DACA Renewal Fees & Helado de Tres Leches

Incredibly, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy remains the law of the land–at least for now. However, Dreamers must still pay a $495 every two years to keep their status, or else the risk of being torn away from their lives, families, and communities becomes much greater.

That’s why United We Dream is currently raising money for a DACA Renewal Fund that will provide direct financial assistance to Dreamers paying their $495 fee as well as DACA renewal clinics. This is what our ice cream is funding this time around.

The flavor? Tres leches.


1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated whole milk
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons creme de cacao
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt


I’m gonna start on a bit of a detour: You ever had banoffee pie? It’s English and it’s delicious–two things that (sorry) aren’t typically true at the same time. Its preparation includes creating soft, spoonable toffee by submerging a can of sweetened condensed milk in water and boiling it for 3 hours. Really. We want to do something similar, but we don’t want the texture to get quite as thick, so we’ll be boiling for 2 hours.


To start, fill the biggest pot you’ve got with water. Once it’s boiling, remove the condensed milk can’s label and submerge the can (without opening). Boil at a low boil for two hours. Top off with boiling water from your kettle if the water gets low.

Once the two hours are up, remove the can–CAREFULLY– and let it rest on the countertop for an hour. Open it–CAREFULLY–and scrape the contents into a large bowl with a spatula. Add the other ingredients in whatever order, blend it (either an immersion blender or countertop blender will do), and chill it in the fridge for several hours until cooled. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1.5 quarts (6 cups).

Vegan Peach-Almond Sherbet for LGBTQIA+ Legal Aid

I live in the great state of Maryland. On the books, Maryland does a decent-ish job of civil rights and legal protections for queer folk, though we’re far from perfect. Crucially, there’s still a wide gap between the letter of the law and the reality on the ground, especially for queer people of color and those with lower incomes or fewer resources. As detailed in a recent needs assessment by FreeState Justice, many Maryland employers, landlords, and others who wield power continue to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity and presentation–and much of the time, law enforcement refuses to get involved.

Legal Defense Funds fill a crucial need here. While legal help is far from the only need (many others are outlined in the needs assessment linked above), these funds offer crucial assistance for people who are struggling to access their legal “guarantees” of equal justice. This month, we’ll be supporting FreeState Justice’s Maryland LGBTQ Legal Defense Fund; every dollar donated to this fund provides free legal services to LGBTQIA+ Marylanders facing discrimination.

Our flavor this month is vegan and it is delicious: Peach-Almond Sherbet. A bit fruity, a bit nutty. Recipe is below.



1 1/3 pound frozen peaches
3/4 cup sugar
1 can (400 mL) full-fat coconut milk*
1/2 tablespoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons limoncello
Pinch of salt

*A note about coconut milk: make sure you’re buying full-fat, not “lite,” and make sure you’re buying something high-quality. Check the nutrition label; you’ll want something that has around 60-70 grams of fat per 400 mL. Thai Kitchen is a safe bet and it’s a common enough brand.


Toss the frozen peaches in a large bowl with the sugar, lemon juice, and limoncello until evenly coated. Cover the bowl and leave the peaches to thaw and macerate at room temperature for 3 or 4 hours.

Blend the peach mixture thoroughly with all remaining ingredients until smooth. Chill the blended mixture for a few hours in the fridge; when ready, churn in your ice cream machine per manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1 quart.

Allspice Strawberry Sherbet for Mutual Aid

As we all know, the US government has escalated its attacks on immigrants and their families in recent months. Even as reports about widespread emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual abuse by ICE agents continue to surface, America’s anti-immigrant agencies have shown no sign of slowing or stopping their assaults under the current regime. This month in Alexandria, VA, ICE agents raided an apartment and detained three people in front of their children and other family members. The folks at Sanctuary DMV are working to raise money for the three detainees’ legal fees and other support for their traumatized families; their children are being cared for by their remaining parents. More details are available on the fundraising page for their mutual aid fund, which is where our dollars will be going this time.

The flavor this month is strawberry sherbet with a twist of allspice. It’s smooth, creamy, fruity, and just a little bit spicy.


And it’s really pretty easy to make!


1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon creme de cacao
A pinch of salt


Chop the strawberries into small pieces and toss them with the sugar and lemon juice. Let it sit for about an hour at room temperature, then add 1 cup of cream, allspice, vanilla, and creme de cacao, and pulse in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth (some little chunks are good). Warm the remaining cream in a small saucepan; once warm, carefully temper 4 egg yolks in the mixture, stirring frequently over low heat until it can coat a spatula. Add to the strawberry mixture and leave it in the fridge until thoroughly chilled. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes a little under 1 quart.

PB Malt, in solidarity with striking teachers!

You might’ve heard about the recent teachers’ strike at our country’s second-largest school district (Los Angeles Unified), which ended in a historic victory for LA schools. You may not know that part of that struggle continues, as teachers from Accelerated Schools, an LA charter school chain, are still on the picket line fighting for better teaching and working environments. At many charter schools, teachers who strike can be fired without recourse, so this is a big deal.

The latest batch of PhilanthroPints will support a solidarity fund for these striking teachers. Our flavor? Malted peanut butter!

The texture is the thing you notice straight away with this flavor. It’s beyond smooth–velvety soft. Then the flavor hits you.

Quick digression: a lot of peanut butter ice creams have a very mild nutty taste. But if you don’t love peanut butter, you’re probably not reaching for that flavor in the first place. This recipe is for the true PB lovers, so the flavor is strong and it cuts right through–then the malt and the hint of vanilla give it a warmth and toastiness to back it up.


The best part is, it’s really easy to make:


3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (use a more processed brand–“natural” peanut butters will tend to be grainy)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 2/3 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup malted milk powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon creme de cacao (optional, for added smoothness)
A pinch of salt


Warm the half-and-half, sugar, salt, peanut butter, and malted milk powder in a saucepan, stirring regularly. Once the mixture is completely smooth and incorporated, remove it from the heat and leave the mixture in the fridge for several hours. Once it’s thoroughly chilled, add the vanilla and creme de cacao. Blend the mixture before freezing if you notice any lumps. Finally, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1 quart.

One day soon, I’ll write about ice cream in this space.

Devising and creating weird, wonderful flavors of ice cream is one of my favorite hobbies.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been making small batches of ice cream and distributing it to friends and family in exchange for donations to worthy causes. My wife came up with the name Philanthro-Pints (because she’s good at naming things and I am not).

Flavors have included Rainbow Nerds, Watermelon Cilantro, Cookie Butter, and Peppered Strawberry Ginger. Causes have included funding supplies for water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation; the annual Black Love Bailout; the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force; a DACA renewal fund; and No More Deaths / No Más Muertes, who provide food, water, blankets, and medical assistance to migrants in the US-Mexico borderlands.

Once I get this started up again (soon, I hope!), I’ll be posting occasional recipes and updates here.