The summer harvest is in, which means Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries and Backyard Mint ice creams are back on our menu. Sample them in our scoop shops, or find pints online and at a grocery store near you.
The flavors and aromas of summer corn, berries, and mint are translated perfectly in both of these ice creams. The main ingredients come to us by way of farmers who work the land near our kitchen: Hirsch Fruit Farm (black raspberries), Rhoads Farm (sweet corn and black raspberries), and Jorgensen Farms (peppermint).
Here’s a bi-colored ear on the stalk, ripe and ready to become part of a batch of Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries ice cream. To grow the nearly 5,000 pounds of corn we use in Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries, Hirsch Fruit Farm subcontracted fields from their longtime friends at Rhoads Farm near Circleville, which is where the photo above was taken. (This year, because the nasty Ohio winter waylaid their black raspberry bushes, Hirsch worked with Rhoads to make sure we had enough black raspberries.)
Rhoads’ sandy soil in Pickaway County drains faster than Hirsch’s clay-laden Ross County soil. This means the first of several corn plantings can happen earlier in the spring and harvested earlier in the summer. Early corn plantings also mean that you can stagger more corn plantings through the summer, ensuring fresh sweet corn to supply farm markets—and Jeni’s.
Once harvested, the sweet corn eventually makes its way to our kitchen, where we thoroughly blend it with cream:
Once the mixture is ready, it’s time to prep the black raspberry sauce. The sauce begins at Hirsch Fruit Farm, where the bulk of the berries are grown.
Once picked, the berries head our way, are cooked down and then transformed into a regal, deep-purple jam.
Once the jam is made, we fold it into the super-creamy sweet corn ice cream until it’s all properly marbled.
As for Backyard Mint, it begins with peppermint grown for us by Val Jorgensen on her a 65-acre organic certified farm just outside Columbus. Val has been working with Jeni since the early days when Jeni decided she wanted to make a fresh mint ice cream. Early on, Val grew a small patch of peppermint along the edge of her farmhouse. These days, her mint beds occupy a sizable tract of her fields. We’ll be using 522 pounds of peppermint during Backyard Mint’s run this year.
Chopping the mint releases the its oil, which is exactly what you want to do if you’re cold-soaking peppermint in cream overnight to make Backyard Mint ice cream.
The all-important cold soak, followed by straining. Only a hardcore mint maniac would like a mint ice cream that contains leaves and stems.
Once strained, the ice cream goes into the freezer to lock in the subtly sweet, super cool, and wholly refreshing summer flavor that is Backyard Mint ice cream. Try it while you can. It —Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries—will be with us for a limited time.