Friday, June 22, 2007
on strawberry ice cream
so i got home yesterday and the first thing i did was freeze the strawberry ice cream in the Krups.
It’s fairly tasty. But what i found annoying about the recipe i used is that there is enough for two batches. Hey, don’t get me wrong, i am not going to turn down more ice cream. But that means that i could only freeze one batch at a time in the ice cream maker (i have to freeze the other half tonight when i get home). I vastly prefer soft-set ice cream to hard-as-a-rock, which is why i have no problems just digging into a freshly made batch of ice cream; but i have to freeze this batch really hard because it is destined to be molded into little cows and piggies. Patty got me these molds last year for my birthday and damn if those aren’t cute as hell! I made the brownie base last night, and started to mold some of the sandwiches, but the ice cream was still too soft after an hour in the freezer and i ended up making a huge mess and having ice cream all in between my fingers. I suppose there are worse ways to spend an evening than licking ice cream off your hands.
The recipe i used for this batch is here, and in retrospect, that seems like far too much cream. I ought to have cut down on that and also not made as much strawberry purée. You live and learn. i also used far less sugar than called for.
Once when i was a kid i watched my grandmother microwave her bowl of ice cream for a minute until it had melted somewhat but still had some cold chunks in it. I wondered why she did this and asked her about it. back in the 1950s, my mom’s oldest sister was married to an American GI who was stationed in Paris. My grandmother told me that she would take the bus to the PX and buy chocolate chip ice cream, which was unheard of in France at the time, and haul it back to my aunt’s apartment. By the time she got it home, it would have melted down somewhat, and she got used to eating it this way.
I miss my grandmother, and i wonder if subconsciously i prefer my ice cream to be soft because it reminds me of her.
Who knows. At any rate, here is my favorite ice cream recipe that i’ve used for the last couple of years and had the most success with. I believe this is from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer and is the basis for her Raspberry Ripple ice cream. I use this base for basic vanilla, and for Chocolate Ripple (use Hershey’s syrup for the ripple part). This is the goods, people. I'm going by memory here, so it may not be exactly like the recipe in the book, so bear with me.
2 ½ cups half & half (Nigella says to use light cream but i can rarely find that in my store)
6 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla (you could use a ¼ of a vanilla pod if you prefer)
Bring cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. add some of the cream to the eggs a little at a time to get the egg yolks used to the heat, then pour the eggs into the saucepan. bring back to a simmer and keep an eye on this, while stirring, until the mixture thickens (this could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how much heat you have going on).
Nigella suggests keeping a sink full of ice water just in case the mixture splits. if this should happen to you (and it did happen to me the first time i ever made ice cream), if it looks like your creme and egg combo is going to split, dunk the bottom of the saucepan in the ice water, making sure not to get water into the pan, and whisk like crazy. chances are you will end up saving the batch, but only if you keep whisking like it's your job and like nothing else matters in the world.
once mixture is thick enough, add the vanilla and remove from stove. let cool at room temperature (or over an ice bath, but again i'd stir every once in a while, because it could still split on you) and then put into the fridge for a few hours or overnight. your base really has to be refrigerator cold before putting into the ice cream maker or else it will not freeze. trust me, i know. i willed a batch of chocolate ice cream to freeze once, and all i got was a batch of gloopy thin chocolate mess, which i sadly fed to the garbage disposal.
UPDATE: i am having a total blonde moment these last couple of days. I don't own a Krups ice cream maker; the one i have is by Cuisinart. i don't know why i keep thinking it's a Krups. heh.
above picture "borrowed" from the Williams-Sonoma website.