French toast and ham in a sugar cone?
“Abs are great, but have you tried our ice cream?” asks the business card for The Cow’s Brow Creamery at Windy Brow Farms in Fredon, New Jersey. The creamery is celebrating its fifth year in business at the farm, which began as a dairy farm in the late 1800s and converted to a retail orchard and farm store in the mid-1940s. Jim and Linda Hunt bought the farm 18 years ago, and their son, Jake, moved home in 2013 to start the creamery.
The Hunts have been tied to agriculture in Sussex County for centuries, and while Windy Brow is first and foremost a farm and orchard, The Cow’s Brow Creamery is making a name for itself. After attending the University of Delaware and helping to start a creamery on campus, Jake knew he had the skillset to start and run a creamery at home, so he jumped right in.
Jake sources his ice cream base (a combination of milk, cream, sugar, guar gum and locust bean gum) from Buffalo, NY. Other ingredients are grown right on the farm — like blueberries and peaches — or sourced from New Jersey growers. He uses natural flavorings and plant-based coloring. Most of Jake’s ice cream experimentation turns out pretty good on the first try, he said, and then he’ll tweak them to get them just right. That’s how he came up with his standbys, like Madagascar bourbon vanilla, salty caramel mint chocolate, white mint chip, and honey lavender. The exception is one commissioned flavor that he’ll never make again. “It was made with truffles, chili, and honey. It was terrible.”
The Only in Jersey collection, which includes flavors like sweet corn, cranberry creamsicle and tomato pie, celebrates five years of making ice cream with local products. The Only in Jersey line’s most infamous flavor is Taylor ham ice cream, made with bits of Taylor ham, maple syrup, and French toast. “I didn’t think I would like it that much, but it was actually really good,” said one initially skeptical customer. Another drove an hour and twenty minutes to pick up a pint, which he put in a freezer bag he brought with him to prevent melting on the long drive home.
Not crazy about the thought of meat in your ice cream? Never fear. Jake also makes several flavors of vegan ice cream from scratch, using a coconut milk and coconut cream base.