When in doubt, serve ice cream for dessert. Better yet, serve turtle sundaes. Warm fudge sauce, warm caramel sauce, salted pecans over ice cream? Dreamy stuff, my friends.
The origins of my deep affection for the turtle sundae dates back to freshman year at Marquette University, circa 1985, when I was introduced to Milwaukee’s hometown treasure: Kopps Frozen Custard (cue skies opening and choirs of angels singing… and the tragic realization that my jeans would never quite fit again). Hey, even their website says: “Welcome to Burger and Custard Heaven.” Really.
The moment I entered with my new-found freshmen pals, any doubt about my college choice evaporated. I had found my home. (I’ve always been rather food-motived).
If you haven’t had the honor of visiting this Milwaukee institution, let me fill you in. This custard stand is a simple operation – they turn out fries, rings, custard, and magnificent jumbo-sized burgers (affectionately known as “butter burgers” for the pat of butter popped on the buns as they are placed on top of the warm patties… so rivulets of butter tend to ooze down your fingers as you bite).
And oh the custard… Each day, they churn out chocolate, vanilla, and the flavor of the day. My freshman gal-pals and I learned to keep a “flavor of the day” calendar posted in our rooms, so that we wouldn’t miss the best flavors: cookies and cream, mint chip, and banana cream pie. Nowadays, Kopp’s provides a flavor alert app for today’s food-motivated Marquette freshman.
Usually, we’d simply pick up a cup of the custard, but if we were in the mood to celebrate (just about anything would do) we’d indulge in the turtle sundae. Vanilla custard with chocolate, caramel, and salted pecans… heaven in a plastic cup.
I updated the Kopp’s version to serve at a dinner party last week. Really, many ice creams can be used… good quality vanilla or coffee would work beautifully. But I’ve been obsessed with the possibilities of my new-found no-churn wonder recipe. The bourbon and brown sugar version has been a huge hit… I thought I’d try a whiskey and maple combination. (A warning though: this would not be a version to serve to underage guests… it’s quite boozy!)
It was heavenly indeed… Our friends were certainly happy. I suspect my friends at Kopp’s would be proud.
Perhaps I should suggest it as a new flavor-of-the-day?
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons whiskey
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ to 1 cup chocolate fudge sauce (I like Trader Joe’s Fudge Sauce)
- ½ to 1 cup salted caramel sauce, or butterscotch sauce (Again, Trader Joe’s Fleur De Sel Caramel sauce is grand, though if you’d like to splurge a bit, order a jar of Fat Toad Farm’s Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce. It’s amazing.)
- 1 cup roasted, salted pecans
- In the bowl of a standing mixer whisk the whipping cream on high-speed until soft peaks form. Add the sweetened condensed milk, whiskey and maple syrup, and whisk on high-speed for another minute or two until stiffer peaks form.
- Pour the mixture into a glass loaf pan, cover it with saran wrap and pop it in the freezer for at least six hours, or overnight.
- To assemble the sundaes: Place one generous scoop of ice cream in each of the four bowls or glasses. Pour a few spoonfuls of warmed fudge sauce over each one. Top with another generous scoop of ice cream, then pour a few spoonfuls of warm caramel sauce on top. Finally, scatter the salted pecans over the top of the creation, and serve quickly, so the whole creation doesn’t melt!