There is no wrong way to make an ice cream sundae, but if you want to perfect it, you can adjust your process just slightly. How you prepare it and serve it depends entirely on your preferences. For a classic feel, prepare your sundae in a tall glass sundae dish and use a long metal spoon to eat it.
A gourmet ice cream sundae begins with homemade ice cream. While this is not necessarily a requirement, it will make your ice cream sundae more special and likely more delicious! To make vanilla ice cream, you will need two cups of half-and-half, one cup of whipping cream, one cup minus two tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of peach preserves (not jelly), and one vanilla bean, split and scraped. Begin by combining all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and putting it over medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally, and bring it to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (use a frying or candy thermometer to gauge the temperature). Remove it from the heat and let it cool. Remove the vanilla bean's hull, and pour the mixture into a container with a lid. Refrigerate the mixture overnight. Then freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer. Once it has increased in volume and reached the consistency of soft serve ice cream, put the ice cream back into a container with a lid and harden it in the freezer for at least one hour before you serve it.
If you are buying your ice cream from the store, experiment with different flavors. You can even add multiple flavors to your sundae to make it unique.
After you've made or purchased your ice cream, you can scoop it out to begin to add toppings. Now, what toppings you add depends entirely on what toppings you like. While one person may believe strongly that hot fudge is the only acceptable topping for a sundae, another may argue that mixing caramel and chocolate is best. Traditionally, sundaes include some sort of liquid-like topping—like chocolate, butterscotch, caramel, or hot fudge—and more substantial toppings—like nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit—all topped with whipped cream, nuts, and a maraschino cherry!