Five Inventive Indy Ice Creams

Local toques whip up frozen assets for their dessert menus.

Chef Abbi Merriss and pastry chef Allison Durst collaborate on kiddie faves with a playful adult twist. To wit: creamy push-up pops—served in plastic plungers like the ones ice-cream trucks use—layered with chilled lemon curd and semifreddo flavored with local, in-season produce (rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries). 653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580,
Sorbets are preferred in pastry chef Pete Shmutte’s kitchen because the fat in ice cream masks the tart bursts of fresh fruit that Shmutte likes to showcase in his bracing, aerated treats.  A special machine known as a pacojet shaves the strawberry, apricot, and passionfruit flavors into ultra-thin layers, creating a silky texture that glides right down. 339 S. Delaware St., 317-870-1320; 1101 E. Canal St., Winona Lake, 574-269-1226;
The Indigo Duck
Mingling the shared flavor molecules of fresh Indiana strawberries and ground coriander, Chef Ryan Kernodle takes a scientific approach to this summertime special. The strawberry-balsamic jam infuses a rush of tangy flavor into a vanilla base brightened by sweet kicks of the toasted spice. 39 E. Court St., Franklin, 317-560-5805,
An alluring ice-cream fusion of Baileys Irish Cream and graham crackers decorates a warm brownie in chef Dean Sample’s heavenly play on the classic s’more. Replicating the campfire aroma, Sample flambes the flashy dessert tableside with Backbone bourbon. 5694 N. Meridian St., 317-466-1111,
R Bistro
Dried mushroom stems soaked overnight in a basin of ice-cream custard deliver surges of umami in every spoonful of this earthy take. Inspired by the ingredients’ cocoa-like scent, sous chef Erin Kem pairs the savory concoction with a piece of housemade cake or sprinkles it with fragments of a chocolate cone. 888 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0312,

Photos by Stacy Newgent

More tasty ice-cream coverage from around Central Indiana appears in the July 2014 issue of IM, including an Indy fro-yo roundup.