July 11, 2014

Ice Cream Innovators

We’re stepping way beyond plain vanilla this month. Come with us down the Rocky Road to the Salted Caramel and on into the Wildberry Lavender. We’ll stop in on Fentons’ 120th anniversary celebration, Berkeley’s new Bootleg Creamery, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (a cookbook) before taking a turn toward cheesemaking (dairy and not) at Ruby Blume’s book release party. And, we’ve got a scoop for food crafters: a call for entries to win a Good Food Award.

Photo courtesy of Fenton's

Photo courtesy of Fenton’s

Party Time at Fentons!

Sunday, July 20, noon–3pm
Fentons Ice Cream Social Celebration
4226 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland



Fentons Creamery celebrates 120 years of dishing up scrumptious ice cream and sundaes! Join in on National Ice Cream Day, Sunday July 20, for free scoops of signature flavors and a special price on Fentons’ signature Black & Tan Junior Sundaes. Enjoy a barbecue on the patio, crafts projects, and visits from 4-H animals like Myrtle the Cow.

Founded in 1894 by Elbridge Seth Fenton, Fentons is the oldest continuously operating creamery west of the Mississippi. It’s the birthplace of Toasted Almond, Swiss Milk Chocolate, and Rocky Road ice creams, all invented by Melvin Fenton, grandson of E.S. Fenton. Fentons sells over a ton of ice cream each day, all made on the premises

Info: here or 510.658.7000

Photos courtesy of Fentons


A Visit to Bootleg Creamery

By Charlotte Peale

Ice cream is one of my favorite after-school snacks, so I was excited when Mother asked if I’d like to visit Bootleg Creamery, a maker of “artisanal and avant-garde” ice cream, located inside Kitchen on 10th, a commercial kitchen in West Berkeley. Unlike scoop shops, which offer immediate satisfaction with a cone or a sundae, Bootleg Creamery operates using an online ordering system through which you can order one or many of the creamery’s unique weekly flavors. Your ice cream can be delivered straight to your door or picked up from the kitchen one to three days after you order.

jessicarollinsonInside the packed kitchen space, shared with local businesses including Indie Cakes and Pastries and Ippo Ramen, we met the owner and “churner-in-chief” Jessica Rollinson, who cheerfully greeted us as she juggled pints of her mostly organic and egg-free Philadelphia-style ice cream. As she dug around in the giant walk-in freezer for pints of German Chocolate Cake and Sweet Corn & Black Raspberry, Rollinson mentioned that Salted Caramel is her most popular flavor. Given her array of specialty ice creams made from Humboldt Dairy milk and cream with add-ins like Tcho chocolate, Blossom Bluff Orchard peaches, and macerated Cap’n Crunch, I’m not sure how there could be one “most popular flavor.” We spotted a copy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home on a shelf, “Inspiration!” according to Rollinson, for many of her creative confections.

ice-cream-pint(3)Rollinson was excited to tell us about various catering events that she serves. Armed with what she described as a “cute vintage ice cream cart,” Rollinson caters parties and business events, serving by-the-scoop ice cream in cups or cones to lucky attendees. (Student council leaders, are you taking notes?) The Bootleg Creamery cart has also appeared at a number of popups with other local establishments such as Pizzaiolo and Inna Jam. Rollinson hinted that there may be another popup on the horizon, but if you can’t wait, head to the pint shop online and you are sure to be rewarded with spoonfuls of delectable goodness. Rollinson told us happily, “This is the best job I’ve ever had.” We can see why.

Pictured top left: Jessica Rollinson is “churner in chief” at Bootleg Creamery. Middle left: Blueberry Muffin ice cream: a browned butter, vanilla, and lemon zest base, plus a fresh blueberry compote and crunchy pieces of cinnamon streusel. Below: A treat for the 4th of July: star-spangled vanilla ice cream exploding with alternating ribbons of strawberry and blueberry compote plus flaky pie crust pieces.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Rollinson


Book Release Party:
Everyday Cheesemaking

Thursday July 24, 7–9pm
Ecology Center, 2350 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley **[Please note this address was printed incorrectly in the summer issue of Edible East Bay.]

