Satisfy your sweet tooth with a hefty dip of this cool and creamy treat amped up with fresh corn and a tangy, fruity topping



Tim Drown, regional executive chef of the University Center Club in Tallahassee, Fla., crowns his silky creation with fresh strawberries kissed with balsamic vinegar and thyme.

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 fresh vanilla bean, cut in half longwise
4 ears fresh corn
8 egg yolks
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Pickled Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows)

In a deep, medium-size saucepot, combine the milk, heavy cream, salt, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the scraped-out vanilla bean. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and add the kernels to the pot. Place the cobs in the saucepot, too, cutting them to fit if necessary. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, and then set aside to cool.

Remove the cobs from the pot and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the corn kernels in the pot until smooth. Bring the mixture back to a boil for 2 minutes. Turn the heat to low.

In a large stainless-steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Temper the egg mixture by adding 1 cup of the warm corn and milk mixture from the saucepot. Add this egg mixture back to the saucepot on the stove along with cayenne pepper. Stir continuously on low heat for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Using a fine sieve, strain the mixture into a large bowl, pushing all the liquids through. Discard the solids. Refrigerate the ice cream mixture overnight. The next day, add the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to machine instructions. Freeze any leftover ice cream in airtight containers.

To serve, top with Pickled Strawberry Sauce.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1-3/4 cups small, fresh strawberries
2 sprigs thyme

In a 12-ounce Mason jar, add the sugars, salt, and hot water. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the vinegar and let it cool to room temperature. Add the strawberries and thyme, fully immersing the strawberries in liquid. Cover the jar and let it steep for one day in the refrigerator.

Chef's Tip: "Use 40-percent butter fat heavy cream for the ice cream because it doesn't curdle easily when cooking. The extra fat prevents the ice cream from freezing too hard."



Double Dip
Two more cool, inventive crowd-pleasers to sweeten up your summer

As if addictive salted caramel ice cream weren't enough, executive chef C.J. Cucciniello of Canyon Gate Country Club in Las Vegas pushes his recipe over the top with tangy cream cheese, roasted pistachios, and aromatic rosemary.

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In a large mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the heavy cream and corn syrup together. Set each bowl aside.

Heat the sugar in a 4-quart pot over medium heat until the sugar turns a deep amber color, avoiding burning. Remove the pot from the heat and add about a 1/4 cup of the cream/corn syrup mixture. Continue adding the cream/corn syrup mixture while stirring constantly. Add the remaining milk and stir to combine. Bring the pot to a boil for 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Don't worry about small caramel clumps, as they will melt during the next steps.

Return the pot to the stove and bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove the pot from the heat. Gradually add this warm mixture to the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into a large zip-lock bag and refrigerate overnight or place it in an ice bath and chill for 30 minutes.

Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker, add the pistachios and rosemary (reserving about 2 teaspoons of each for garnish), and follow the machine instructions. After the ice cream has formed, transfer it to a plastic container with a lid. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

Top each serving with fresh rosemary and chopped pistachios.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Chef's tip: "Keep your ice cream machine canister in the freezer so it's ready when you are, and set your freezer at zero degrees Fahrenheit when storing ice cream."


Prepare yourself for a refreshing burst of yum from executive chef Ashleigh Fleming Scherman of the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill, N.C. She balances out the sweet and tart flavors in her recipe with a brilliant touch of cayenne pepper.

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon lime zest
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pineapple Rum Compote (recipe follows)

In a medium saucepot, combine all ingredients except the coconut milk, cayenne, and compote. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes until the sugar is well dissolved and flavors begin to infuse. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cayenne. Chill overnight, at least 5 hours, to infuse flavors. Strain, discarding the solids, and process the mixture in an ice cream maker per the machine instructions.

Top each serving with Pineapple Rum Compote.

Yield: 6 servings

5 tablespoons butter, diced
1-1/2 cups fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saute pan, heat the butter 3 minutes over medium-high heat until softened and just starting to brown. Add the pineapple and cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rum and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Stir in the dark brown sugar. Lower heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in cardamom, lime zest, and salt. Cool to room temperature.

Chef's tip: "Don't waste any leftover ginger. Instead, just grate it, roll it into a log in plastic wrap, and store it in the freezer for future use."

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