Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Adventures in Ice Cream: vanilla, vanilla vanilla

For my xmas this year Kelsie gave me an ice cream maker. This is something I've been wanting for a very long time. It's the kind of ice cream maker where you have to freeze the bowl first -- for at least 24 hours in fact. Between Xmas and now I haven't had the space in my freezer to fit the bowl in! Chicken carcasses waiting to be made into stock, chinese sausages, frozen veg, leftovers from a gnocchi experiment and a big tub of leftover minestrone have taken all the available space. I finally cleared enough room and was able to fit the bowl in this past week.

Next step was finding a basic recipe to start with. Kelsie also gave me Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream book to help get me started. They have three different sweet cream bases each with varying amounts of butterfat which is one of the deciding factors in how creamy your ice cream is. I also got Iced as a back-up. The difference between the B&J recipes and the Iced recipes is that B&J don't say anything about cooking the custard first. They pretty much say to whack everything into the machine and churn. Iced, as well as other recipes say to make a custard first. I figured I'd try the harder one first and went for the Vanilla recipe in Iced.

You may have read about my past trials with custard. And again on this occasion i felt a bit of trepidation. Lucky for me, our friend Lorna was over to watch some tennis and help out with sampling the first batch. She's got a great attitude about facing challenges in general and encouraged me to just go for it and not worry. So i did, and i must say, i'm very happy with the results!

Vanilla Ice Cream
makes 1 litre

375ml milk
375ml whipping cream
2 vanilla beans, split lengthways and seeds scraped (i used an extra pod that had already had the seeds scraped)
145g caster sugar
8 large egg yolks

  1. Put the milk, cream, vanilla beans, scraped seeds and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the milk is just about to boil. Set aside for 15 minutes to infuse. Remove the vanilla beans and gently reheat.

  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk in 60ml of the hot milk mixture until smooth. Whisk in the remaining milk mixture, then return to a clean saucepan and stir constantly over low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not allow to boil. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until cold.

  3. Transfer to an ice cream machine and freeze according to manuFacturer's instructions. Alternatively, transfer to a shallow metal tray and freeze, whisking every couple of hours until frozen and creamy. Freeze for 5 hours or overnight. Soften in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

Lorna said...

Hey, I'm happy you've posted the recipe - I was going to ask you for it. Scummy first batch of ice-cream. Let me know when you get to the rum and raisins one - just imagine those babes bleeding into the sweet white vanilla coolness - melts in your mouth huh?

You recovered from the tennis yet? Exhausting wasn't it?! ..... ((o;