One of our favorite family desserts is ice cream, and we eat it year-round, in all kinds of weather. Although I love experimenting with flavor combinations and do keep my two ice-cream machines busy with "research," sometimes plain old, down-to-earth vanilla is the only flavor that will satisfy.
This version is a Philly-style vanilla; that is, made without eggs. It works up in minutes, and you can eat it plain or add whatever mix-ins your heart desires.
Of course, showcasing a few snowy curls melting atop a mound of buttery Cherry-Walnut Crisp is awfully nice too.
Easy Philly-Style Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a chilled stainless-steel mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until thoroughly combined. Pour vanilla base into ice-cream machine and process according to manufacturer's instructions. When the ice-cream is set, spoon into a freezer-safe container with a lid and let ripen in the freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature (no substitutes)
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling (do not use "lite")
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray the bottom and sides of a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine flours, sugar, oats, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and cut butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chopped walnuts.
Distribute half of the crumb mixture over the bottom of the casserole and lightly pat down to smooth. Spoon the cherry pie filling over this base. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the pie filling.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crumbs turn golden brown and the cherry filling bubbles up around the edges of the crumb topping. Let cool fifteen minutes before serving. Serve warm with homemade Philly-Style Vanilla Ice Cream or whipped cream.
Makes about 8 servings.