Wild Ice Cream in Winter

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Who said dessert couldn’t be good for you? This winter, enjoy an Ice Cream or Sorbet made of native, local ingredients.  Peggy and Bob Wright of Treats, a creative ice cream shop in Nevada City, CA, is serving Yerba Santa Ice Cream (vegan), California Bay Ice Cream and Douglas Fir Sorbet (vegan).

If you can’t make it to Treats, here are the recipes to do it yourself:

Yerba Santa Ice Cream

Yerba Santa Ice Cream


¼ cup non-dairy milk (almond, soy or hemp milk)
1 cup fresh Yerba Santa leaves (or ½ – ¾ cup dried)
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
½ cup agave or granulated sugar
1 tbsp vodka
– Heat non-dairy milk until just before it boils.
– Turn off heat, add Yerba Santa leaves and steep for
30 minutes.
– Strain out leaves and add in coconut milk, agave
and vodka.
– Cover and chill for 3 hours.
– Freeze in ice cream maker according to
manufacturer’s directions.
– Makes 1 quart.
NOTE Add more or less leaves to vary the strength of the
taste and medicinal properties.

Bay Leaf Ice Cream, Doug Fir Sorbet, Oak Nut Marzipan

Bay Leaf Ice Cream, Doug Fir Sorbet, Oak Nut Marzipan

1½ cups organic heavy cream
1 cup organic whole milk
7 large fresh, native California Bay leaves
3 egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 tsp organic cornstarch
1+ pinch of nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla extract
– Using the back of a spoon, lightly scrape the top and
bottom of each California Bay leaf, on both sides of
the leaf. Repeat twice. NOTE This allows more flavor
to infuse the milk and cream.
– Warm the milk, cream, salt and California Bay leaves
in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally
until the steam begins to rise. Continue warming for
about two minutes while stirring thoroughly.
– Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 25 minutes
then strain through a mesh strainer and discard the
spent leaves.
– Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in
a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the infused milk.
– Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat,
stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the
custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon
(approximately 85  degrees). Do not boil.
– Immediately pour the custard back into the mixing
bowl and cool quickly by placing the bowl in the
refrigerator or an ice bath (a large bowl of ice and
water into which the mixing bowl can sit and cool),
for approximately15 minutes.
– Whisk in the vanilla and nutmeg. Cover the bowl and
refrigerate at least 3 hours to overnight.


3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 quart fresh or frozen Douglas-Fir tips plus a few extra to
use as garnish
– Bring water and sugar to a boil, stir, and turn off heat.
– Add Fir tips and steep covered for 30 minutes.
– Keep liquid and use a fine mesh strainer to
remove tips.
– Chill overnight in refrigerator.
– Freeze in ice cream maker according to
manufacturer’s directions.
– Garnish sorbet with extra Fir tips and serve.

Check out the blog by the Outside Inn with more wild ice cream photos.