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Video: Gail Simmons’ sweets and salty ice cream sundaes

TODAY recipes
updated 4/30/2013 7:53:06 AM ET 2013-04-30T11:53:06

Recipe: Bourbon-nectarine ice cream sundaes with pound-cake croutons

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces all-butter pound cake, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 firm, ripe yellow nectarines, cut into thin wedges**
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the pound cake and toss to coat. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until toasted.

2. Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the nectarines and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the nectarines are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir to melt. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the bourbon and lemon juice. Tilt the pan slightly and carefully ignite the alcohol. Cook over moderate heat until the nectarines are softened and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

3. Scoop the ice cream into bowls and spoon the nectarines and sauce on top. Garnish with the croutons and serve right away.

Serving Size

4 servings

Recipe: Salty dog

  • 1 pint chocolate-chili ice cream
  • 1 cup Salted Caramel (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup regular salted potato chips, lightly crushed, plus a few whole chips for garnish
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed
  • Salted caramel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Divide and assemble in order of the ingredients.

Salted caramel
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together the sugar and water until moistened. Heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil, then stop stirring. Allow to boil vigorously until the liquid turns a deep amber color (be careful as caramel can change from amber to burnt very quickly). Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the cream and salt. Stir the mixture constantly until very smooth, scraping the bottom to ensure there are no lumps. If needed, return the pan to the heat briefly to help smooth it out. Add the butter and vanilla and stir to dissolve completely. Allow to cool for a few minutes before using.

Serving Size

4 servings; Salted caramel makes 1 cup

Recipe: Tropical storm

  • 1 pint lime sorbet (coconut or mango sorbet if lime is not available)
  • 1 cup Sautéed Pineapple with Ginger and Mint (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (just a pinch per sundae)
  • Sauteed pineapple with ginger and mint
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1 slice peeled fresh ginger root, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chiffonode of fresh mint

Divide and assemble in order of the ingredients.

Sauteed pineapple with ginger and mint: In a medium saucepan heat the brown sugar and water until dissolved. Add the pineapple and ginger and cook until simmering.  Lower the heat and sauté gently for about 10 minutes until the pineapple is tender. Strain any remaining liquid into a measuring cup, reserve the fruit, and allow to cool.  Toss with fresh mint.  Use cooled liquid to drizzle over sundae, if desired.

Serving Size

4 servings; Sauteed pineapple with ginger and mint makes 1 cup

Recipe: Sundae morning

  • 2 bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint (1 scoop per sundae) banana ice cream
  • 1 pint (1 scoop per sundae) butter pecan ice cream
  • 1/2 cup crispy, crumbled bacon bits
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup crushed cereal

Divide and assemble in order listed.  

Serving Size

4 servings

Recipe: Apple pie sundaes with cheddar crust shards

  • Cheddar shards
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • Sundae
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 large apples, such as Pink Lady or Granny Smith—cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pints vanilla frozen yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, combine the flour with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Coarsely grate the cold butter into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and pulse twice. Add the cold water and cider vinegar and pulse just until the dough is evenly moistened. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until it just comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until chilled.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 9-inch square and transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden. Let cool.

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the apples and toss to coat. Add the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and season lightly with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and translucent, about 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Transfer half of the apples to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Scrape the puree into a bowl and freeze until it is cold, about 30 minutes.

Soften the frozen yogurt slightly and transfer it to a large bowl. Fold in the cold apple puree and freeze until the frozen yogurt is firm, about 30 minutes.

Scoop the frozen yogurt into 8 bowls and top with the sautéed apples. Break the cheddar crust into large shards and serve with the sundaes.


Make ahead: The yogurt can be frozen for up to 3 days. The sautéed apples can be refrigerated for 3 days; bring to room temperature before assembling. The cheddar crust can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Recrisp in a warm oven.

Serving Size

8 servings

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