Ice cream is working overtime this summer.
After a recent week of record heat, sales of frozen treats are on the rise from Las Vegas to New York.
Tipsy Scoop, the New York-based store specializing in alcohol-infused flavors, saw the number of restaurant and event inquiries triple over the past week, when a heat wave hit the city , compared to the previous week. “At our Brooklyn location, people showed up at the door for ice cream more than two hours before it opened,” said Rachel Chitwood, Marketing Director for Tipsy Scoop.
At Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, which has branches on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Greenwich Village, sales have increased by about 30%, according to owner and chef Nick Morgenstern. “We are doing business on a pre-pandemic level. Queues at the door every day,” he said.
Morgenstern’s is known in the ice cream world for its exquisite flavors and careful sourcing of ingredients, with flavors like raw milk, made without eggs, and salted mascarpone hazelnut. There are never less than five different flavors of vanilla and five flavors of chocolate.
In early June, Morgenstern launched a product called Ice Cream Burger. It’s a sweet part of a new savory menu that includes burgers, fries, and pies.
The concept of combining bread and ice cream is not revolutionary. Italians are used to filling buns with ice cream. In Japan, Shibuya Toast is a popular snack consisting of a very thick slice of bread filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with all kinds of sweets. Morgenstern has served a version of this treat called the New God Flow, made from Japanese milk bread caramelized with honey and topped with raw milk ice cream since he opened his first store in 2014.
“The bread is smart because it absorbs the ice cream as it melts,” explains Morgenstern.
This is one of the reasons his dessert burger is so well suited to this hot summer.
Morgenstern makes his own buns, but says any soft ones work great. He maintains that even Wonder Bread will do the job, folded into a taco-style snack.
Making ice cream burgers is almost too easy. First of all, the buns are lightly buttered and quickly toasted. (You can use a grill that’s already on to cook more conventional burgers, but make sure it’s clean and not covered in leftover meat, seafood, or grilled vegetables.) ice cream is poured inside the bread. That’s it. It’s delicious, super fun, and a guaranteed relaxing experience. Any additional toppings – pieces of fruit like a “preservative” or chocolate, caramel, or berry sauce that might look like barbecue sauce or ketchup – are up to you.
Ice cream flavors are also at the discretion of the cook, but I would recommend a couple of different contrasting flavors, both for taste and for aesthetic purposes. The fruity flavors are particularly excellent in a summer way. I went with the peach, in addition to the chocolate and vanilla. Next time I do, I could replace the chocolate with a caramel ribbon flavor. Morgenstern says that a sorbet or milk-based sorbet will make it even more refreshing.
And it helps the caramelized bun to be still slightly warm when you add the ice cream, so that it starts to soften in the bread, the way the best ice cream sandwiches come together in a bite that melts. in the mouth in progressive creamy waves of texture.
Have plenty of towels on hand. If you do it right, it’s not a tidy dish.
Ice Cream Burgers
4 soft hamburger buns, halved
About 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 or 3 different flavors of ice cream
Heat a frying pan. Spread the cut sides of the buns with the softened butter. Grill them in the pan over medium heat for about 1 minute, until lightly browned and crispy. Fill each still warm bun with scoops of contrasting flavors of ice cream and eat immediately.