Morel Ice Cream in Northern Michigan

A creperie and ice cream shop in Charlevoix called That French Place recently opened its doors in downtown Charlevoix. The store serves authentic, homemade french crepes and ice cream made by Brian Freund of Brian’s Ice Cream Experience. Inspired by spring edibles Brian recently created a morel ice cream, which will be available in the shop for two more weeks. We checked in with him about the morel ice cream and he tells the story in his own words below.

I’ve been making ice cream from scratch, one gallon at a time using local fresh ingredients like Shetler’s Milk and Cream and fruits and veggies from local farmers. I use no chemicals or artificial products at all. My base recipe has 7 ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, tapioca syrup and tapioca starch, salt and cream cheese.

To create the morel ice cream I steep the mushrooms in cream overnight, use the cream and then chop up the mushrooms into tiny pieces to add at the end. It starts with vanilla ice cream base. The earthiness of vanilla pairs well with morels, in my opinion.

My first big event was last year’s Morel Mushroom Festival in Boyne City. I wanted to make a big splash, so I came up with my morel ice cream idea and recipe. When I made it again for this year I was able to tweak it and make slight improvements on it and I think I nailed it this time!

People have been responding better than I ever could’ve imagined. I expect people to try it because it’s different and we all love morels up here. I’ve been so pleased that the customers haven’t just enjoyed the taste, but they’ve ended up buying it over my other flavors. That’s very rewarding!

As for experimenting with flavors, that’s one of my favorite things about how I make ice cream. By doing it small, like I do, I can use anything that is in season or sounds interesting. I love adding basil to fruits, like cherry basil and strawberry basil. Two of my more unique ones are maple bacon and also rhubarb sorrel. Sorrel is a very tart herb that screams for use in ice cream! But I will try anything that sounds interesting and fun.

Being able to make small batch ice cream gives me complete freedom. I may never be able to produce enough to compete with the big boys, but I’ll always have the highest quality ingredients and something interesting and unique to hopefully keep people coming back for more and more!

Learn more about Brian’s Ice Cream Experience online. If you’re interested in ordering his ice cream you can call That French Place and order prepackaged pints.

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