fireworks & ice

Happy Birthday America!! 

July 4th — a day to spend with friends and family. Here in the northwest, it’s HOT!! Much hotter than usual, which makes me turn to a cool treat for fireworks watching. Stripes and stars, red, white & blue, and so delicious, whether you’re 8 or 80! You can make this ahead, store in the freezer, then transport in a cooler, filled with ice packs, along with spoons, napkins, and of course … wait for it … a can of squirt cream!

You can make it incredibly easy by using purchased vanilla ice cream, a raspberry or strawberry ice or sorbet, or you might want to make your own — recipes are below. I used canning jars, because the lids make it so easy to take, serve, and share the fun!

red white & blue parfait

red, white & blue icy treats

  • one recipe each quick buttermilk ice cream and strawberry ice
  • fresh blueberries
  • one can of squirt whipped cream
  • small canning jars, with rings and lids

Layer buttermilk ice cream to about 1/3 full in a small canning jar. Top with another third of strawberry ice or sorbet. Then add a layer of fresh blueberries, taking car not to overfill the jar. Top with lids and rings. Seal and store in freezer until ready to serve.

To serve: Remove lid from each jar; top with a dollop of whipped cream.

quick buttermilk ice cream

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups buttermilk

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and cream to a boil; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, corn syrup, salt, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chilled.

Freeze in an ice-cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes about 4 cups.

granita di fragole  (strawberry ice)

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups strawberries (about 2 pounds)
  • juice of one lemon

Dissolve sugar in water, chill. Wash, hull, and puree strawberries, strain to remove seeds. Add strawberries, lemon juice to cold simple syrup. Chill entire mixture.

Freeze in ice cream freezer till like consistency of snow, or freeze as directed below ***.

In the unlikely event that you have any leftover, the ice can be tightly sealed and stored in freezer.

***            Alternate freezing technique: Pour into shallow pan; freeze about 2 hours or till nearly firm. Break ice up into chilled small mixer bowl. Beat at low speed of electric mixer till fluffy. Freeze till nearly firm, stirring once or twice.

Makes about 4 cups ice.


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