Tag Archives: summer desserts

Oops. He did it again.

Quite possibly TCP's greatest creation yet - Cherry Coconut Pecan Ice Cream

The Complete Package made ice cream again this weekend. I know! He’s totally on a roll this year and it’s not even summer yet. This time he outdid himself. He made cherry ice cream with toasted pecans and coconut. Earth shattering doesn’t begin to describe it. It was more like life affirming. Here’s how he did it:

TCP’s Cherry Coconut Pecan Ice Cream:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 16-ounce jar of maraschino cherries (and the syrup)
2/3 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted

To start, place the freezer bowl of an electric ice cream maker in the freezer overnight so it’s ready to go when you mix this up. Once the freezer bowl is ready, gather all of your ice cream ingredients.

Pre-heat your oven to 400F and place your pecan pieces and coconut in a shallow baking pan, spreading them out so they toast evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the pecans become fragrant and the coconut is starting to turn a pretty golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Drain the cherries, saving the syrup in a bowl, and chop the cherries into large chunks. TCP quartered his.

While the pecans and coconut are toasting, break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk or mixer until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Whisk in the sugar a little at a time and continue to whisk until completely blended. Add the half-and-half, milk and the syrup off the jar of cherries and whisk to incorporate. Then add the salt and vanilla extract and whisk for one minute more.

Once the ice cream base is thoroughly blended, stir in the cherries, pecans and coconut and pour into the freezer bowl of your electric ice cream maker. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, process until the ice cream thickens and/or the machine shuts off. This step usually takes about 30 minutes.

NOTE: If you have one of those old-fashioned crank ice cream makers, just pour the prepared ice cream into the canister and place in the tub. Work your magic with ice and rock salt and get your friends out on the porch to help you crank. Once you can’t crank it without thinking your arm is going to fall off, it’s done. Electric is easier, but cranking is all kinds of retro fun.

This is the torturous part. The Complete Package likes to scrape the finished ice cream into a freezer-safe air-tight container and pop it into the freezer to set up completely. Luckily, he let me sample it before it took a freezer nap. And then we rested. And it was good.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give this a solid 10. Cherries mixed with pecans and coconut are one of my favorite flavor combinations of all time. Dropping all of that into homemade ice cream just makes it sing. Or maybe that was me.

Truth in Development: This recipe is based on a knock-off recipe for Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream Base my husband found on the internet back in 2003. Is it authentic? Who knows for sure. But it’s the cornerstone of every great ice cream he’s ever made, so we’re sticking with it. If it ain’t broke…

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Quite Possibly the Easiest Summer Berry Dessert You Will Ever Make


This is one of those “accidental” recipe finds, discovered while browsing comments on The Pioneer Woman’s website. PW posted a photo blog of fabulous strawberry recipe photos (many of which made me weep with joy), but it was the first comment posted that really grabbed my attention. Sydney B posted a link to a strawberry clafouti recipe. A strawberry what?!? Clafouti. That’s klah-FOO-tee. Say it with me. “Klah-FOO-tee.” I like it! It sounds like a party in a Pyrex. Reminds me of KC & the Sunshine Band. It’s got me singing, “Shake shake shake…. shake shake shake… shake clafouti. Shake clafouti.” Let’s see if that’s not stuck in your head the rest of the day, right? But what IS a clafouti, really? I needed to know.

“Clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries (or other fruit) arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafouti is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.”

There. Now we know. So back to Sydney B’s link. It took me to www.shutterbean.com, where I discovered the easiest berry dessert I’ve ever made. And since I love berries and I love custards, this has the potential to become my go-to throw-down company’s coming dessert-in-a-hurry recipe. Thank you, Tracy the Shutterbean!

Here’s how easy this recipe is. For the record, it calls for strawberries, but I threw in some raspberries, too. Basically, you butter a glass baking dish. Toss your fruit with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and arrange them in the bottom of the dish. Combine the other ingredients in a blender and whiz for 15 seconds. (I didn’t want to dig out my blender, so I used a mixing bowl and a whisk – old school style). Pour the mixture over the fruit and bake it until the center is set and the top is lightly browned. Remove it from the oven, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, and serve it warm. Done. Can you believe it? Seriously… from start to finish, it took 10 minutes to pop this into the oven. To see Tracy’s step-by-step photos and recipe, click here. You won’t be sorry.

If you love summer berries and creamy custards, you should try this. I will give you a few tips. Use really ripe, sweet strawberries. If your strawberries are really large, cut them into bite-size pieces. If you add raspberries like I did, increase the sugar to 1/2 cup or it will be really tart. Other than that, this recipe is simple, easy to make, and bursting with the fabulous flavors of summer berries and vanilla. And that’s all I need. Well, that and the Strawberry Kiss Cake posted by Brooks the Cakewalker from the Pioneer Woman’s photo post mentioned above. Have mercy! If you make that one, I am SO coming over!

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