How To Make Ice Cream Like an Artisan: Splendid Recipes from Jeni’s Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio

published Jun 25, 2008
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We’ve gushed about Jeni’s Ice Creams a few (too many?) times here, but we can’t stop talking about how good this ice cream is. We are very proud of this local treasure – all inspired by Ohio dairy and fruit.

So we were delighted to see Jeni Britton, our hometown culinary hero, in Food & Wine this month – with a full spread of tips and recipes on recreating some of her stunning ice creams. We were really surprised by the first thing we read…

Jeni Britton, the founder of Jeni’s, is a young chef with a genius for ice cream and sorbet. She was on Food & Wine’s Tastemaker Award list, and she won a Gold Medal award in the Gallo Family Vineyards competition this year. Her seasonal, locally-sourced lineup of flavors includes things like Thai Chili (made with locally made Krema peanut butter, coconut, and just a hint of chili pepper), strawberry rose petal, goat cheese with sour cherry compote, and banana cajeta.

So we were definitely excited to see this Food & Wine piece and recipes from her, especially considering that we’ve been trying to reverse-engineer some of our favorite ice cream flavors for the last two years.

The first thing she said, which really surprised us, is that she doesn’t use any eggs at all in her exceptionally creamy and rich ice creams. She finds the taste of eggs distracts from the pure flavor of the cream. So instead she uses just light touches of cornstarch and gelatin after reducing the cream down a bit to thicken it.

Great tips! We can hardly wait to try them out. There were also quite a few recipes attached to the article.

Here are a couple of our favorite recipes from the piece:

Sour-Cherry Lambic Sorbet – We’ve had this sorbet, made with a wonderful cherry lambic beer. This gives it just a hint of yeastiness, but it mainly tastes of tart, fresh cherries. We probably won’t even attempt this at home, since we can buy it by the pint!

Pistachio Ice Cream – This one, on the other hand, is worth attempting at home. It has a light, delicate flavor that tastes of cream, pistachio, and almost nothing else. Our favorite is this ice cream sandwiched between two big chewy almond macaron cookies in Jeni’s signature ice cream sandwich. (See their whole menu here.)

If you aren’t in the Columbus, Ohio, area, you probably haven’t tasted Jeni’s splendid flavors yet – but you can order by mail. Expensive, yes, but consider it for a summer birthday treat. You won’t be disappointed.

Related: Product Review: Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream Maker

(Images: Lisa Fjeld; Frances Janisch)