Shortly after Joe and Vicky moved to Beaumont, a few of Vicky’s former church lady friends loaded up an SUV to call on Vicky. Like the wise men of old, we wise women did not arrive empty handed, for in the back of Litha’s SUV was a freshly baked rhubarb pie for Joe.
I was into making home-made pies during that phase of my life. As silly as this confession might sound, learning to make a fine home-made pie crust was one of my big post-retirement goals. Because Joe and Vicky liked pie, and since their departure came in the midst of my pie crust apprenticeship with Joy of Cooking, I promised to bring them a home-made pie of Joe’s choice.
Joe’s pick proved a bit of a challenge, as up to that point in my short pie-baking career, I had never held a rhubarb in my hand. But relying on fresh rhubarb from Central Market and my good teacher named Joy, Joe’s rhubarb pie turned out surprisingly fine. Later that evening, I was relieved to hear Joe’s tidings of great joy. But the best part of Joe’s call came when Joe casually mentioned how perfect his home-made cinnamon ice cream would have been on top of that rhubarb pie.
Intrigued by the thought of cinnamon ice cream, I asked Joe to send me a copy of his recipe. And Joe did. But for good measure — because that’s the kind of carpenter Joe is — Joe sent me an extra recipe for a wonderful peach sherbet. The sherbet is light and citrusy and is easily my favorite of all home-made frozen desserts. The cinnamon ice cream is also wonderful, and while heavier tasting, not overly rich in sweetness.
Summer will soon fade into Indian Summer. But with a fresh crop of apples waiting in the stores, what could be more perfect than Joe’s cinnamon ice cream with your favorite warm apple pie? Try both. A gift from Joe’s life to mine to yours.
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Yield – 5 quarts
3 1/2 cups of sugar Dash of salt
3/4 cup of water 3 cups of half and half
2 tablespoons cinnamon 1 cup of heavy cream
4 eggs 4 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups of milk, scalded
Mix 2 cups of the sugar, water, and cinnamon. Set aside. In heavy saucepan,
beat eggs and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until well mixed. Add milk and salt. Stir over
low heat until custard coats a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon
syrup. Cool completely. Add half and half, heavy cream, and vanilla.
Freeze in ice cream freezer.
Yield – 1 Gallon
Juice of 3 oranges (1 1/2 cups)
4 peaches, pureed
Juice of 3 lemons (9 tablespoons)
2 pints half and half
3 cups of sugar
About 3 cups of milk to make 3/4 gal. of sherbet mix
Mix all ingredients together and freeze in Ice cream freezer.
This entry is like a pachinko machine – I feel myself going “Ping! Ping! Ping!”
as I bounce off the piecrust, the rhubarb, the cinnamon….
Piecrust was the first thing I learned to “bake”. I come from a long line of flour-Crisco-ice water piecrust mavens, and that’s still how I do it. None of that oil business, or milk or butter or lard. 1 c flour to 1/3 c Crisco and “just enough” ice water. Flaky? Oh, my. And the best part is the trimmings, re-rolled and baked with butter and cinnamon sugar.
Rhubarb grew in our back yard. I hated the taste, even with strawberry, but the big leaves made terrific hats for little girls.
But the cinnamon ice cream – that’s been a staple since I discovered it at Marble Slab five years ago. Blue Bell and Hagen Daaz will put it out now and then, but Marble Slab is my supplier of choice.
I pair it with my apple cake, and apple pie, of course. It’s also good with peach cobbler, or anything chocolate. And for a real treat, there’s always cinnamon ice cream sprinkled with toffee pecans…
Oh, my 😉