Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vanilla Ice Cream

My sister R told me last week, in the name of constructive criticism, that I have too many pictures of "brown foods" on my blog. It's true. I bake bread, almost obsessively. I counted yesterday, and in the past week I've made at least twelve loaves. Bread is pretty much always brown. So, in response to Riv's comment about switching-it-up, and the ever-present summer heat, I decided to make this ice cream. The process is suprisingly simple: you put together a custard-based mixture, throw it in the freezer, and blend it every 45 minutes.
Side note: Half way through the process it hit me. The ice cream making process is eerily similiar to bread baking- you throw together the basic ingredients, wait a bit, mix it, wait a bit, mix it, wait a bit, and ta da! Final product. Looks like however hard I try I can't get away from that bread baking mentality!
After I was done taking pics, I realized that vanilla ice cream is white. Not so different from brown- pretty neutral still. At least I didn't make chocolate.....

The ice cream was delicious, and well worth the effort. I will definitely try to make ice cream again with different flavours. The recipe below is a combination of David Lebovitz's recipe and his instructions on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.

    Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.

  2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

  3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean

  4. Chill the mixture over an ice bath.

  5. Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.

  6. After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it.
    As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.

  7. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it's freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results, or use a stick blender or hand-held mixer.You can also use just a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.

  8. Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready.

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