Posts Tagged With: Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Mmmmmm, ice cream.  I love homemade ice cream, but so often after you put it in the freezer it turns as hard as a rock and is near impossible to scoop without letting it sit up for awhile.  That is NOT my idea of ice cream.  So when I saw this month’s issue of Cook’s Illustrated promised to solve this issue, I was intrigued.  Let me digress for a second to sing my praises to Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  This is a great bi-monthly magazine with zero thrills and no advertising.  They are brutally honest and test recipes and cook’s tools rigorously, publishing all of their failures and opinions along the way.  Its a great un-biased resource and I have to say, I’ve never been disappointed in a recipe that I’ve tried that they put through the ringer.

All that being said, on to the task of making ice cream that won’t turn into a brick in my freezer.  The article leading up to this recipe was a couple pages long and described the author’s scientific (and no-so-scientific) ways of trying to create ice cream that was soft and creamy.  Basically, it boiled down to the type of sugars used and their different freezing points.  The final (and successful) recipe replaced 1/2 of the sugar with corn syrup because it has smaller molecules that freezes slower and therefore does not allow ice crystals to form.  Okay, so Cook’s Illustrated made it work, but did I?  I’m happy to say that I have soft, scoop-able vanilla bean ice cream hanging out in my freezer that has an amazing consistency.  Its not quite as soft as what I get from the grocery store, but I don’t have to let it sit out 20 minutes before I can eat it, so its a winner in my book!  Word of warning though, this recipe takes forever from start to finish, so make sure you have several hours to dedicate to it…

Love ice cream?  So does Branden and I just bought a Jeni’s Ice Cream cookbook, so we’ll be posting about some of our adventures trying to re-create Jeni’s little bites of heaven at home.  I have high expectations for two reasons: 1.  I love Jeni’s Ice Cream and 2. Jeni tested all of her recipes in a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker to make sure folks could achieve good results at home.  I can’t wait!!!  Until, enjoy some vanilla bean ice cream!

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 c. whole milk (for those of you in our neck of the woods, we really like Hartzler’s Dairy Whole Milk)
  • 1/2 c. + 2 TBS sugar
  • 1/3 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  1. Place 8 or 9 inch square metal baking pan in freezer.  Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Using tip of a pairing knife, scrape out vanilla seeds.  Combine vanilla bean, seeds, cream, milk, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming steadily and registers 175 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove saucepan from heat.
  2. While cream mixture heats, whisk yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Slowly whisk 1 cup heated cream mixture into egg yolk mixture.  Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 180 degrees, 7 to 14 minutes.  Immediately pour custard into large bowl and let cool until no longer steaming, 10 to 20 minutes.  Transfer 1 cup custard to small bowl.  Cover both bowls with plastic wrap.  Place large bowl in refrigerator and small bowl in freezer and cool completely, at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours (small bowl of custard will freeze solid).
  3. Remove custards from refrigerator and freezer.  Scrape frozen custard from small bowl into large bowl of custard.  Stir occasionally until frozen custard has fully dissolved.  Strain custard through fine-mesh strainer and transfer to ice-cream machine.  Churn until mixture resembles thick soft-serve ice cream and registers about 21 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.  Transfer ice cream to frozen baking pan and press plastic wrap on surface.  Return to freezer until firm around edges, about 1 hour.
  4. Transfer ice cream to airtight container, pressing firmly to remove any air pockets, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.  Serve.  Ice cream can be stored for up to 5 days.

Yield, approximately 1 quart

Categories: Desserts, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Breaking in the Ice Cream Maker: Buttermilk-Basil Sorbet

This is an interesting “sorbet” recipe that I tried the other night.  I’m not sure why its called sorbet though because the base is definitely dairy.  Whatever you want to call it, its a frozen dessert that’s sure to please if you’re looking for something cold and refreshing.  The idea of herbs in ice cream could be a turnoff to some, but trust me on this one!  If you love basil, this is a must-try.  I really enjoy this ice cream (I’m sorry, its dairy and I can’t bring myself to call it sorbet) because its not overly sweet- a qualm that I sometimes have with other ice creams.  This is incredibly light and fresh, especially after a savory dinner as a palate cleanser.

I made this using a Cuisinart ice cream maker.  If you’re looking for an easy way to make homemade ice cream, I highly recommend this product.  It’s completely idiot-proof as long as you take care of it (don’t put it in the dishwasher and don’t freeze the bowl with anything in it).  At around $50, you can enjoy delicious, homemade ice cream any time you’d like without a ton of effort!

  • 1 1/3 c. granulated sugar, divided
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1 c. fresh basil, minced
  • 4 c. buttermilk
  • 3 TBS fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  1. To make basil syrup, combine 2/3 cup of sugar with water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil for 1 minute.  Reduce heat to low, add basil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining 2/3 cup sugar with buttermilk, lime juice, and zest, mixing until the sugar dissolves.  Add cooled basil syrup to buttermilk mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. Run sorbet mixture through an ice cream maker according to its package directions.  Transfer sorbet to a container and freeze for 12 to 24 hours before serving.

Yields about 12 1/2 c. servings

Categories: Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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