So, here we are again; the end of another summer where I just never quite got the hang of it. I’m not sure if it was the endless crashing of heat waves or the crushing reality of stepping up a job search but whatever it was, the show is over people. I’m cranky because traditionally summer is my favorite season—which is a little like saying New Year’s Eve is my favorite eve (it isn’t), because in addition to warm nights and peaches summer brings lots of expectation. Are you happy and carefree? Have you had your fill of lobster rolls, blueberry pie, and mint chocolate chip ice cream? Taken any long walks on the beach with a special someone? Spread out your blanket and picnic basket while taking in the Philharmonic under the stars? Do you look like a cross between Malibu Barbie and Gidget? No? Sorry, you’ve failed Summer 101.
I know it’s immature to think that summer has magical properties and that’s really where the potential for disappointment is born. One of my closest friends (who was my beachiest pal growing up) recently said she was sick of people asking her, “How’s your summer going?” as if the season was any different than fall, winter or spring to this self-employed, single mother. She’s still multi-tasking herself into stretched too thin, all while trying to keep her school’s-out-for-summer daughter busy every day.
Maybe it’s time I look at June, July and August as three months of the year when it just happens to be hot and the produce just happens to be better. I’m kind of ready for a new season, a bit of a fresh start. If you ever saw the movie Mother with Debbie Reynolds playing Albert Brooks’ well, mother, you’ll remember a brilliant scene when he is sitting in her kitchen and she offers him a scoop from a long suffering ½ gallon of sherbet, revealing its layer of frost. “Look under the protective ice!” she says in her defense (the scene is 43 seconds into the trailer). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accused my mother of letting freezer burn grow all over the battered, half-eaten containers of Breyer’s waiting patiently for a warm piece of pie or a warmer day. So, to avoid the unpleasant exchange that will happen over Thanksgiving weekend when I open the freezer and think Mom has bought a new carton of vanilla to go with my pecan pie only to learn it is six months old, I cleaned out her freezer. Purging is so satisfying when you’re craving a clean slate.
This terrine is an excellent way to use up all the ice cream you’ve collected this summer and it’s especially great if you have been renting a house and will be trashing all the leftovers before you head home anyway.
To call it a recipe is absurd, as you will see, but the result is delicious and the bit of cookie crunch beats the taste of ice crystals any day. The point is to use what you have and clearly I wasn't after a perfect look. We had some Oreos left over from a visit from nieces but anything sweet and crunchy would be great.I’m keeping this short and, of course, sweet so you can get out there and enjoy this last summer weekend. And who am I kidding? I need to work on my Malibu Barbie tan.
End of Summer Ice Cream Terrine
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3 pints (6 cups) ice cream, of 3 assorted left-over flavors, slightly softened
1 cup favorite cookie crumbs, divided (I used 8 Oreos and buzzed them in the processor)
Line a standard 6 cup loaf pan (9 ½”x4”x3”) with 2 criss-crossed pieces of plastic wrap, leaving several inches of overhang on all sides.
Spread first pint of ice cream evenly across the bottom of the pan.Sprinkle ½ cup cookie crumbs evenly across ice cream. Press crumbs gently into ice cream and place pan in freezer for about 1 hour until firm.Spread second pint of ice cream over cookie crumbs and top with second ½ cup of cookie crumbs.
Freeze again for another hour until firm.
Spread third pint of ice cream over second layer of cookies crumbs, fold plastic wrap over exposed ice cream and freeze overnight.To unmold, peel plastic wrap off of top of pan and let hang.
Place serving platter over top of pan and invert.Place a warm, wet kitchen towel over pan for 30 seconds, lift off pan, peel off plastic wrap, slice and serve with leftover anything else…extra cookies, hot fudge sauce brought by a generous house guest, etc.Yield: 12 servings.
Note: During the intervals when the layers of the terrine are freezing keep the waiting ice creams in the freezer until about 10-15 minutes before you take out the terrine. That will be enough time for them to soften to a spreadable consistency.