A little while ago, my friend Lindsey from Cafe Johnsonia reached out to me to participate in a virtual ice cream social. As soon as Linsdey said “ice cream” I was in for two reasons: she made one of the best ice cream I ever had (a fantastic Meyer lemon-infused concoction made with coconut cream) so she knows what she’s talking about — and I love ice cream. I live in a city where winter lasts for months and months, so when I was young, spring meant the reopening of ice cream shops and the return of ice cream outings with my parents. Soft ice cream was my favorite and I loved watching it slowly twirl into sweet cones, so much so that I secretly wished I’d get the chance to work in an ice cream shop as a teenager. The first velvety bite of a vanilla-chocolate twist cone every year made me feel like it was worth soldiering through winter’s biting cold and meters of snow just to discover ice cream again every spring.
As I got older, digesting ice cream (and all milk-based products) became harder and harder for me and as a young adult, I was officially declared lactose intolerant. Needless to say, my passion for ice cream melted a little (pun intended). I had to say adieu to my beloved soft ice cream cones (I have yet to find a place that served lactose-free soft ice cream), but I started exploring new frozen avenues: fruit sorbet was my first favorite, and then I went to Italy and discovered gelato. Many gelato varieties do not contain milk or cream at all so every time I travelled to Italy, I happily indulged without restraint. On my way back from a gelato-filled trip two years ago, I decided I wouldn’t wait to cross the ocean to enjoy my favorite frozen treat again and I started making gelato at home.
Since them, I’ve experimented quite a lot and new lactose-free products have been released on the market (such as lactose-free heavy cream), making it easier than ever to make and enjoy ice cream. I’ve tried soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk or no milk at all and had very few disappointments. I’ve even made Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream with goat’s milk butter and it was amazing!
For today’s ice cream social, I’ve gathered the frozen treats-themed posts I have previously published and I encourage you to try making gelato, sorbet and ice cream at home. An ice cream machine is not that expensive, and the joy of coming up with your own flavors and mixes is hard to beat. If you’re lactose-intolerant too, don’t let it stop you from enjoying ice cream: simply substitute any milk-based product with a lactose-free option and you’ll be surprised with the results.
Start by learning more about gelato with: How to Make Gelato: A Detailed, Step-by-Step Recipe
Then try my absolute favorite gelato recipe: Dark Chocolate Gelato
By now, you’ll feel confident with your ice cream-making skills, so move on to the serious stuff: Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
And then, because it’s summer after all, don’t forget seasonal blends too: Rhubarb Ice Cream with Crumbly Almond Topping
For more inspiration, please see my friends’ frozen creations, all part of the ice cream social. That ice cream machine of yours has been sitting in the cupboard for too long, take it out and churn out a batch tonight!
- Becky of Project Domestication
- Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia
- Becky of Vintage Mixer
- Carrian of Sweet Basil
- Holly of Phemomenon
- Kelly of Mountain Mamma Cooks
- Krista of Budget Gourmet Mom
- Karen of 365 Days of Slow Cooking
- Rachel of A Southern Fairytale
- Shawn of I Wash You Dry
- Stephanie of Queen Scarlett
- Wendy of 101 Gourmet Series
What is your favorite ice cream/gelato/sorbet flavor? Please share your recipes in the comments below, I can’t wait to discover new flavors!