Before things get crazy around here (the kids are coming for a long weekend) and before we have to replace the kitchen floor (major leak under kitchen sink… kidding about replacing the floor, but what a mess we are dealing with) and before we observe Yom Kippur, I wanted to share my basic ice cream recipe that was posted in the last RV Goddess Newsletter. I know it is September and maybe you think it is no longer ice cream weather. But think again. Soon it will be apple pie season and who doesn’t enjoy a scoop of vanilla ice cream on their warm apple pie? In fact, I have prepared two quarts for this weekend.
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Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Homemade ice cream is the best. It is so easy to make and you have complete control over what goes inside. The freshest ingredients! Organic if you choose. Plan ahead – the ice cream base needs to chill overnight before processing, and then after processing, the ice cream should set-up in the freezer for at least two hours.
NOTES: You do not need a fancy ice cream maker. I have used a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for years. It is so old, the casing has turned from white to beige, yet it still churns away. The bowl needs an overnight freeze before using, but this works well for me as I like the ice cream base to have an overnight chill before processing.
Ice cream needs a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of alcohol to help it from freezing too hard to scoop. Usually the alcohol in a tablespoon of vanilla will work for most recipes, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Try a tablespoon of coffee liquor (such as Kahlua) in a chocolate recipe or a fruit cordial (like Chambord or an orange liquor) in a berry ice cream recipe… or just use a tablespoon of vodka. Do not add the vanilla (or other alcohol) until the processing step.
If you remember, hold-out a few teaspoons of any added ingredient you are using and sprinkle it over the top of the finished/packaged ice cream as garnish – a few chocolate chips, chopped candy bar, a bit of fruit puree. It’s pretty.
Lastly, craft stores often sell quart frozen dessert containers. The cute paper containers are a convenient way to store your creations and perfect for (decorating and) gifting.
BASIC VANILLA ICE CREAM
3 cups half & half, divided
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Place two cups of the half & half, the sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan. Stir well to combine and heat until the sugar and salt are just dissolved. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then stir in the remaining cup of half & half. Blend well. Slowly pour the egg mixture, whisking constantly, into the warm half & half.
Return saucepan to medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, until the ice cream base thickens and begins to coat the back of the spoon. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat, but continue to stir for 2 or 3 additional minutes. Strain through a sieve into a clean bowl. (I use a quart Pyrex mixing bowl with a pouring spout, which simplifies transferring the cold mixture into the ice cream maker the next day.) Cover and cool completely, preferably overnight.
Before processing: add the vanilla to the well-chilled ice cream base and give it a good stir. Process according to manufacturer instructions, then transfer the ice cream to a one quart freezer-safe container. Freeze several hours before serving. Makes one quart.
CHOCOLATE CHIP: Use 4 oz. dark premium chocolate, melted and dribbled over parchment paper, frozen, then broken up. Add during last minute of processing.
CHOCOLATE: After custard has thickened and has been removed from heat, add 3 or 4 ounces of chopped dark chocolate (70% cacao). Stir until melted and smooth. Bring it up a notch, by also adding 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted!).
MOCHA: 2 Tablespoons instant coffee & 3 Tablespoons sifted cocoa powder added to heated milk. After the custard has thickened, add 4 or 5 ounces of a dark (70% cacao) chocolate bar, chopped and stir until completely melted.
PEANUT BUTTER CUP: 4 or 5 ounces Reeses Pieces or Justin’s Dark peanut butter cups, chopped. Place in freezer for an hour or so, then add at last minute of processing. Substitute any candy bar – Snickers, etc.
FRUIT: One cup fresh fruit (berries, peaches, etc.) roughly smashed. Add during last minute of processing.
HONEY: replace sugar with 2/3 cup honey.
Peanut Butter Cup and Raspberry ice creams
I will soon be posting way too many photos of our adorable grandchildren!
Happy New Year!
Until my next update, I remain, your “I’m over the jet lag” correspondent.