There Is Now an Ice Cream Sandwich Inspired by the Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Ensemble in all its glory.COURTESY WECKERLY'S

The Barnes Ensemble in all its glory.


Here is some truly beautiful and delicious-sounding news that is going straight from my inbox to your screen: Philadelphia ice cream purveyor Weckerly’s Ice Cream is offering a special sandwich, inspired by the Barnes Foundation, at a pop-up at that the museum from tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, through Labor Day, September 5. The treat is named the Barnes Ensemble, and it appears to be wonderfully decadent and multifaceted—truly worthy of the Barnes name. I will now quote its description in full, with emphasis added:

Husband-and-wife owners of Wecklerly’s Jen and Andy Satinsky drew inspiration for the “Barnes Ensemble,” from the myriad colors and textures present in the world-renowned Barnes collection, whose holdings of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early modern paintings and genres including metalwork, furniture, and textiles provoke new insights. Reflecting the eclecticism of the collection and launched in celebration of summer, the “Barnes Ensemble” is a Lemon Verbena Geranium Ice Cream Sandwich featuring two layers of lemon verbena ice cream, one swirled with local berries, the other swirled with house-made peach butter, sandwiched between crunchy granola and geranium shortbread.


If lemon verbena isn’t your thing, the shop will also offer nectarine rosemary sorbet, caramel corn ice cream, and—this one sounds particularly lovely—a flavor called Peaches + Cream + Pie.

The Barnes’s executive vice president, CFO, and COO, Peg Zminda, provides some context: “Although best known for collecting the great modern masters, Dr. Barnes was also an avid supporter of artisan craft.” The release also notes that the term ensemble is borrowed from the museum’s namesake, who used it to refer to the sundry artworks and decorative objects he grouped together in displays.

On a very tangentially related note, I will add here that I did a project about artists and their recipes for pastries earlier this summer, and though many artists have loved baking sweets over the years, very few were regular ice cream makers. (Which is perhaps understandable since it is relatively equipment- and time-intensive.) The great British abstract painter Ben Nicholson was a rare exception, though, and the wonderful 2003 cookbook The Artist’s Palate included his recipe for Brown Bread Ice Cream. It follows below.

Brown Bread Ice Cream
Makes 4

– 3 oz. (about 3 slices) whole wheat bread
– 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
– 2 tablespoons super-fine sugar
– 1 tablespoon orange juice
– 1/2 cup clear honey

Dry bread in an oven set at 200° F for about 30 minutes. Crumble the dried bread in a food processor or with a rolling pin until fine. In a bowl, whisk together the cream, sugar, and orange juice until sugar is dissolved. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the honey and stir in the bread crumbs. Refrigerate until chilled. Fold the honey mixture into the cold cream. Pure into a freezer-safe container with a lid and freeze until firm.

Haven’t made it yet, but it sounds oddly tasty, like a tidy little breakfast turned into a frozen delicacy.

And now, below, a series of images of the Barnes Ensemble. Click to enlarge them.

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