FOOD: DIY frozen desserts from kid-friendly to gourmet

Blueberry kombucha pops are packed with probiotics.
Blueberry kombucha pops are packed with probiotics. Photo courtesy of Olga Sorzano
Transform peaches or other summer fruit into a delicious frozen dessert. No churning required.
Transform peaches or other summer fruit into a delicious frozen dessert. No churning required. Photo by Emily Ryan

ON A ROLL

Have your cake and ice cream too this summer! Though this recipe requires turning on the oven, the results won’t disappoint.

Transform a traditional jelly roll into an ice-cream cake roll with swirls of your favorite flavor. The hardest part: waiting for it to freeze!

Ice-Cream Cake Roll

Ingredients

4 eggs, separated

¾ cup sugar, divided

½ teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup cake flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 to 3 cups ice cream, softened

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add ¼ cup sugar and vanilla. In another bowl, beat egg whites until almost stiff. Gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar and continue beating until mixture is very stiff. Fold yolk mixture into egg-white mixture; sift dry ingredients and fold into egg mixture carefully. Bake in a waxed paper-lined 10½-by-15-inch pan for 12 minutes. When baked, carefully run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake onto clean dish towel sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Remove waxed paper. Trim crusts. Roll quickly with a fresh sheet of waxed paper on inside of roll. Wrap in sugared towel; cool. Unroll; remove paper; spread with softened ice cream. Roll again. Wrap in aluminum foil and freeze at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Place on serving dish seam-side-down and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

RECIPE COURTESY OF EDITH SHEPARD

Ever notice that when it comes to ice-cream trucks, kids boast bionic hearing?

“They’re constantly like, ‘Oh my gosh, Mommy, can I have,’” described chef Olga Sorzano of Baba’s Brew.

She offers a homemade alternative, and you can too. Beat the heat this summer with easy, freezy treats the whole family will love. No churning required!

“They’re enjoyable, delicious, refreshing and good for you,” Sorzano said of her low-sugar, probiotic-rich blueberry kombucha popsicles. “You can really use any kind of berry, any kind of fruit. It’s so versatile.”

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Try the recipe or buy them at her kombucha brewery, A Culture Factory in Phoenixville. And for a grown-up spin, skip ice cubes and put pops in your sangria.

“Popsicles - not just for children anymore,” she joked.

Neither is green peppercorn-rose granita.

“People love to experiment,” said chef Blake Swihart of Foodservice Solutions in Chester Springs, who flavors ices, ice creams, granitas and sorbets with sophisticated syrups like lemon verbena, lavender and cucumber-juniper.

“When you start with the simple syrup, it makes a finer crystal,” he noted.

Just add fruit. And for best results, follow his advice: freeze, reprocess and refreeze.

“You’re breaking down the crystals, and you’re also incorporating air into it,” Swihart explained. “I call it the lazy man’s way because I just won’t get my ice-cream maker out.”

Another option: citrus cream, a cooked custard-whipped cream combo that freezes like a dream.

“It actually works out really, really well because by the time you get it to the table, it’s softer,” he said. “It’s really delicious.”

Who needs that ice-cream truck anyway?

Blueberry Kombucha Popsicle

Ingredients

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups blueberry kombucha

1 tablespoon honey or organic agave syrup

Instructions

Pour all ingredients in a blender and blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour into the popsicle molds, leaving a little room at the top, and freeze for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF OLGA SORZANO

Simple Syrup with Flavored Variations

To use simple syrups in granitas, ices and ice cream, be sure to reduce the simple syrup by at least 1/3 before putting in the flavorings and reducing again. Cool and strain.

Mix 1 cup of flavored simple syrup with 2 cups of fruit puree, plus 1 cup of finely chopped pieces of fruit for a granita or ice. Freeze, reprocess and refreeze.

Base recipe

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

Flavoring

Instructions

In a saucepan, simmer the water, sugar and flavoring until sugar is dissolved and mixture is simmering. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain, if necessary. Use or store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a month. Makes approximately 1 cup of syrup.

Lemon Verbena Syrup

1 cup lemon verbena leaves

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Cucumber-Juniper Syrup

¼ cup cucumber peels

6 juniper berries

Rosemary-Peppercorn Syrup

¼ cup rosemary sprigs

1 tablespoon black or white peppercorns

Lavender Syrup

¼ cup lavender flowers

2 tablespoons orange zest

Citrus Syrup

2 tablespoons orange zest

2 tablespoons lemon/lime zest

1 teaspoon orange flower water

Garlic-Thyme Syrup

¼ cup thyme sprigs

1 tablespoon roasted garlic cloves

Raspberry-Bay Syrup

½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries

2 bay leaves

3 black peppercorns

Green Peppercorn-Rose Syrup

¼ cup crushed green peppercorns

1 teaspoon rosewater

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF BLAKE SWIHART

Citrus Cream

Ingredients

1½ cups granulated sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1½ cups water

1 cup orange juice

½ cup lime juice

4 egg yolks

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 cups heavy cream

2 quarts mixed berries

8 to 10 mint sprigs

Instructions

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and flour; whisk to blend. Add water, orange and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a gentle boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Simmer mixture for 1 to 2 minutes (it will be very thick).

Beat egg yolk together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in ½ cup of the hot sauce into egg yolks (tempering), whisk the yolk mixture into the sauce pan and bring the mixture over a low heat to a second simmer, gently whisking constantly. Off the heat, blend in butter and zest and transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover mixture with a buttered piece of wax paper and cool.

Whip cream until firm and gently fold it into the cooled citrus base mixture until totally incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Spoon berries into eight to 10 bowls top each with lemon cream and a mint sprig and serve with shortbread.

NOTE: Mixture may be frozen with whipped cream folded into the base and slightly thawed to serve.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF BLAKE SWIHART