My adventures with making ice cream. And eating it, too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Robb's, Glastonbury, CT

Robb's Farm in Glastonbury has been making and selling ice cream for several years now. Three? Four? I'm not positive. But, I've been going there regularly as long as I've known about it. It's a pleasant drive and the farmland is serene. They do need a little bit more in the way of shaded areas but nothing is perfect.

I had chocolate peanut butter cup and banana. I need to get out of my flavor ruts. They are, however, tasty ruts. The chocolate peanut butter cup was chocolaty enough and had plenty of candy pieces. The banana was smooth and creamy with a moderate amount of banana flavor. The two went together really well.

Chocolate peanut butter

I made the Lebovitz chocolate peanut butter ice cream again. I wasn't paying enough attention to it while it came to a boil and I burned a little bit of it. It didn't seem to matter, fortunately.

I don't know if I noticed this before but as long as it's not frozen solid, it doesn't feel cold on the tongue. It's an interesting thing. I don't understand it in the slightest but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it has to do with fat content.

I served it for a group again. It's definitely a crowd-pleasing flavor. I also served coconut mango. This flavor was actually about two months old. I think the age of the ice cream wasn't perceptible.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter

After making a successful peanut butter banana, I thought, well, CHOCOLATE peanut butter banana should work, too, and be just as easy to make.

I did go a different direction with the recipe. Instead of adding chocolate to the peanut butter banana recipe, I added bananas to the Lebovitz chocolate peanut butter recipe I love. I didn't follow it exactly. The recipe calls for heating everything to a boil. Instead, I dumped everything into the blender and put it on puree for about five minutes.

This was another success. The bananas add just a little more smoothness, I think. Two bananas seemed to be the right amount to keep all three flavors balanced. But, really, standing on the shoulders of giants as I did, it was very easy for this to work well.

I think I've taken this about as far as I can. I'd like to work on making something similar to the bittersweet chocolate I had at Rancatore's.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Eating: Rancatore's and Herrell's

I'm going to start including posts about eating ice cream along with posts about making it.

On Sunday, I went to the Red Sox game with a couple friends. On the way home, I stopped at Rancatore's and Herrell's. Both have been visited by the people at as part of their New England Ice Cream Tour.

At Rancatore's, I had a medium. I went went with bittersweet chocolate and chocolate banana. The bittersweet chocolate was excellent. An outstanding ice cream. It was rich in chocolate flavor. The texture was smooth and creamy. It was nicely dense, too. The chocolate banana was also very good. It struck a nice balance between the two flavors. There were nice bits of banana, too. I don't always care for bits of banana but they seemed to add to this ice cream. It wasn't nearly as chocolaty as the bittersweet chocolate but that was a good thing. It made it easier to balance the banana against it.

Dutch chocolate orange caught my eye at Herrell's. So, I had a medium with that flavor and mint chocolate chip. I don't know if it was the recipe or just the combination of flavors but I didn't like this as much as I thought I would. Still, it was good. It had a really bright orange taste and a good chocolate taste. They just weren't working as well together as I hoped. The mint chocolate chip veered towards medicinally mint more than I like. Not unenjoyable but it could've been better.

I would definitely recommend Rancatore's. I'd love to go back to Herrell's and try some different flavors. Parking at the Allston location of Herrell's (there's three locations, I believe) was a pain. I eventually parked in a lot for Rite Aid which had signs everywhere proclaiming that if you so much as let your gaze wander outside of the parking lot, your car would be towed. I decided I could risk leaving it there for 15 minutes. Just don't tell Katie.

Peanut Butter Banana

I made peanut butter banana late last week. Seems like an obvious flavor but I'd never made it before. It occurred to me after making PB and banana.

I based the recipe on David Lebovitz's PB recipe. I thought that recipe was already a little too sweet and since I was adding two bananas, I lowered the sugar to 2/3 C. Emily Luchetti and Lebovitz both have you roasting the bananas to different degrees before using them but I skipped that. I put all the ingredients into the blender and left it on for a good long while, more than five minutes. I wanted the texture to be as smooth as possible.

I'm really pleased with the results. Smooth texture. The flavors are nice and they're balanced. I'll have to make this again. Also, I might shoot for PB chocolate banana next.

About Me

I live in Connecticut, which results in a nice assortment of fresh fruits in the summer. I can afford all of this ice cream on a caloric basis because I enjoy long-distance running.