross, but trust me, it tastes amazing!
Stir the cream cheese and salt together in a large heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup milk and set aside.
Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes.
Remove the pan from heat, and add the banana mixture. Use an immersion blender to puree the banana completely into the custard. (You can also use a regular blender, but beware hot liquids.)
Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and bring back the pan back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cook for three minutes.
Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese. Whisk continuously to make sure the cheese blends in evenly.
Add the vanilla, and mix well.
Cool the custard as quickly as possible. You can use an ice bath or transfer it to a large shallow dish. When the custard reaches room temperature move it into the fridge (covered) and let it chill for at least four hours. Chilling it overnight is ideal.
Churn the ice cream according to your machine's directions. You want to churn the custard until it is very thick, and is pulling away from the sides of the barrel.
Set out the container (or containers) you plan to use to store the finished ice cream. Shake some cookie chunks, and place a dollop of Cool Whip into the bottom of each container. Now add a layer of ice cream, tapping it down to make sure it settles. Add another layer of cookie and another dollop of Cool Whip. Repeat until the container is full.
Freeze your packed ice cream for at least four hours before digging in.
I had a dream last weekend of making my first batch of sesame ice cream. It was a good dream, and one that I plan to follow up on just as soon as I can. I ran into a roadblock on this first go-round when I was unable to locate tahini in the vast cacophony of aisles at my local H.E.B. Sure, I could have run over to Central Market, or hit up the Indian grocery store on the way home, but sometimes it's a good thing to know when you're beat.
Lately every time I go grocery shopping I'm hit with a series of contractions. I take this to mean that Babeleo is determined to be birthed in the grocery store. Somehow, I don't think the health department would be too wild about that, me either, so when I go shopping these days I am in and out as quickly as I can manage it. Gone are the days of leisurely perusing ingredients or making multiple stops.
So I found myself challenged to make a new ice cream flavor from what was already present in my cupboards. After making a batch of peanut butter ice cream last week, it didn't take a far stretch of the imagination to put two and two together when my eyes landed on a jar of almond butter. "Well, hello there."
I started out with the base from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams , then added 1/2 cup of natural almond butter to get started. To intensify the flavor, I also added a little bit of natural almond and vanilla extracts. Honey was also included to bring it all together. At the last moment, I mixed in a blend of chopped roasted, salted nuts, giving the ice cream a satisfying crunch, and an extra punch of nutty flavor.