It's funny how often there are early indications of the profession a child will pursue as an adult. According to my mother, there were more than a few telltale signs during my youth suggesting that a career in food and cooking might be in my future. One involved a long-lasting obsession with the "Little House" books, which chronicled the lives of the Ingalls family, who lived on the American frontier; the books were peppered with wonderful passages about Pa building a smokehouse, Ma churning her own butter and coloring the white slab with carrot juice, and their daughters Laura and Mary dribbling hot maple syrup onto tin pie plates piled high with fresh snow to make candy.
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There were other hints too. When I was six years old, we went to the Bahamas on a family vacation. One night, we were served the most delicious lime ice cream any of us had ever tasted; it was tart and quite sweet, with lots of fragrant lime zest and an underlying richness from pure cream. With a little encouragement from my parents, I managed to pluck up the courage to ask for the recipe, which I then transcribed -- in my shaky, 6-year-old print -- onto the small slip of paper that you see below. My mother keeps the scrap to this day, pasted in among other favorites in her "Desserts" binder.
It's a mix-and-freeze operation, perfect for hot weather, and there is no custard involved. The results are truly delicious. I've reduced the sugar and added a little more cream as my taste has matured. I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did -- and perhaps it may even inspire another 6-year-old to turn to a career in food!
The Best Lime Ice Cream
Makes about 3 cups
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
1/3 cup lime juice (Key lime juice is great if you can bear squeezing all those little guys)
1. Combine all of the ingredients, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Freeze in an ice cream maker, or in a wide, shallow container, stirring from time to time. Devour!
Note: Don't be dismayed if the ice cream never gets really hard in your freezer -- the texture should be airy and light.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).