Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ice creamed: part 2 - time to churn!

The only real negative to making your own ice cream is the waiting time. After cooking up the custard, it had to chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before I got to break out the new machine and churn away. It's a good thing I was able to lick the spoon that I stirred the custard with or I might have gotten really cranky. And that is only the first waiting period. The actual churning of the ice cream was really pretty fun to watch. I mean, I didn't watch it every second but I admit I kept checking on it every couple of minutes. In just a half hour, my custard went from this:

To this:

That's pretty awesome. And I also admit to sticking a spoon into the opening here and there to grab a taste as it was churning. After about 30 minutes, I had another long wait. I transferred the soft ice cream to a container and in it went to the freezer to set up for another couple of hours. It's a good thing J-Cat went out to get donuts in the interim. But finally, after all that waiting, the creamy, custardy, vanilla-y, icy goodness:

This recipe was, admittedly, extremely rich, and probably wouldn't be my choice for classic vanilla ice cream in the future. It was delicious, incredibly smooth, and the texture was perfect, but the flavor and sweetness was more intense than my personal tastes. J-Cat really liked it, though he likened it more to a frozen custard than a traditional ice cream, which is accurate. Using the vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract was definitely noticeable and totally worth it. The next time I try a vanilla ice cream, I think I will go with a non-custard recipe and see how I like it. But before I do another vanilla, I have to seek out a recipe for my personal favorite flavor - pistachio. Recipe after the jump:


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean pod, approx 6 inches long
2/3 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Combine the cream and milk in a heavy saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise. Using the back of a knife-blade, scrape out the beans. Add the beans and the split pod to the saucepan. Bring to just below a boil, stirring frequently, then lower the heat to maintain a very low simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

While the milk mixture is simmering, combine the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat until light yellow and frothy. When the milk mixture has finished simmering, slowly add about 1 cup to the egg mixture, mixing constantly with the mixer. Once it is fully incorporated, slowly add the egg mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Simmer on low heat until it begins to thicken. Strain the custard through a fine sieve to remove and curdles. Transfer custard mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap on the surface of the custard, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. After it has thoroughly chilled, follow the manufacturer's directions for churning in the ice cream maker. Makes approximately 1.5 quarts.

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