Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream owner shares a favourite summertime dessert

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      Josie Fenton has been longing for summer for over six months. The elementary-school teacher and co-owner of Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream (102–1926 West 4th Avenue) opened the Kitsilano scoop shop in November 2013. As the name implies, business was steady despite drizzly winter weather, but Fenton and her husband, Blair Casey, who owns the shop with her, are hoping that warmer days ahead will help them connect with more ice-cream enthusiasts.

      “My husband and I love ice cream. We had a little mini machine at home that we would always use to make different ice-cream flavours with, and we would experiment,” Fenton tells the Georgia Straight.

      Despite not having a background in the food industry (Casey works in finance), the couple decided to open a shop offering all-natural, house-made ice cream. Rain or Shine specializes in Philadelphia-style ice cream, which is egg-free. The ice cream is made in a large Emery Thompson machine on-site using milk from Abbotsford’s Birchwood Dairy.

      “We make 10 flavours that we always have and don’t change, and then we have about five seasonal flavours,” Fenton explains. “Now that we’ve got some fresh rhubarb we’re adding a strawberry-rhubarb sorbet to the lineup, and just yesterday, we made a salted chocolate rosemary ice cream with rosemary from my mom’s garden.”

      Popular flavours include blueberry balsamic, peanut butter, and a vegan coconut-chocolate chunk. Casey is a fan of local craft beer, so Rain or Shine usually has a beer-flavoured ice cream available as well. Dairy-free options, gluten-free cones, and take-home pints mean that more people can enjoy a sweet treat this summer.

      A dish that Fenton looks forward to having with ice cream when she’s at home is pavlova, a meringue-based dessert popular in Australia and New Zealand.

      “This is one of my mom’s go-to desserts that we always had growing up in the summer. All of our birthdays in my family are in May, June, July, and August, so it’s a great summer dessert with berries, whipped cream, and ice cream on top,” Fenton says.

      The nice thing about pavlova is that it can be made the day before and left in the oven to slowly cool overnight. Fenton says the trickiest step is separating the egg whites from the yolks, but she advises against using egg whites from a carton because they won’t fluff up when whipped. Fresh local berries give the dish colour and tartness; if fresh berries aren’t available, berry compote that uses frozen fruit can be made in a pinch.

      Josie Fenton’s mini summerberry pavlova


      3 large eggs
      1 pinch cream of tartar
      ¾ cup (185 mL) granulated sugar
      1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
      ⅔ cup (180 mL) whipped cream
      1 cup (250 mL) ice cream
      Berry compote (see recipe below), or 2 cups (500 mL) fresh seasonal berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries)


      1. Preheat oven to 275 ° F (140 ° C).
      2. In two small bowls, separate the egg whites from the yolks. (Save yolks for another use.) Transfer egg whites into a large bowl. Using a stand-alone mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
      3. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form. Beat in vanilla.
      4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon meringue onto baking sheet, making 6 to 8 circles. Use the back of a spoon to create a round dip in the centre of each circle.
      5. Bake for 1 hour, or until meringues are firm to the touch. Switch off oven and leave meringues inside to cool gradually overnight.
      6. Remove meringues from oven and transfer them onto a serving plate. Place whipped cream, ice cream, and berry compote or fresh seasonal berries inside round dip.

      Berry Compote


      2 cups (500 mL) berries, fresh or frozen
      ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
      1 lemon, zested and juiced


      1. To a small pan over medium-high heat, add berries, sugar, and lemon zest. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring continuously, until berries start to break down and sauce forms.
      2. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

      Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

      Recipe has not been tested by the Georgia Straight.

      Josie Fenton demonstrates how to separate egg whites from egg yolks.

      You can follow Michelle da Silva on Twitter at twitter.com/michdas.




      Jun 16, 2014 at 9:45am

      Too bad they do not use pure cane sugar as there is a lot or creativity shown with the ingredients. All regular sugar sold in Canada now is genetically modified as it is a mixture of approx. 90% cane sugar with 10% GMO sugar beet. The regulations around sugar changed a few years ago. The only non GMO is pure cane and/or organic sugar.

      My solution? Take any good quality organic vanilla ice cream-let it soften slightly and mix in flavours of your choice: a little matcha makes the best green tea, how about some choc. chunks, maybe some toasted coconut & lime zest, local mashed strawberries makes the best strawberry ice cream-enjoy immediately or put back in freezer. Let your imagination run wild!


      Jun 16, 2014 at 12:30pm

      I had no idea that their ice cream was egg-free and that they use BIRCHWOOD DAIRY! +10 points. I loved them already but wow.