In all the months I’ve been writing about recipes inspired by musicals (check here if you’ve missed any), it’s hard to believe I haven’t written about The Music Man. It features one of the most spirited songs ever written for a musical – “Seventy-Six Trombones” – not to mention one of the all-time classics, “Trouble (in River City)”. Also, one of the most persistent ear worms. Don’t listen to “Gary, Indiana” unless you’re prepared to hum it for the rest of your life.
As much as I adored the movie (featuring the wonderful Shirley Jones as Marian and little Ron Howard as Winthrop), I enjoyed the live version even more. We took my mom to Stratford, Ontario to watch it about five years ago. The energy was contagious, the singing was dynamic, and I left the theatre remembering once again why I love musicals so much.
The plot is simple. Harold Hill has come to River City, Iowa intending to sell musical instruments to the residents, and swindle them out of their money. But his plan hits a snag when he falls in love with Marian, the beautiful but aloof librarian, who is the only one in town who sees through his ruse. (And for whom is written the only love song I know that references carrion.) The show ends with an ice cream social, where Hill is exposed as a fraud, but is ultimately forgiven when it turns out he’s taught the band to play after all.
Don’t you wish we lived in a time where every small town still had an ice cream social? It sounds like a great way to meet and socialize with your neighbours. Put together a barbershop quartet to entertain them, like they did in River City, and you’d have the most popular event of the summer.
I’ve made this ice cream dish a few times for my family, and served it most recently at Easter. It was unanimous – everyone loved this amazing combination of lemon and ginger. And if you’re concerned about the calories, you could always replace the vanilla ice cream with vanilla frozen yogurt – and host the first-ever frozen yogurt social!
Lemon-Ginger Ice Cream Dessert
(adapted from Sugar Hero)
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs (crushed from ginger cookies)
4 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
For the filling:
1/2 quart softened vanilla ice cream
4 ounces (1/2 cup) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Additional whipped cream, lemon zest, lemon slices and ginger cookies to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper.
To prepare the crust, melt the butter then mix together with the gingersnap crumbs, sugar and ginger. Press into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
To make the filling, make sure that the vanilla ice cream is soft but not melted. You should be able to stir it, but it shouldn’t be soupy. Whip the heavy cream to firm peaks, then stir together the soft ice cream, the thawed lemonade concentrate, and the whipped cream.
Pour the lemon-vanilla ice cream mixture onto the cooled base. Refreeze the dessert for at least another 2 hours, until the filling is frozen solid.
Remove dessert from the freezer ten minutes before serving, to give it time to soften slightly. Garnish with lemon slices, lemon zest, ginger cookies and whipped cream, as desired.