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From the farm to the freezer, Jaemor uses 3 ingredients to produce homemade ice cream

Jaemor Farms mixes up fresh batch of cool dessert daily

POSTED: July 23, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Stirring up a little happiness

Watch as a fresh batch on strawberry softserve icecream is whipped up.


Because Jaemor Farms produces soft-serve ice cream, workers must puree the fresh strawberries and peaches. Christa Watson draws a bowl of the homemade peach ice cream.

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Fresh locally produced milk, handpicked fruits and a vanilla-flavored base are all it takes for Jaemor Farms to make its signature peach and strawberry soft serve ice cream year-round.

The farm picks fresh strawberries and peaches throughout the seasons and uses milk from Clermont-based Mountain Fresh Creamery to fashion a creamy, fruity, soft and sweet treat that has gained in popularity every year since it began.

“We have actually been serving it for about 10 years now,” said Jaemor Farms’s Judah Echols, who makes the ice cream every day. “We debated on doing a hand-dipped hard ice cream versus a soft ice cream, but we found that it would have been more complicated to make using our fruit and if you mix homemade ice cream up like you typically would in a churn, it does not work as well through a soft serve machine.”

But if customers prefer a hand-dipped harder texture, Jaemor sells it prepackaged in four different sizes and frozen to take home.

“We do cup it up and sell it out of the freezer because we have so many people wanting to take it home, and soft serve won’t make it 5 miles up the road,” Echols said. “We have had people (who) are having family reunions or weddings, and we carry the half-gallon size and they’ll request 10 gallons at a time for a family event.”

No matter how people like it, all flavors start the same way ­— with a lot of milk and a lot of fruit.

“We start with a vanilla base, like a vanilla flavoring, add the Mountain Fresh Creamery milk, and I think that’s one of the most important aspects of it is this local creamery’s milk,” Echols said. “Whole milk works a lot better than 2 percent because of the milk fat in it.”

Echols then purees the fresh strawberries or peaches, depending on the season, and adds a bit of sugar to the mix before combining the fruit with the flavored-milk mixture. The company also has standard vanilla and chocolate flavors, but the fruit flavors outsell them by far.

“Peach and strawberry are always the top two, and in strawberry season in the spring we sell more strawberry ice cream,” Echols said. “Now that we’re picking peaches, we’re selling more peach ice cream.”

The peach flavor even draws newcomers to the farm with signs saying “Homemade ice cream” along the side of Cornelia Highway, as was the case for Terry and Susan Graham.  They stopped on their way from Griffin to Tennessee.

“We are on our way to Gatlinburg, and I said to Terry ‘Oh, they have homemade ice cream there!’” Susan said.

The couple decided to stop after driving past many times for a taste of the peach treat early in the morning.

“It’s just delicious,” Terry said. “We’re from Georgia so we know what peach ice cream is supposed to taste like and this is it. We got some from a peach orchard down there once and it was good, but this is better.”

To satisfy the early risers who crave a sweet first thing, Echols makes both flavors just after Jaemor Farms opens at 7 a.m. every day. He has to replenish the supply throughout the late morning and afternoon to keep up with demand.

“The fresher the better, I think,” Echols said. “I love it this time of year when the peaches are coming in and we can blend the fresh peaches up and they go into the ice cream every day.”

When peaches are not in season, or in late summer when strawberries are out of season, Jaemor Farms uses fruit it saved and froze during the season to make the fresh flavors all year.

“When the fruit is not in season, we actually put up about 500 gallons of strawberries and peaches in the freezer,” Echols said. “We go ahead and puree them and add a little bit of sugar to it, and so when we bring that out of the freezer to make our ice cream it’s ready to mix with the milk and the vanilla mix and that works great through our softserve machine.”

Since the beginning, only one thing has changed about Jaemor’s homemade ice cream recipe.

“When we first started making it, we were not using the Mountain Fresh Creamery milk,” Echols said. “We only started using their creamery’s milk last year, and I immediately noticed a better, richer flavor that is more creamy.”

Echols experimented with new recipes featuring new flavors, but peach and strawberry are the two that have stuck around the longest and have been the most popular.

“We did experiment with blackberry and blueberry at one time,” he said. “The blackberry was eggplant-colored and it was kind of a sweet-tart flavor that was interesting, but we are kind of limited on the flavors we can serve. So we stick with peach and strawberry most of the time.”

As the classic summer flavors, both fruits are most prevalent during the hottest months, making them the perfect complement to sunny weekends.

“I make an initial batch in the morning, which is about 15 gallons of ice cream, but on a busy weekend we will sell 70 to 100 gallons,” Echols said.


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