What do you do when you’re craving a pint of organic ice cream with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and flavored in delicious and unexpected combinations? If you’re Diana Hardeman, you start making the icy treat in your home kitchen, hand-delivering the results to other ice cream aficionados on your East Village block and quickly building a thriving business featuring inspired flavors, such as Peanut Butter Jelly and Lavender Pansy. You call the company—appropriately, poetically—MilkMade.
“I was basically eating a pint a night (yes, I love ice cream), and one day thought, ‘I don’t even like this anymore,’” remembers Hardeman, who became unsatisfied with the bland flavors and lesser quality of ice cream that was on offer at her local bodega and nearby shops. “I bought a little at-home ice cream machine and started teaching myself the craft.”
MilkMade, which opened a brick-and-mortar last month in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood, now specializes in flavor combos that reflect both the seasonal output of nearby organic farms and Hardeman’s own imagination. “I love the process of crafting a new flavor—from the idea, to taking the time to perfect the recipe, to partnering with the right local food artisans, like Mast Brothers Chocolate and King County Distillery,” she says. “Ice cream is a blank canvas.”
With that in mind, we asked Hardeman to walk us through how to make a simple and refreshing summer classic without the need for a machine. Because there’s something incredibly rewarding—both for the palette and the mind—in making your own pint from scratch. Roll up your sleeves and ready your biceps!
makes one quart (two pints)
½ lb strawberries, halved, stems removed
¾ cup sugar
dash of lemon juice
pinch of salt
½ cup cream cheese
½ cup cream
½ cup milk
1. Coarsely mash strawberries, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Add cream, cream cheese and milk to bowl. Blend the mixture with an immersion or standing blender.
2. Transfer the mixture to a pre-frozen shallow bowl or pan. Place in the freezer and chill for about 20 minutes.
3. Remove the mixture and give it a quick and vigorous stir incorporating any frozen edges back into the mixture. Return to freezer. Repeat this every 20 minutes until the mixture is completely frozen, about five to six times. Once the mixture is frozen and smooth and creamy (think: the consistency of soft serve) you’re done. Store in a covered container until you’re ready to serve.
A scoop of bubblegum can seem counterintuitive at first (lick, lick, chew, lick, lick, chew); are there any ice cream flavor combos you’ve discovered or would like to taste? Let us know in the comments below.