Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rich, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

After baking angel food cake, I had a bowl full of yolks that were begging to be made into some rich and creamy ice cream. When I buy ice cream at the store I usually opt for the 'double churned' and 'half-the-fat' type of versions... but for a special treat (and for the fun of making it) I am going to make the fully-leaded, real deal stuff. I make this ice cream just a couple times a year because 1) it's not a low fat treat, and 2) I don't typically reserve this many yolks at a time.

My sister-in-law, Ashley, was the first to start making ice cream in our family. Hers was so good, that both my sister and I went out and bought ice cream churners so that we could start making home made ice cream too! I was in college at the time and I had a ton of fun playing around with different flavors: cookies 'n cream, mint chip, espresso, toasted coconut, peanut butter cup, rocky road... and they all use this same vanilla base. This original base recipe came from Alton Brown, but I gotta give Ashley the credit for doing the grunt work in finding this killer recipe.

Ice Cream recipe (makes about 1 1/2 quarts (i.e. 6 cups)):
3 cups Half & Half
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 1/8 cups Sugar
8 egg Yolks
2 tsp Vanilla

First, combine the half & half and the heavy cream in a large pot over medium heat. Let this simmer and thicken for about 15 minutes.

While the creamy-mixture is simmering on the stove, whip together the egg yolks and the sugar until it is a pastel yellow color, and smooth & 'ribbony' when you drizzles from the lifted whisk.

Slowly temper the egg mixture by adding 1 cup of the hot cream at a time stirring together well in between each added cup. Otherwise the eggs will cook up/scramble if you add in all the hot cream at once.

The tempered egg-cream base will look like this:

Then pour it all back into the same pot:

And bring it up to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Do this for about 30 minutes or so until this base thickens; eventually you should be able to leave a finger streak on the spoon and it will stay there :)

Finger streak after about 10 minutes (not quite prominent enough yet):

Finger streak after about 20 minutes (this is okay, and you could stop here, but I decided to keep mine going):

Finger streak after about 30 minutes or so (finger streak is very nice and prominent and the ice cream base is nice and thick, almost custard-like:
**See how mine looks like it is starting to clump up a bit, this is because I was impatient and I turned up the heat on mine. Don't do this. It's actually fine and it will still churn into smooth ice cream, but you will get a smoother custard if you let it simmer low and slow.

Pour your finished ice cream base into a bowl and stir in the vanilla. Cover this bowl with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight so that it can completely cool before it is churned.

I keep my freezer bowls stored in double bags so that no freezer burn or frost gets in the bowl and into my ice cream.
Assemble your ice cream machine with the frozen freezer bowl:

Turn on your machine and carefully pour your ice cream into the opening in the top of the machine.

Watch your ice cream churn and transform from a fluid base... a thicker cream... a 'soft serve' consistency (and it starts to expand above the level of the freezer bowl since churning it adds volume to the ice cream :)

Turn off the machine, and remove the churning paddle (be sure to get all that ice cream off of it :)

Scoop out all the ice cream with either a wooden or rubber utensil (metal utensils will scratch and ruin your freezer bowl). You can enjoy your ice cream now as soft serve...

Or freeze it until it becomes the consistency of the real deal stuff :)

We enjoyed ours over some warm brownies...mmmmm!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment