It’s hard to beat plain old ice cream as the perfect summer dessert, but these six cool-schooled chefs have done it. And so can you, with just a little advance work (and a gadget or two). It’s worth the effort: When the mercury rises, knowing your freezer is stocked with delectable homemade confections is cold comfort indeed. For pure visual impact, we love the luxurious layered look of chef Patrick Coston’s chocolate-peanut-butter coupe at Ilo. And with local berry season approaching, the time is right for Gary Robins’s frozen strawberry soufflés, crunchy with nuggets of hazelnut praline and redolent of sweet, intensely fragrant fruit. Easy-to-follow recipes for Otto’s luscious lemon gelato and Il Laboratorio del Gelato’s bittersweet-chocolate sorbet are two great reasons to break out your ice-cream maker. Above all, summer is the season to indulge your inner Good Humor–addicted child, which we plan to do from now till Labor Day with watermelon- cucumber Popsicles and squares of banana– crème fraîche ice-cream bars cloaked in chocolate and macadamia nuts—a frozen banana with an Eleven Madison Park pedigree.