Monday, 16 December 2013

Vanilla Ice Cream

Summer's here, it's holiday time and it's been a long time since I made ice cream.  You know what we've got to do then...

This Week's Pin:  French Vanilla Ice Cream
Who's This For:  My kids
Price:  around $4.50

I remember my parents attempting to make ice cream when I was a child.  We lived in a very hot city in Australia so this was going to be a challenge.  My parents spent many days freezing ice cubes and storing them ready for the day.  The machine would churn the mixture but had no chilling capacity so we layered ice and salt (this makes the cold ice even colder!) around the can and waited.  

It never became the right consistency in the ice cream machine.  Afterwards, we'd place it in the freezer to finish the freezing and it would be icy and very solid.  Such a disappointment. 

A few years ago I received an ice cream machine and I've used it a number of times.  I have the same problem as my parents.  It won't freeze the entire batch at once.  So usually, I halve the mixture and churn it in the machine in two batches.

My lovely friend Angela assures me that my problem is simply not letting the mixture chill for long enough before I churn it.  I've found a recipe and I'm going to try again.

The ingredients are:

2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract not 2 tablespoons)
6 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream

The process is simple, make a custard and then stir in the cream.  So I heated the milk with 1/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla.

 Then I beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until the mixture become pale yellow.  It also needs to fall away in ribbons from the beater.

So that you don't make scrambled eggs, pour a little (1/2 cup) of the warm milk into the eggs and whisk.  Then add the eggs into the milk and stir constantly over med-low heat for 10 minutes.  Strain the custard, stir the cream and place bowl of mixture into an ice bath to cool quickly.

At this point, I put the bowl into the fridge and left it overnight.  It was there almost 15 hours.  The ice cream machine bowl was frozen solid and had stayed in the freezer overnight too.  I churned the mixture for more than 30 minutes and look, still runny.

The bowl was beginning to melt and so I placed the whole thing in the freezer for a few hours, churned it again and then left the ice cream overnight again.

The result?

Solid, icy, canary yellow ice cream.

I threw the whole lot into my mixer and whizzed it up so that it would become lighter and fluffier.  Yep, looks so much better.  The flavour's delicious, it looks great, but it still has those large ice crystals that are a disappointment.

So close this time!  But, I'm not going to give up this easily and I'm buying another carton of cream and trying again.  Until next week, may your ice cream be soft and your determination like steel.

“Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes.”  James A. Froude

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