While I love all things pumpkin spice and apple cobbler everything, the end of the summer usually invokes a deep sadness in my heart. The days grow shorter and the warm air is exchanged for cool autumn breezes that eventually lift my spirit back and engulfs it with its warm glow. Until then, to hold onto the summer, we make one of our many visits to Patty’s Berries and Bunches in Mattituck to breathe in the leftover summer air and hold onto the warmth for a little bit longer.
We drive to the North Road for raspberries. Nothing seems sweeter to me than the sun-kissed raspberries that meet us there. Hiding amidst the bushes, we discover bunches of the ruby-red, ready-to-fall-off-the-branch delights and fill our baskets. Trying to explain the ripeness of a berry to a group of two-and-four-year-olds, whose adoration for picking green tomatoes in our backyard often leaves me wondering if they’re color blind, actually wasn’t too bad. The ripeness comes with the ease to which it comes off the stem and all the boys are in agreement that if there was any bit of discoloration (aka dirt), they just tossed it as a return to the earth.
We leave with cartons full of the sweet and juicy berries whose goodness, without the shelf-life of any of their store-bought counterparts, will only last a handful of days.
We envision a multitude of recipes to savor this short-lived treat. Unanimously ice cream is chosen to continue our summer feast.
In terms of recipes, ice cream is not something I make often. It is one of those pleasures we indulge in only a handful of times a year by our own hand. Ice cream in a carton isn’t something we keep in our freezer either. Don’t get me wrong, we love the stuff, it’s only when you’ve experienced the richness of homemade ice cream that everything else seems to pale in comparison. We save it for occasions like raspberry picking where the fresh juice adds its own natural flavoring.
We break out our ice cream maker from the basement. I let the boys take turns adding the ingredients. I think the best part of the cooking process is watching their careful, yet unsteady hands try their best to not spill a granule of sugar. Their tongues are often out, their brows furrowed, and their hands often a wobbly mess of excitement. It cracks me up. I take on the stovetop parts and the boys are content with adding the ingredients and turning on the ice cream maker. It is a true test of patience having to not only wait the 40 some-odd minutes for it to be done but to then further wait for the mixture to freeze. We usually celebrate the end of the churning process with a small taste test to appease our patience and delight our senses.
We follow a basic vanilla ice cream recipe that came with our Oster ice cream maker and, of course, utilizes an ice cream maker.
Truly a bowl of pleasures and goodness, churned into a summer treat.
Raspberry Ice Cream
2 cups milk
1 ¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups heavy cream
About a pint of raspberries
Scald the milk until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat. Add sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Stir in half and half, vanilla extract and whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Follow your own ice cream maker steps.
Puree your raspberries or fruit of choice and fold into mixture to combine. Freeze overnight and voilà!