American flags waving and swaying in the wind as if to welcome us. Parade processions preparing to march with pride. Firework stands will quickly sell out; the bigger the blast the better. Here in the United States of America this can only mean one thing, the 4th of July is upon us.
It is with humbleness that we celebrate those that sacrifice for our freedom, both past and present. It is with great pride that we can pass down the stories of bravery and love for this country that we care about so much. It is with great excitement that we celebrate our freedom and independence by keeping these traditions alive for generations to come.
As we get ready to gather with family and friends, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate all of this than with ice cream. A Red, White and Blue Themed Ice Cream Sundae Bar to be specific.
What is an Cream Sundae Bar? Some folks enjoy a good salad bar or cocktail bar. However, we like things a little sweet at Nature’s Yoke, so it only makes sense that an ice cream sundae bar would be at the top of our list.
Since we’re celebrating the freedom of our country, it’s only fitting that our dessert be red, white and blue too. This is how we acknowledge and incorporate our nation’s colors into a celebratory treat:
- Red (fresh strawberries)
- White (vanilla ice cream)
- Blue (fresh blueberries)
Proving that our flag’s colors and corresponding flavors are just as flavorful as the ice cream (our homemade recipe is below).
The Best Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe
We can’t think of a dessert that brings so much happiness to everyone as ice cream does. Is it because it’s cold, creamy, luxurious, rich, comforting? Whatever quality of ice cream brings you the most joy, we support it!
Great ice cream is made with high-quality ingredients. Thick, rich, heavy cream is a must. Whole milk (not skim) is necessary. The thousand little seeds of a vanilla bean pod are essential, as well as a pinch of salt. But most important are the egg yolks. Egg yolks are an absolute must because they make for a creamier, richer ice cream. Even when making desserts, we know we’re still providing good nutrition. For this recipe, we’re recommending our Legacy free-range eggs, but our Organic and Omega-3 free-range eggs are equally good choices.
How to Make an Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Ice Cream: We are giving you our favorite recipe for Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and we think you’ll love it and want to make it for years to come. We’ve chosen a traditional vanilla bean flavor since it pairs perfectly with all of the fresh toppings we’ve chosen.
Fruit: We chose fresh strawberries and blueberries. You can choose to use them sliced or, if you want more of a sauce, see below for our suggestions.
Hot Fudge: Every sundae needs a rich drizzle of a good hot fudge.
Crushed Peanuts: For those that like a little crunch, peanuts are perfect. Or, if someone has a peanut allergy, try crushed ice cream cones as an alternative.
Whipped Cream: Who doesn’t know that whipped cream makes everything tastier.
Sprinkles: They can’t help but bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Maraschino Cherries: The literal “the cherry on top”.
How to Assemble the Perfect Ice Cream Sundae
There’s no wrong way to make an ice cream sundae. But here is the steps we use in order — in case you need a little help:
- One or two scoops of ice cream at the bottom of the dish
- Some fruit, we chose blueberries first
- A scoop of ice cream
- More fruit, this time strawberries
- A final scoop of ice cream
- Hot fudge
- Whipped cream
- Maraschino cherry
How to Make an Easy Fruit Sauce
If you want to make a quick fruit sauce we suggest taking 16 oz. of fruit (for example, sliced or diced strawberries) and 3 tbsp of sugar. Mash the strawberries and sugar together with a potato masher and let the mixture sit for 30+ minutes so the sugars can dissolve. If you find that the fruit is a little difficult to mash, transfer the strawberries and the sugar to a saucepan, add 2 tbsp water and slowly heat on low. Then mash as the fruit softens. When you’re done, let the sauce cool. We’ve found the saucepan method works with frozen fruit as well.
A note about the blueberries. Blueberries are not blue on the inside, so as you mash them you will see a transparent yellowish color. To get more blue color, add whole blueberries to the mashed blueberries.
If you’re short on time, you can also purchase pre-made fruit toppings. You can usually find them in the ice cream ingredients section at your grocery store (the same place you’ll find the hot fudge and maraschino cherries.
Most importantly, we wish you and all those you care about a wonderful July 4th celebration!
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- seeds from one vanilla bean
- pinch of salt
- 6 large Nature's Yoke Legacy Free-Range Eggs
- In a small saucepan, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla beans and salt for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks.
- With the mixer on a low speed, add about one third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks and whisk until completely combined.
- Put the yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the cream mixture and hand whisk.
- Put the saucepan back on the burner at medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thickened. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour mixture over a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Let mixture cool to room temp and then cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.*
- Transfer ice cream mixture to your ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Once ice cream is made, transfer to a container and freeze until ready to serve.**