Even Stef Ferrari gets bored with most ice cream books.
Ferrari is a lifelong ice cream fanatic (and beer nerd) who ran an ice cream shop in Brooklyn that, though short-lived, took a whole new approach to one of America’s most quintessential desserts.
“I quickly realized how many parameters we’ve placed around the enjoyment of ice cream. It’s got to be scooped. Eaten in a cup or a cone, usually in warm weather. Flavors should always be sweet, and don’t dare touch the stuff before dinner,” Ferrari writes in her new book, “Ice Cream Adventures: More Than 100 Deliciously Different Recipes” (Rodale, $24.99). “I knew that ice cream would need to be liberated. It needed to be set free.”
Even though she grew up on mint chocolate chip and butter pecan ice creams, those recipes were already in the ice cream canon. She wanted to push back against the rules and conventions by not only creating new flavors but also new ways to enjoy ice cream. Her ice cream shop was perhaps a little ahead of its time, but Ferrari has poured her passion into this new book.
You’ll find seemingly crazy flavors, such as sriracha popcorn ice cream, root beer and goat cheese soft serve or feta tomato swirl ice cream, and also eye-opening ways to use it, including serving a scoop of cacio e pepe ice cream with a bowl of spaghetti. (You read that right: Parmesan and black pepper ice cream, served over hot spaghetti so that the ice cream becomes the sauce.)
These melted ice cream pancakes perfectly capture Ferrari’s spirited approach to embrace ice cream in new ways. Here, the ice cream replaces the milk and sugar you might find in a traditional recipe. She likes to use an oatmeal cinnamon ice cream, another recipe in the book that calls for soaking oats in milk before making the ice cream, but you could use just about any flavor that’s already in your freezer.
Melted Ice Cream Pancakes
Once I realized just how basic it was to build pancakes from scratch rather than the store-bought box, I felt as if I’d been lied to my whole life. Sure, just-add-water makes it seem like a cinch, but when you take into account the wildly superior flavor of scratch-made, skillet-fresh hotcakes, there’s hardly a reason to go back.
Strawberry ice cream makes a killer pink-hued pancake, and you never even have to worry about seeds sticking in your teeth. The use of melted ice cream also precludes the need for additional sugar in the mix, as you’ll be obtaining an adequate amount of sweetness from the flavor of your choice.
— Stef Ferrari
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups melted ice cream, flavor of your choice
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
2 Tbsp. melted butter
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, ice cream, vanilla bean seeds and butter. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture until well incorporated.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat it with nonstick cooking spray or butter. Test the heat by sprinkling water on the pan; if it sizzles, it’s ready to go.
Drop the desired amount of batter into the skillet (I like silver dollars). Once small bubbles form and begin to pop, flip the pancakes. Repeat until all the batter has been used. Keep cooked pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven until ready to serve. Makes 8 to 12 pancakes.
— From “Ice Cream Adventures: More Than 100 Deliciously Different Recipes” by Stef Ferrari (Rodale, $24.99)