Tomorrow is National Ice Cream Day! Celebrate with this tangy, chewy, New England favorite.
New Englanders love ice cream. Seems strange, but even though New England is one of the coldest areas of the country, the natives eat more ice cream than elsewhere. When I was growing up, heading to the local soft-serve place was a summertime treat. But we could, and did, get scoops of hard Maple-Walnut, Pistachio, or Butter-Pecan at the local Rexall Drug all year long.
We have a picture of my youngest son sitting in his car seat, covered in melting chocolate ice cream as he chomps at the bottom of the cone. And everyone goes out for ice cream after a Little League game. It’s just the way it’s done.
So when I moved west, I was surprised at how few ice cream places there are. Yes, I can get an espresso on almost every street corner, but ice cream joints are few and far between. Mom and Pop ice cream places, the kind that have unique flavors like Tiger Paw or Smurf, are non-existent here.
Which means I occasionally find myself re-creating the ice cream flavors of my youth. I am not sure if Grape-Nuts ice cream is found anywhere but New England. But it makes sense that a place that loves ice cream even turns breakfast cereal into dessert. There is Grape-Nuts pudding too, but I will save that for another day.
This recipe isn’t true to its roots. The original doesn’t include buttermilk, I just happen to like the tangy flavor it adds. And I prefer the smooth sweetness of honey to sugar. But rest assured, it is just as good as any you’ll find at a corner ice cream shop in Maine.
- 1½ cup heavy cream
- 1½ cup buttermilk
- 1/ cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup Grape-Nuts cereal
- In a medium saucepan bring the milk, buttermilk and honey to a simmer. Stirring until combined.
- Remove from heat. Let cool about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
- Make ice cream following ice cream maker manufacturers instructions. Add the Grape-Nuts cereal just before the ice cream completely hardens.
- Spoon ice cream into an air-tight container. Keep in the freezer at least overnight before eating.
- Grape-Nuts will soften and become chewy the longer the ice cream sits. But it's ok, it tastes delicious even if you eat it all while the cereal is still crunchy!
Do you have a favorite regional ice cream flavor? Share it with us!