In 1984, Ronald Reagan appropriately declared the very hot month of July as National Ice Cream Month and “called for all people of the United States to observe these events with ‘appropriate ceremonies and activities,’” according to the International Dairy Foods Association. Who are we to object?
More than 90% of the country regularly enjoys the creamy dairy dessert that’s loved year-round, so if/when you’re schvitzing this summer, or trapped on a “desserted” island, give this recipe a try, with the tropical flavors of toasted coconut and Madagascar bourbon vanilla. Follow instructions according to your ice cream maker, or try one of these 3 low-tech, high-flavor ways for creating ice cream. All you need is a little elbow grease to work up an appetite:
The Birkin Bag method: Take well-chilled ice cream base and put it in a plastic Ziploc bag, which rests inside of a larger Ziploc bag filled with kosher salt and ice, which rests inside one of your older Birkin Bags (you must have a few laying around), then dance like Paris Hilton at a club that paid her to be there. You’ll end up with some pretty good ice cream.
The Kick the Can As If It Were Your Ex method: Put ice cream base in a small coffee can, that rests in a larger coffee can surrounded by rock salt and ice. Seal the tops really well and take your aggression out on the can for a good long while. Ta-dah! Ice cream.
The Binge TV method: Between your favorite 30-minute shows on Netflix (we recommend Arrested Development), take ice cream out of the freezer and give it a vigorous stir until you have an ice-cream-like consistency. It’s the simplest technique of all. Recipe courtesy of Nielsen-Massey
Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream
½ cup heavy cream
¾ cup caster sugar* (baker’s sugar)
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla extract
2 (13.5-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (garnish)
In a small bowl, whisk cream, sugar and vanilla extract until combined; set aside. Add coconut milk to a large glass measuring cup; add cream-sugar mixture and stir.
Assemble ice cream maker and pour ice cream mixture through filling hole. For the perfect ice-cream follow the manufacturer’s appliance directions.
While ice cream is churning, toast the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a small rimmed baking sheet, evenly spread coconut; place in oven and toast, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, as coconut will toast quickly. Cool and store until ready to use. Yields 1½ quarts.
*Caster sugar can be difficult to find. To make a superfine sugar, add granulated sugar to a mini food processor bowl and pulse until sugar is a superfine, but not a powdery consistency.
Mary was born and raised in New York City where her family owned restaurants. Instead of eating dirt on the playground, she ate duck blood, beef tripe and pork belly. She cut her teeth at The Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, working with Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe, LeVar Burton, Jane Krakowski and others. Mary founded Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken and was named Washington Post’s “Favorite Local Foodie.” After 13 years in hospitality, she started freelance writing for USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, Washington City Paper, and more. Today, she provides digital marketing for hospitality clients as a content creator who’s contently creating content.