Tasting: Jeni’s Ice Creams’ Limited Edition Hot Summer Spins Collection

Food Lists Jeni’s Ice Creams
Tasting: Jeni’s Ice Creams’ Limited Edition Hot Summer Spins Collection

The best part of the seasons changing is the ushering in of new desserts. On the first cool day of fall, it seems like every bakery is suddenly featuring some sort of pumpkin-infused scone or muffin. Once winter arrives, rich, chocolatey flavors predominate. In the spring, berry-topped tarts start making an appearance, their glossy glazes reflecting the suddenly stronger sun.

But upon summer’s arrival, the idea of turning the oven on to bake a cake or a pan of brownies sounds ridiculous; chocolate melts in un-air-conditioned kitchens; anything too rich threatens hours of heat-induced nausea. This is ice cream’s moment in the limelight. To celebrate the summer, Jeni’s Ice Creams has rolled out a new line of summer flavors—and they’re incredible.

The collection, called Hot Summer Spins, plays with the idea of summertime nostalgia. The five-pint collection captures the flavors of some of your favorite ice cream-based summer memories in creative and unexpected ways. These flavors are at once sophisticated and geared towards adults but also reminiscent of childhood flavors. I tasted through the collection so you have some idea of what to expect when you try it for yourself. You can find these flavors in shops starting on June 6 for a limited time while supplies last, or you can snag them online now.

Sparkling Cherry Pie

I personally think that the Sparkling Cherry Pie flavor from Jeni’s Ice Creams is the most creative and unexpected of the bunch. The ice cream base is a combination of sour cherry and tingling Sichuan peppercorn flavors—a flavor combo I’ve never tried before. I knew this was going to be a wild bite, and I was right: The slight spiciness from the Sichuan peppercorns combined with the tartness of the sour cherry actually does yield sort of a sparkling quality in the mouth. 

The shortbread crust adds a nice textural element to the ice cream and gives it a more substantial flavor and mouthfeel—this definitely isn’t a sorbet. It’s light, refreshing, totally creative and perfect for pairing with a slice of cherry pie or eating on its own straight out of the freezer.

Snow Cone Sorbet

Snow cones were never my favorite summertime treat flavor-wise, but I did love the way they looked, their jewel-toned hues offering a cheery, artificial brightness to a hot afternoon, rushing to consume them before they turned into colorful puddles.

With its mix of blue brambleberry, watermelon and pink lemonade sorbets, the Snow Cone Sorbet is sweeter than I would prefer but perfectly captures the essence of a colorful snow cone. Some sorbets can be too icy, but that’s not a problem here; the texture is smooth and juicy, even after accidentally leaving it out of the freezer for too long on a hot day (guilty).

Burnt Orange Dreamsicle

This Burnt Orange Dreamsicle ice cream somehow tastes exactly like I remember dreamsicles tasting in my childhood but also undeniably upgraded, with its ribbon of burnt orange caramel snaking its way through the pint. It’s ultra rich and creamy, but it still doesn’t feel too decadent for a hot day—basically, everything you love about a classic dreamsicle. The orange flavor is quite refreshing, and although it’s sweet (I mean, it’s literally ice cream), the sweetness isn’t quite as intense as a typical dreamsicle, which means that it’s entirely possible to finish half the pint in half an hour (again, guilty).

Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies

This Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies ice cream has no business being as good as it is. The milk chocolate and tahini ice creams are enhanced by oat cookie crumbles that add an unusual amount of texture to this pint. The result is a salty-sweet ice cream that really, really does taste like a cookie, the idea being that you probably don’t want to turn on your oven to make a fresh batch of cookies when temperatures are soaring. Instead, this ice cream satisfies those baked-good cravings without you actually having to bake anything in your sweltering kitchen.

Double Dough

At first taste, I found the Double Dough to be exceptionally rich—perhaps even too rich to be included in a summer ice cream collection. But by the second bite, I was convinced: Double Dough is one of Jeni’s Ice Creams’ most delicious flavors.

The buttery brown sugar custard that forms the base of the ice cream is ridiculously creamy, whether it’s frozen solid or melted into a pool of sweet nectar. It’s mixed with cookie dough ice cream ice cream, which, if you ask me, is one of the most elite ice cream flavors of all time. Together, it’s a combination that’s rich and sweet, yes, but also feels so texturally light that it’s easy to enjoy even on the hottest days of the year.

Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.

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