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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Hidden among the sexier-sounding flavors in Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, you'll find this demure buttermilk ice cream. You'll probably skip over it on the way to salted caramel indulgences and playful almond fudge ripples. But you should come back, really, because buttermilk ice cream is just plain smart. It's bright and twangy, and as you start making pies and cobblers with every fruit that comes your way, it's the ice cream that you want plopped on top.

Why I Picked This Recipe: There's a time for ultra-rich, intensely flavored ice creams, but there's also a time for something lighter. This recipe is all about emphasizing the lactic brightness of dairy, which makes it a great foil for other dessert components like cooked fruit and heavy cakes.

What Worked: It really does taste like buttermilk, and not in a creepy biscuit sort of way. The flavor is mild and tempered by vanilla (the recipe is in the vanilla ice cream section of the book).

What Didn't: Buttermilk is only 1 to 2% fat, and this recipe calls for a good amount of it. The resulting product turned out icier for me than the standard perfectly smooth Bi-Rite base. The texture is still nice, but not as rich as Bi-Rite's other ice creams.

Suggested Tweaks: Sometimes ice creams have to incorporate more water and less fat, and they'll just be icier. You could cut all the milk out of this recipe and replace it with straight cream, but that might dull the taste of the buttermilk. Your best bet is just to let the ice cream sit out a bit longer before you scoop. A warmer ice cream won't be as icy.

Get the Recipe

Bi-Rite Creamery's Buttermilk Ice Cream »

Win a Copy!

Thanks to the generous people at Ten Speed Press, we're giving away five (5) copies of Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones this week. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite ice cream flavor in the comments of our giveaway post here (not this post). The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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