Thursday, November 7, 2013

Vanilla Ice Cream

Oh my goodness! It's been a very long time since I last updated.  School and work have taken over my life, and unfortunately that means I haven't been roller skating or (ever worse) cooking and baking as much as I would like.  However, between my last post and now I have a few things to blog about.  Today's is an ice cream recipe.  I've had my ice cream maker for a while now and haven't used it as much as I would have liked.  So I fixed that!  I made two or three batches of plain vanilla ice cream.  Yes, I know vanilla can be boring, but it's so much better homemade than buying it at your local supermarket.  The recipe comes from my How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. He had a lot of use this or use this in the recipe, so I'll have what I did use in bold. 

This recipe makes about 1 quart.  Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups half-and-half, milk, or a combination
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks or 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup cream or more milk or half and half
If you are using a vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape out the seeds;  combine them with the half-and-half and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until steam rises from the half-and-half, 3 to 5 minutes;  remove from heat.
Meanwhile, beat the yolks and the remaining sugar together until thick and slightly lightened in color (you can do this with a whisk or an electric mixer).  If you're using cornstarch, mix it with 2 tablespoons or so cold water or milk to make a slurry.

If you're using eggs, stir about 1/2 cup of the heated half-and-half into the yolk mixture and beat; then stir the warmed egg mixture back into the heated half-and-half and return it to the pan.  For the cornstarch version, whisk slurry into the heated half-and-half along with the remaining sugar.  For both the egg and cornstarch mixtures, heat, stirring constantly, until thick.  The mixture is ready when it thickly coats the back of the spoon and a line can be drawn through the mixture and stays intact.  This should take 3 to 5 minutes.  If you're using cornstarch, strain the mixture before proceeding if you think there might be any lumps.

Cool completely, then stir in the cream and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
Once finished, the ice cream will not all be hardened.  Some of it will be soft and melt-y, and you will need to freeze it in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving.  However, if you like your ice cream very soft and liquidity, then eat right away.
Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!  I made my own whipped cream with the remaining cream I had left over from the ice cream. 

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