Ample Hills is one of those amazing ice cream stories that just make us want to smile. Founded by noted sci-fi screenplay writer Brian Smith, Ample Hills takes its name from a Walt Whitman Poem aptly titled "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry."
The ice cream at Ample Hills is a true labor of love, which can be seen from every detail at the shop, from the beautiful, playfully muraled walls to the smiling scoopers. And the passion of everyone involved translates into a carefully prepared, delicious product.
One of the "secrets" to Ample Hills' delicious ice cream is the incredible amount of labor that goes into making super-fresh ice cream. Ice cream base is prepared in-house daily, then pasteurized on-site, ensuring a carefully controlled consistency. This pasteurization process is similar to Bay Area favorites like Penny Ice Creamery and Lottie's. Ample Hills was the first ice cream shop in NYC to pasteurize its own base, and as far as this blog is aware, it continues to be the only one. Ample Hills also makes all of its own toppings and cones, including the memorably delicious pretzel cone (which is literally a giant cone-shaped pretzel). Yum!
The ice creams at Ample Hills are creative and delicious, reminiscent of a Ben and Jerry's for the 21st century. The first word that comes to mind in describing Ample
Hills is "decadent." Their scoops are unbelievably smooth and indulgent, owing to their unusual freshness. Although this blog is partial to a more dense product in general, the richness and smoothness of this scoop works brilliantly and we believe Ample Hills is leading the way in a new style worthy of admiration.
In terms of the flavor development, we would have hoped to see a few more risks in the repertoire. Although the flavor combinations we tasted were creative and delicious, we did not find them to be "bold." Most of the flavors involved traditional ice cream ingredients like chocolate and caramel combined in new and playful ways. The one risky flavor we tasted at Ample Hills, cotton candy, was a resounding dud. With further experimentation and more consistent flavors, we believe Ample Hills could one day merit a 10.
Excellent quality is not lost on the public, and Ample Hills is one of the most beloved ice cream shops in the country. Regularly boasting an hour-long line, be sure to get set aside a bit of time to make the pilgrimage to Prospect Heights or the new location in Gowanus. Scoop! Blog thoroughly enjoyed this scoop and are excited for our next visit!
Flavor Tasting Notes
Salted Crack Caramel
Wonderfully indulgent. Best caramel ever, with deep caramel notes. Huge chunks of caramel. Not over-sweet. Dense and amazingly creamy.
Amazing vanilla base with perfect texture buttercake chunks, Moist and dense.
Strawberries n Cream
Great strawberry flavor. Hard to make out the cream; we hoped for a pronounced milkiness. Excellent texture, but not as good as Blue Marble's.
Creamiest ice cream ever. Light blue, but doesn't taste like cotton candy. Sweet cream with a little something extra? Frosting flavor?
Pb Gets Chunky
Wow! Has nice, almost toasted pb flavor, like a Thai peanut sauce. Crunchy bits of peanut crumble and some sort of pb chip. Would be even better if didn't have so many small peanut bits mixed in, which affects the otherwise smooth texture.
Sweet as Honey
Amazing honey flavor with crunchy honey comb. Perfectly engineered flavor. A "10".
Sweet Cream n' Cookies
Solid cream base. Great texture but flavor of base not super inspired. Large chunks of fresh cookie - not soggy in any way. Very good, but could be even better if worked on a more nuanced base.
Fudge, brownie and salted fudge caramel swirl with bourbon vanilla base. Brownie mix-in chewy and perfect. Better than Humphry Slocombe's Secret Breakfast. Didn't get much salted fudge caramel. Balanced bourbon note. Really great texture. Indulgence bomb. A "10".
Ample Hills Creamery623 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238