Root beer float ice cream. Genius, no? It has that root beer float flavor, but can top a cone and is always ready in the freezer. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I actually first had Root Beer Float ice cream from Rori’s Artisnal Creamery, a wonderful organic ice cream company in Santa Barbara. I tried to recreate the flavor at home and it was a lot of fun for both the cook and the taste testers. Do you make ice cream at home? The weather in Southern California has been up and down, but last week it got into the 90s here. That kind of heat just begs for homemade ice cream and trips to the pool. If ice cream is one of those things you just buy at the grocery store, I would encourage you to try making it at home. It does take some time with cooking, cooling, and freezing, but is worth the effort. Another plus to making homemade ice cream is that you can flavor it however you fancy. Extra girl scout cookies? Smash ’em up and toss ’em in vanilla base! Loads of oranges on your tree? Why not make an orange sorbet? Try this quick and easy 3 ingredient, no-cook blood orange sorbet recipe.
Root Beer Float Gelato
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 12 oz root beer 
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F *YM note: I never use a thermometer, don’t worry if you don’t have one. 
Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F. Do not bring to a boil.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. To cool the custard quickly, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl with the custard in it; stir the custard until cooled. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. When almost done, slowly pour in root beer. Stir to combine and transfer to a freezer container.
adapted from plain base recipe from this book:
The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto: Bold, Fresh Flavors to Make at Home