If you think this looks like plain ol’ vanilla ice cream: wrong. And if you think this is the second Italian dish I’ve turned on it’s head this week (this is the first one): you’re right. Sorry. This recipe has been in my family for so many years I literally do not remember a summer when I wasn’t eating it. Until I started searching “tutti fruitti” I had no idea this was an Italian ice cream, commonly made with a fruit-flavored base and filled with (mostly) stone fruits, sometimes candied. Oops. This particular recipe is nothing like that. It’s simple, citrus-y and tastes like summertime in a bowl-or on a cone-and thankfully you won’t have to take any time candying fruit to make it. Just some squeezing and mashing.
First things first: this makes 4 quarts, so it’s perfect for summer family gatherings or ice cream socials, or just to keep on hand in the freezer when you hear the ice cream truck music and realize one Choco Taco would set you back four bucks. You will need an ice cream maker to make this. I know no-churn ice cream is popular now but I love the convenience of an ice cream maker. If you want to try the freeze-mash it-freeze-mash it method I won’t stop you. But I have no idea what results you’ll get, plus 4 quarts is a lot to be mashing up. We still have two 4-quart ice cream makers from the days when all three kids were home. It wasn’t unusual in the summertime to have both ice cream makers chugging along at the same time, a different flavor in each, to keep up with the demand. And whoever invented electric ice cream makers has my undying gratitude. My seven-year-old skinny arms were burning by the time that creamy concoction thickened up. Regardless of age, I could never crank all the way to the end. Dad had to strong-arm that metal crank as the ice melted out of that old wooden bucket. You seriously needed that ice cream (and some aspirin) after all that work.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice and orange juice, along with mashed bananas, are the flavor basis for this ice cream. Bananas can take over whatever recipe they’re added to and completely overwhelm it. To make sure all the flavors shine through in this ice cream choose bananas that are not too large, and ripe, but still firm. Don’t use overripe bananas like you use in banana bread. While the citrus juices should be strained (you definitely don’t want lemon seeds in your ice cream), I like to add just a little bit of pulp to the ice cream. It helps keep all the flavors balanced and aids in preventing a banana takeover. If you don’t want to run across any tiny pulp pieces, you can leave it out.
This recipe is egg-free, so it isn’t necessary to cook a base. It also uses part half and half, instead of all cream. Originally the recipe used all half and half, but I think adding a little cream makes it, well, creamier. You can use all half and half if you wish-the texture will be slightly different but it will still taste good.
Although I have no idea where this recipe originated (or who named it), I know it was a Fourth of July staple when I was growing up. We didn’t have a big celebration but we did make homemade ice cream. This recipe and straight-up vanilla, usually served by itself or with a slice of pound cake, and definitely welcome at the end of a hot Kansas summer day.
Refreshing tutti frutti ice cream is so easy to make-invite your friends and family for a few scoops. The ice cream truck doesn’t have anything this good.
Tutti Frutti Ice Cream
- 3 c. sugar
- 2 pints (32 ounces, total) whipping cream
- Juice of 3 lemons (reserve small amount of pulp)
- Juice of 3 oranges (reserve small amount of pulp)
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 2 quarts half & half
- Step 1 In a large bowl, whisk sugar with whipping cream.
- Step 2 Stir in lemon juice and pulp, orange juice and pulp, and mashed bananas.
- Step 3 Pour into a 4 quart ice cream canister with paddle in place.
- Step 4 Pour half and half into canister and stir.
- Step 5 Process according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturing instructions.
- Step 6 Pour into freezer-safe containers and store in freezer.