Omakassette: Big Gay Ice Cream's Jams to Cool Off With & Bea Arthur Ice Cream Recipe


It's hot and sticky out, but fortunately, our friends at Big Gay Ice Cream have blessed us with a new Omakassette of Jams to Cool Off With and a recipe for their famous Bea Arthur Ice Cream! It doesn't get much more badass than Bea Arthur and some some icy summer tunes.

RECIPE FOR BEA ARTHUR ICE CREAM (CHUNKY STYLE) From Big Gay Ice Cream, by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint (Clarkson Potter, 2015)

beaarthurv1Photo by Donny Tsang

Beloved Ms. Arthur: as you gaze down upon us from that lanai in the sky with a stiff drink in your hand, we ask that you please forgive us for using your name and the descriptive term “chunky” in the same recipe. By no means are we making a reference to your figure. It’s just that this ice cream flavor is based on your soft-serve namesake, and it’s well, chunky.

Also, please don’t take it personally when Doug finally gets around to commissioning that mural he wants with your head on a minotaur’s body. Thanks in advance, Bryan (& Doug).

  • 1/2 cup Nilla wafer cookies, broken up into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup Dulce de Leche (see below)
  • 1 Quart Vanilla Ice Cream (see below)

Place the Nilla wafer pieces in the freezer for 1 hour. Place a 9-inch round cake pan or large bowl in the freezer to chill.

Smear the dulce de leche over the bottom of the cake pan. Add the ice cream to the pan, then add the cookies and use a spatula to gently fold all the ingredients together, working fast so the ice cream doesn’t melt. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight, to harden. The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 5 days.

DULCE DE LECHE (Makes 3 Cups) When asked by customers what dulce de leche is, we usually describe it as “caramel’s milk-based cousin.” Sweetened milk and a little vanilla are cooked at a very low temperature until the sugars caramelize and it has reduced to one-quarter (or less) of the starting volume.

The “long way” to make DDL (as it’s known around our stores) will take you upward of five hours. There’s a shortcut in which you boil a can of sweetened condensed milk, but that method turns us off for two reasons: you can’t control the taste, and you risk an exploding can of scalding milk. Here’s our compromise: we still start with sweetened condensed milk, but cook it opened (not in the can) in a double boiler so we can tweak the taste if necessary.

  • Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk (whole, low-fat, or nonfat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring it to a simmer. Empty the cans of condensed milk into the double boiler insert and heat for 1 minute. Then whisk in the salt, baking soda, and vanilla, partially cover, and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 hours or so. Don’t forget to check your water level –refill as necessary to keep it from boiling away. After about 2 hours, you should have a nice thick sauce that is ready to serve.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Reheat before using if you want a warm, saucy consistency or use it cold as a thick spread.

VANILLA ICE CREAM (Makes 1 Quart) Oh, vanilla ice cream. You’re a tough one, because so many people are used to tasting way too much vanilla in you! With awesome dairy and sugar as the backbone of your homemade ice cream, you’ll want only a slight touch of vanilla. For this recipe, we use high-quality vanilla extract (such as Nielsen-Massey) because it’s both cheaper and quicker than using vanilla beans. Try swapping in different brands for subsequent batches, or mix and match and blend your own custom extract. It’s okay with us if you never make this recipe the same way twice.

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (no fake stuff!)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Whisk the egg yolks in a large nonreactive saucepan; set aside. Warm the milk and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often to keep the mixture from scorching, for about 5 minutes, until it has begun to steam. Add the mixture to the yolks in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously.

Set the saucepan over medium heat, add the vanilla, sugar, and salt, and stir for about 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, stirring continuously, for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken; do not allow to boil. Transfer the pan to an ice bath to stop the cooking and stir until the steaming stops.

Transfer the mixture to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When it is finished, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours to harden. The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 5 days.

Mind of a Chef