What We’re Reading: ‘Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home’

What We're Reading

This post comes courtesy of Michelle Foss, a member of the Williams-Sonoma merchandising team.


There’s nothing like great ice cream on a 90-degree day. OK, so I live in San Francisco and we all know what Mark Twain said about San Francisco summers . . . However, I was just back east for the 4th of July, and you can’t help but let your mind drift to a nice, creamy ice cream treat when the thermometer starts hitting the high notes. From popsicles to soft serve to hard-core hot fudge sundaes, ice cream is where it’s at on a hot, hot day.


And do I have the cure for your ice cream needs: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Jeni Britton Bauer started her business in 1996 in Columbus, Ohio, and her story is pretty incredible. She opened a small shop when she was 22 and wasn’t able to make a go of it, but she couldn’t stop thinking about making ice cream.  When she came back the second time in 2002, she did it with a bang; now Jeni has 10 shops and distribution across the United States.


Every carton of ice cream is labeled by hand, as it always has been. Her love for complex flavor combinations is apparent in creations like Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry, Chamomile Chardonnay and Star Anise Ice Cream with Candied Fennel Seeds. Things like sweet potatoes — which you would think shouldn’t go near ice cream — come alive in Jeni’s recipes.


When I need an ice cream fix after hours, I have to make my own. With this book geared toward home machines, anyone can have Jeni’s at all times of the day. So next time the summer temperatures are getting you down, get the hottest ice cream secrets on the market in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.


Sweet Corn & Black Raspberry Ice Cream


1 ear sweet corn, husked

2 cups milk

1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch

3 Tbs. cream cheese, softened

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tbs. light corn syrup

Black raspberry sauce (recipe follows)


Slice the kernels from the corn cob, then “milk” the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife to extract the liquid; reserve the kernels and liquid.


Mix about 2 Tbs. of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.


Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.


Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn kernels and liquid and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and force the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, leaving the corn “cases” behind. Return the mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.


Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.


Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.


Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating it with layers of the black raspberry sauce and ending with a spoonful of sauce; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours. Makes a generous 1 quart.


Black Raspberry Sauce

2 cups black raspberries

1 cup sugar


Combine the berries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 220°F, after 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then force through a sieve to remove the seeds. (Or leave a few seeds in there just to prove you made it.) Refrigerate until cold before using. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.


About the author: As a member of the merchandising team for Williams-Sonoma’s retail stores, Michelle travels all over the world to find the best products to bring to WS customers. Michelle is passionate about food and finds herself “collecting” restaurants on her travels. Her favorite pastime, though, is being the mom of twin 3 year-old boys. She loves to find recipes that make the whole family happy – many of which come from her own mom’s arsenal.

2 comments about “What We’re Reading: ‘Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home’

  1. coffee ice cream recipe

    This is a great book. Yeah sweet corn is a great ice cream item. There are tons you can use from peanut butter ice cream to coffee ice cream or even bananas.

    Do you know if this book has diet alternatives?


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