Orangesicle Cream Squares

1 can (12 oz.) orange soda (1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup frozen orange juice, thawed, undiluted
1 1/2 cups half and half
2-4 drops orange food color, optional
1 quart vanilla ice cream (may use recipe below)
Mint leaf, optional garnish

Line bottom and sides of 9×13 cake pan with parchment or wax paper, then with plastic wrap; place pan in freezer to chill.

Stir together orange soda, sugar, and juice until sugar is dissolved; add half and half and optional orange food color; freeze according to ice cream freezer instructions, or follow directions below.*

Spread half the sherbet over bottom of prepared pan, cover and place in freezer for 1-2 hours or until firm. Keep remaining sherbet cold or place in freezer.

Soften vanilla ice cream (do not melt) and spread over bottom layer of sherbet. Cover and freeze until firm. Soften remaining sherbet, if needed, and spread over ice cream. Cover and freeze until solid. Remove dessert from pan and slice into squares. Garnish with optional mint leaves.

NOTES: Cool and refreshing summer dessert; elegant enough for fancy dinner parties. Serves 12

* Alternate Freezing Method. Place mix in large bowl and cover. Freeze until almost firm (1-3 hours); remove from freezer and beat with electric mixer until light and airy. Return mix to freeze for 30-60 minutes or until mix is partially frozen again. Remove from freezer and beat as before. Continue until sherbet or ice cream is solid and no longer able to beat (usually 3-4 times is sufficient; the more times mix is beaten-frozen-beaten the creamier the final product will be).

Combine 2 cups half and half, 3/4 cup sugar, and 2 beaten eggs. Place in top of double boiler. Stirring constantly, cook mixture until it coats a metal spoon and is slightly thick. Cool quickly. Stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Pour into ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturers directions.

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