This is the story of our perfect Fourth of July dessert.
Or rather, it’s almost a non-story. Shockingly, I didn’t put a ton of time or energy into planning every single meal for the Fourth weekend beforehand. Yeah, I’m usually sort of a planner. But since we had 11 house guests at the beach this past weekend (plus the normal 6 of us!) and everyone was instructed to bring what they wanted to eat, every meal was sort of an ad-hoc experiment. Meat was seasoned and put on the grill, followed by an assortment of veggies. It was wonderful, delicious, and relaxing. I brought a few dessert-like things to the beach for munching, including a tray of whole wheat brownies and a (coming soon) batch of chocolate chip cookies. Along with smores, these were just enough dessert for the first half of the weekend.
The only two things we knew we were absolutely cooking this weekend were a ridiculously huge pork loin and cupcakes. We bought the pork loin at BJs the weekend before, and the cupcakes…well, I fell in love with some ridiculously cute festive liners in the King Arthur catalogue back in May, so I HAD TO make cupcakes.
We had also taken our often neglected ice cream maker to the beach, mostly in the hope that it would see a bit more love down there than it saw at home. Add these two ingredients together–cupcakes + ice cream, and throw in some fresh berries (straw and blue) for some extra fun, and you’ve got a perfect summertime dessert! The cupcakes were vanilla pound cake with red, white and blue sprinkles, and the ice cream was one of our new favorites, a creamy Philadelphia Style. Perfection.
And in case you’re wondering about all those house guests, no, the Broadkill Beach Club is not a mansion. We had some portable bedrooms, aka tents, that folks slept in!
Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop
I cannot lie, I made the cupcakes, Noel made the ice cream. And since he wasn’t really fond of the idea of standing over a hot stove to make a custard on an already hot day, he went Philadelphia Style. We may never go back!
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
¾ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and add the remaining cream, the half-and-half, and the vanilla extract.
Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, for at least eight hours or overnight.
When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod (reserve the bean for another use), then freeze in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.