This week, as I was carefully pondering which ice cream flavor I’d be featuring in the next post, it suddenly dawned on me that July is pretty much a wrap and August is descending upon us in a mere matter of…(gulp)…hours.
The summer is almost over!
When did that happen?!
Maybe I’m being a bit glass-half-empty over here, but August has always been the month that I’ve dreaded the most throughout the year, for obvious back-to-school related reasons. Even now that I’m done with school, I still can’t shake this feeling that August is the beginning of the end.
I love autumn, so it’s really not that big of a deal to me, but at the same time, I always feel like the summer comes and goes and I never make the most of it.
I mean, I always have so many PLANS and IDEAS for the summertime you guys!
Like: getting a natural tan, losing twenty pounds, starting a community garden, learning how to kayak, learning how to swim, achieving effortless beach hair, building a DIY hammock from scratch, and hosting a handful of glorious Ina Garten-style family dinners on the patio.
And did I do any of that so far this summer?
Well, no. Of course not.
I never do.
(I’m not Superwoman, you guys).
But I DID make this awesome, dreamy, orange creamsicle ice cream, and I sort of think that makes up for my lack of productivity in other areas. Don’t you agree?
Before the summer starts to slip away completely, I wanted to grab the bull by the horns and make a flavor that is best enjoyed during those super hot “Dog Days” in August; those days where nothing satisfies the palate quite like a melty ice cream cone in a flavor that is decidedly summery. For me, Orange Creamsicle is at the top of that list.
Orange Creamsicle was a flavor that I always gravitated towards as a child, although at that time, I knew it by another name:
Flinstones Push Up Pops.
The Push Up Pop was always my go-to choice from the ice cream truck. Sure, I dabbled with Good Humor’s Strawberry Shortcake Bar, and of course I loved a Drumstick from time to time (who doesn’t?), but the Push Up Pop was my absolute favorite. I liked that there was some effort involved in twisting up the plastic contraption to obtain the ice cream inside; I think it made the experience more rewarding… sort of like crab legs or corn on the cob.
Once I grew “too old” for the ice cream truck, my love for Creamsicle followed me into my teenage years in the form of a frosted pink Bonne Bell lipgloss that was scented like my favorite childhood treat (all the 15 year old girls in Brimfield, Ohio were wearing it at the time).
Then in college, when I turned 21, Orange Creamsicle yet again surfaced in a subtle but meaningful way as one of the few alchoholic drinks that I could actually tolerate, beacuase the distinct ice cream-like flavor distracted me from the heinous flavor of the actual alcohol.
Today, I still love Orange Creamsicle flavored things, perhaps even more so than I did in my younger years, because now that I’m an old broad, I can officially label my childhood favorites as guilty pleasures.
Sure, it’s not a flavor that I could eat all the time, but it’s perfect for those hot, lingering August days where all the air conditioning and ceiling fans in the world can’t even cool you down. It’s been 90 in northeastern Ohio all week, so I just knew this was my perfect opportunity to give Orange Creamsicle her 15 minutes of ice cream blogging fame.
I wanted to make sure this ice cream was full of orange flavor, so I used three different sources of orange: orange zest, orange juice, and orange extract.
Using orange extract gave me a bit of heartburn at first because I always want my ice creams to be TOO LEGIT TO QUIT, and using flavorings or extracts always seems a bit disingenuous. But adding too much liquid to ice cream bases (in this case, orange juice) would have resulted in an icy texture – and this aint’ a SLUSHY blog, folks. It’s an ice cream blog, and ice cream should be creamy and luscious and wonderful.
So, bring on the extract (a full tablespoon, in fact).
I added in some buttermilk for a bit of tanginess, and obviously, a bit of orange food coloring. Again, a bit disingenuous, but in my opinion, totally necessary – orange flavored ice cream should be, well, orange.
Eating this ice cream, I felt like I was 6 years old again, blissfully standing in line at the ice cream truck. The little cake cone really put it over the top.
Oh, and you know what else did too? This awesome “ice cream salt” that one of my very favorite people in the world got for me. I didn’t realize that my two loves, ice cream and salt, could be combined into one awesome product, but I’m glad I’ve become enlightened. The salt made a subtle yet noticeable impact; it also made the ice cream feel a bit more adult and trendy; because Salted Anything is super cool, right?
If I ever have an ice cream store, you better believe this flavor will definitely be on the featured menu for the entire summer.
Have a happy last day of July, my friends!
Happy scooping 🙂
Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1.5 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
pinch of kosher or sea salt; or if you’re lucky, ice cream salt
¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons high quality vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange extract
1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
zest from one orange (if desired; this will add a bit of texture)
- In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
- Whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth or almost smooth (some lumps and bumps are just fine).
- Fill a large bowl with ice water (lots of ice!!!). Set aside.
- In a 4 quart saucepan, combine milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup, then bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 4 mins.
- After 4 minutes, remove the milk mixture from heat and gradually mix into your cornstarch slurry mixture that you made in Step 1. Add back to the saucepan, and cook over medium high heat for about 1 minute, or until thickened and it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk the milk mixture into the cream cheese. Add both of the extracts, orange juice, zest, and buttermilk. Lastly, I add in the kosher salt, to taste. Please note: the amounts of the extracts were ball parked; I really wanted a robust flavor, so i just kept adding until I was happy with the flavor. Taste as you go – you may want more or less depending on your personal preference.
- Once all ingredients are incorporated, pour base into a gallon sized freezer bag and submerge into ice bath. Let stand until very cold, half an hour or so. Continue adding more ice as needed.
- Once the mixture is cold, freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once the ice cream is finished, add it to your storage container, and store until texture is hardened (preferably overnight). Once ready to serve, let the ice cream sit out for 10 or 15 minutes until softened.