After so many years of hosting a trivia game, I enjoy coming across a fascinating bit of trivia I never heard before.  A listener and frequent caller sparked my interest with a brief comment:

Wait, Thomas Jefferson developed an ice cream recipe?

I did as Nancy suggested and looked it up.  According to, Jefferson did not introduce ice cream to the Colonies; it was available as early as 1744. During his time in France from 1784-89, he enjoyed ice cream and brought back equipment to make it.

Jefferson's credit as an American is for writing down the country's first recipe.  The Library of Congress has the original document.

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This vanilla ice cream requires only five ingredients, but you will need a double-boiler and a fine mesh sieve, along with standard kitchen tools.  An ice-cream maker machine may be a good idea too.

Let's Make Ice Cream!

The ingredients are:

6 eggs yolks

1 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 quart heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

You will also need ice and rock salt.

Credit: flyingv43, Getty Images, TSM Media Center

The steps:

Whip up the egg yolks until pale and thick.

Add the pinch of salt and gradually mix in the sugar.  Set aside for the moment.

Pour the quart of cream into a large saucepan and heat it up to a boil.  Be careful it doesn't boil over.

Slowly pour the egg mixture in with the cream and stir together.

Now you need the double-boiler.  Pour the mixture from the saucepan into the top pan of the boiler and cook it until it has thickened.  Remove from heat.

Next you need the fine-mesh sieve and a bowl.  Slowly pour the mixture through the sieve into the bowl.  Let cool, then add the vanilla.

Freeze the mixture in three parts ice and one part salt, or just use an ice-cream maker following the instructions.  Place the ice cream in a container and freeze for hours until serving.

With this technique, you can include fruit or other flavors to make a variety of ice creams.

This is definitely a rich dessert.  But it's summer and July.  Who cares about calories and a diet anyway, right?

And in case you are lazy about this, like I am, see below...

Love Ice Cream? These Are Montana's Best Ice Cream Shops

Craving a sweet frozen treat to cool off this summer? Here are a few of Montana's best ice cream shops.

Gallery Credit: Jesse James

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