When you think about Portland’s artisan ice cream scene, chances are Salt & Straw is one of the first places to come to mind. And for good reason – their deliciously crazy concoctions draw crowds from around the world. Here, Salt & Straw’s head ice cream maker Tyler Malek gives some suggestions for toppings that will help you bring the magic of Salt & Straw home.
Candied Apples: Make a syrup using about ½ c water + ½ c apple juice + 1Tbsp Lemon Juice + ½ c sugar; slice apples thin and uniform and store in the syrup overnight. These make the perfect topping for a good vanilla ice cream. To really pump it up, crumble some Ritz crackers & cinnamon on top. As an adult bonus: the leftover juice makes the perfect syrup to combine with a bit of brandy and bourbon.
Candied Hazelnuts & Honey: Make a simple syrup of ¾ c sugar + ½ cup hot water. Toss chopped hazelnuts in the syrup and then dry them in the oven at about 350F. Once the nuts have dried, candied, and cooled, use as a topping for ice cream combined with a drizzle of fresh honey.
Pear & Blue Cheese: Chop a fresh pear into ¼” cubes and store them in a syrup (of 1 part water + 1 part sugar) overnight in the refrigerator. Sprinkle the pears and a pinch of crumbled blue cheese on top of the ice cream. Tyler’s recommendation: Rogue Creamery’s Crater Lake Blue Cheese.
- Graham Cracker Crunch: Toss graham cracker pieces with melted butter, sugar and a little salt (maybe some cinnamon, too…). Bake until crunchy. Put a spoonful of this delicious treat with a handful of fresh berries on top of ice cream for the perfect summer treat!
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