Come celebrate cheesemaking and the release of Everyday Cheesemaking: How to Succeed Making Dairy & Nut Cheese at Home. Author Ruby Blume is founder of Oakland’s Institute of Urban Homesteading. The event features a 7pm goat-milking demo on the sidewalk followed by a cheesemaking demo, storytelling by the author, Q&A, and homemade cheese tasting. A sampling of Ruby’s cheeses will be available, as well as some cheese from local homesteading friends. All are invited to bring homemade dairy and vegan cheeses for a community taste-off. Materials for labeling your cheese will be available. Event is free, tasting donations accepted. Info: here

Nut Cheese Basics from Ruby Blume

Whether you are vegan or paleo, raw nut cheeses are a fabulous protein and lipid-dense alternative. As compared to their dairy cousins, raw nut cheeses are super easy! They are best made with a high-speed blender such as a Blendtec or Vitamix. Simply soak a cup or two of raw nuts, drain, and slip off the skins if using almond or filberts (cashews do not require this step). Blend with Rejuvelac or any other probiotic plus a little water until creamy. Put into a covered bowl and allow it to rest at room temperature for 24–48 hours. Once this culture tastes tangy, mix in a little lemon juice and salt to bring out the flavor. You can add in a tablespoon of miso or nutritional yeast to deepen the cheesiness. Enjoy!

Call for Entries:
The Good Food Awards

Good-Foods-logoThe Good Food Awards is the first and only national initiative honoring producers across the country for taste, sustainability, and social responsibility. Entries are being accepted July 7–August 1. Food and drink producers from across the country are invited to submit their beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves, oils, spirits and—new this year—honey.  In celebration of its fifth anniversary and to recognize even more exceptional food crafters, the Good Food Awards is expanding existing categories to include cider, kombucha, yogurt and kefir, preserved fish, and cocktail modifiers.

Book Review

Make Your Own Ice Creams and Desserts Using the East Bay’s Bountiful Summer Harvest!

Review by Kristina Sepetys

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts 
by Jeni Britton Bauer
(Artisan, 2014)
I’ve just returned from Nashville, and one of the many wonderful things I enjoyed was ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid. Author and proprietress Jeni Britton Bauer spins flavors like Askinosie Dark Milk Chocolate, Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Wildberry Lavender, and Yazoo Sue with Rosemary Bar Nuts from whole, seasonal fruits, herbs, and nuts. Bauer began making ice cream in 1996 and now has shops throughout the Midwest and a thriving mail-order business. You can find her cold treats locally at the Pasta Shop, Andronico’s, Berkeley Bowl, and Safeway. Or grab one of her books and concoct her sweet treats yourself. Her latest, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, follows her James Beard Award-winning Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and includes flavors like Chamomile Chardonnay and Sweet Basil with Honeyed Pine Nuts, as well as cakes, tarts, biscuits, and other toothsome treats to pair with her ice creams. Try sundae combinations with sauces like Whiskey Caramel or Honey Spiked with Chilies. Her signature crunchy “gravels” (crumbly sundae toppings), like Salty Graham Gravel, are a wonderful finishing touch. And in case ice-cream making seems too ambitious, store-bought ice cream can be used for all the desserts in the book.


Plum Sake Sorbet

Excerpted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014.
Photographs by Kelsey McClellan. Used by permission of Artisan Books

87_Plum-Sake-SorbetMakes about 1 quart

2 pounds ripe black plums (approximately 7), pitted but unpeeled
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 cup plum sake

Purée the plums in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Whisk the hot sugar syrup into the puréed plums.

Place the plum mixture in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours. Strain the plum mixture through a sieve set over a bowl, then add the sake and lemon juice.

Remove the frozen canister from the freezer, assemble your ice cream machine, and turn it on. Pour the sorbet base into the canister and spin just until it is the consistency of very softly whipped cream. Pack the sorbet into a storage container. 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.