Ice cream desserts are the perfect answer to summer

Beat the heat with cool, frozen desserts and making them doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
They can be made a few days in advance to ease your schedule on the day you serve them.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t like ice cream?
Use a good quality store-bought ice cream or make your own.
 
Cherries jubilee
1 lb. fresh ripe 
sweet cherries, cleaned and pitted 
1/3 c. granulated sugar 
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 c. kirsch or rum L
vanilla ice cream, for serving
 
Wash and pit the cherries, leaving them whole. Place the cherries in a flameproof skillet large enough to fit the fruit in a single layer. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir to combine. Cover the pan and heat on medium-low until the sugar dissolves, about five minutes.
Uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the cherries are juicy and syrupy, about five minutes.
Slide the pan off the heat and add the liquor. Ignite the alcohol with a utility lighter or long fireplace match. Quickly move the skillet back onto the burner and gently shake and swirl until the flames subside, about 30-45 seconds.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately spooned over vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers in a jar in the refrigerator.
 
Vanilla and caramel ice cream bars 
1 -11 oz. package vanilla wafers, crushed 
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted 
3/4 c. butter, melted 
8 c. vanilla ice cream, softened Caramel sauce
1 c. sugar 
6 tbsp. salted butter 
1/2 c. heavy cream 
1 tsp. salt 
 
Combine wafer crumbs, pecans and butter. Press half of mixture into a 9 x 13 inch (22cm x 33cm) pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove softened ice cream from package and spread over crust. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Freeze, covered, for at least four hours.
For caramel topping, heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. It will begin to melt and clump.
Stir constantly with a heat resistant rubber spatula. Heat until the sugar melts and is a dark amber colour. Don’t burn. Add butter and stir in. Add cream and stir in. The sugar syrup will solidify so continue to heat over medium until it melts again and the sauce is smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in salt. Cool to room temperature and serve over dessert.
 

This vanilla and caramel ice cream bar is great for people who don’t love chocolate. Caramel sauce is so easy to make or you can buy it.| Sarah Galvin photo

 
Mud pie
To make coffee ice cream, add one tablespoon instant coffee to one-quarter cup of heavy cream. Heat until the instant coffee dissolves. Cool and add to softened vanilla ice cream. Beat until completely distributed throughout.
 
7 oz. package chocolate 
wafer cookies 
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 
2 tbsp. sugar 
7 1/2 c. coffee ice cream, softened 
2 tbsp. heavy cream 
1/3 c. semisweet chocolate chips 
2 tbsp. chocolate covered espresso beans, crushed 
2 tbsp. mini semisweet chocolate chips 
 
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
In a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafer cookies until crumbs form. Add the butter and sugar and continue to pulse until moistened.
Press the chocolate cookie mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch (22 cm) pie plate. Build up the sides. A straight-sided dry measuring cup can help you get the inside edges smooth. Bake until dry, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
Spread the ice cream mixture evenly over the cooled crust, making the top smooth. Freeze for one hour. Make sure pie plate is on a completely flat surface in the freezer.
To make the topping, place heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and heat to very warm (bubbly), about one minute.
Add two ounces of chocolate chips and stir until mixture is very smooth.
Drizzle over the partially frozen ice cream cake. Sprinkle with crushed espresso beans and mini chocolate chips.
Cover and freeze until firm another six hours or overnight.
Before serving, remove the pie from freezer and let rest for 10 minutes.
 
Toffee-peach ice cream pie
 
6 ice cream sugar cones
1/2 c. brickle toffee bits
3 tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. finely chopped peeled fresh peaches (about two large), divided
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch
4 c. vanilla ice cream, softened if necessary
1 tbsp. hot caramel ice cream topping
2 tbsp. brickle toffee bits
 
Pulse sugar cones and toffee bits in a food processor until coarsely ground. Drizzle with butter and pulse just until blended. Press onto bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9-inch (22 cm) pie plate. Freeze at least 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, mix one cup (250 mL) peaches, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch.
Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low, cook and stir two minutes longer. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Stir in remaining peaches and cool completely.
Reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) peach mixture for topping and refrigerate, covered. Beat ice cream and remaining peach mixture just until blended. Pour into crust. Freeze, covered, overnight. To serve, top with caramel topping, reserved peach mixture and toffee bits.
 
Easy homemade toffee bits
1 c. butter, cubed, unsalted 
1 c. white sugar 
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp. kosher salt 
 
Cut butter into cubes and place in heavy saucepan with sugar. Heat on low to medium low setting, whisking rarely while the sugar and butter melt.
As the toffee cooks it will start to look clumpy; whisk or use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan while it is cooking to prevent any burning.
As the colour of the toffee starts to darken, stir in the vanilla and the salt.
Continue to cook until the temperature on the candy thermometer reaches 290-300 F and the toffee is about the colour of peanut butter. Be careful not to let it burn.
Carefully pour the hot toffee onto a parchment paper or silicon mat lined baking sheet. The toffee will cool and harden within 10-20 minutes.
Crack it with a spoon or pestle. Store in airtight container for up to one week.
 
Vanilla bean ice cream
4 egg yolks
2 c. half and half cream 
1/2 c. sugar 
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped or 
1/2 tbsp. vanilla bean paste 
Whisk yolks and sugar until lemon coloured.
In a sauce pan, scald the cream with the vanilla seeds and bean.
Temper the egg yolks with this hot milk. Do this by adding a little at a time while whisking the egg yolks. Eventually you will have added all the milk.
Cook this mixture in a double boiler until thickened.
Cool, strain, churn according to your machine’s directions.
 
Fudgsicle cake
This recipe comes from my friend, Poppy, who owns Smart Flowers in Swift Current, Sask., and is an avid cook.
Her grandmother made this when she was little. Poppy has two hand-written books with all her favourite recipes from her childhood.
 
7 oz. pkg. chocolate wafers 
2 tbsp. sugar L
6 tbsp. melted butter 
8 oz. cream cheese 
1 can condensed milk
2/3 c. chocolate syrup 
2 tbsp. instant coffee 
1 c. heavy cream, whipped 
 
Mix crumbs, sugar and butter and press into a 9 x 13 inch (22 x 33 cm) pan. Freeze while you prepare the filling. 
Beat cream cheese, add condensed milk and chocolate syrup. Blend well.
Mix instant coffee with a small amount of warm water. Add to cheese mixture. Mix well.
Fold in whipped cream.
Pour over the cookie crumb base. Cover and freeze.

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