Ezell Stephens has now made real your wildest dream—that one where an ice cream truck crashes into a dessert cart.
Stephens, co-founder of Ezell’s Famous Chicken whose legal wranglings with former partners forced him out of the operation that bears his name, re-emerged with a trio of chicken shacks called Heaven Sent Fried Chicken. Stephens’s former partners still own Ezell’s Famous, but Stephens has the recipes that made it an institution.
Stephens also has some legendary dessert recipes, for the sweet potato pie, bread pudding, and peach cobbler he sells at Heaven Sent. So when a vendor told him about an ice creamerie in White Center that turns desserts into ice cream flavors—“well, that’s all I needed to know,” Stephens chuckles.
A few months ago he brought samples of his three signature desserts to the good folks at Full Tilt Ice Cream’s flagship in White Center—and out popped three all-natural ice creams, egg-free, and suffused with the richness and unique flavor of his desserts. “At first [they] tasted like, I don’t know…diet or something. Didn’t have enough body,” Stephens recalls. Thankfully he had license to tweak. So tweak he did, winding up with three ice creams that do their antecedents proud.
The sweet potato pie is my favorite, its creamy, pumpkiny flavor doing a brilliant imitation of the filling in Stephens’ beloved sweet potato pie. The bread pudding is most exciting, rich with boozy Thanksgiving flavors and pocked with raisins and bits of caramelly bread. Peach cobbler I didn’t try (it sells out), but Stephens and his customers like it best. “Peach cobbler, it’s just a great dessert when you make it right,” Stephens says. “Make it into ice cream and it’s like….magic.”
These three ice creams along with a fourth, vanilla bean, are available at all Heaven Sent locations for $6.25 a pint.