Philadephia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberries

“Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.”

- Nikos Kazantzakis

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School’s out for summer, and our 7 year old has already begun her summer project – creating her bridge from Nashville to Philadelphia. Why? Despite our pleading, crying, kicking, and screaming, our ideal teacher left yesterday to move to Philly because her fiance has taken a job there.

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She’s in love. But we are too – we’re in love with her. Patricia Polacco had Mr. Falker. Lilly had Mr. Slinger. Our Oakley had Ms. Drury. For that, we’ll be eternally grateful.

To celebrate a fabulous 1st grade year, Oakley invited Ms. Drury over for a “play date”. They explored the garden, made grilled pizzas, and played war. (Oakley lost.) Ms. Drury read to Oakley and her sisters and then tucked them in bed. Oakley, with tears in her eyes, looked at Ms. Drury and said, “I’ve waited all day for this. And now it’s over.”

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How bittersweet it is to mark the end of something truly wonderful. While Ms. Drury is now gone, she’s anything but forgotten.

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We’ll forever be chasing her ghost.

And listening to the soundtrack she gave to each of her 1st grade friends on the last day of school.

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And making this ice cream in her honor. This was Oakley’s choice for dessert that night, and she made it as her way of bridging the gap. Philadephia-style (meaning it’s eggless) vanilla ice cream topped with Nashville strawberries. The perfect ending to an oh-so-perfect year.

Thank you, Ms. Drury. For everything.

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Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberries

adapted from David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop

makes about 1 quart

Once upon a time there was a proliferation of dairy farms around Philadelphia, hence the name.

  • 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup ( 250 ml) whole milk
  • ¾ cup (150 g or 5 ¼ ounces) vanilla sugar (can susbstitute granulated sugar)
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • local, in season strawberries

Pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and add the remaining cream, whole milk, and vanilla extract.

Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, for at least eight hours or overnight. When ready to churn, first remove the vanilla bean and reserve it for another use or use it to make vanilla sugar*. Then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve topped with sliced strawberries.

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