After I was done with my lastest baking experiment – the Angel Food Cake – I was left with a total of 12 egg yolks. I had originally planned to use them in the vanilla-flavoured crème I was meaning to use as filling for a batch of cream puffs. However by the time I took out my sponge from the oven, I was in no mood for whipping up creams of any flavour.
I had never considered the possibility of making ice cream at home before as I do not own an ice cream maker but I do have quite a few ice cream recipes bookmarked from several blogs. Besides people have been making ice cream well before ice cream makers were around so I figured that I could very well attempt a home made version to prevent my yolks from going waste. While home made ice cream may not be as smooth and creamy as one you would churn out of a machine, the final result is infinitely superior to any store bought ice cream. Plus, you have the added advantage of picking your favourite flavour combination.
For my big ice cream debut, I chose a well tried and tested recipe from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. You will find part of his fabulous collection of ice cream & sorbet recipes on his blog where he also shares tips on how to make ice cream without a machine. I did my best to be faithful to the instructions but gave up after making the custard. I simply did not have enough energy to go back and check on the freezing mixture every half an hour or so. Once my custard was thick enough, I strained it into the cold cream and poured everything into an old ice cream container which I stashed at the back of my fridge.
It was only on the second day that I finally remembered to check on my home made ice cream. Fortunately it was nothing close to the disaster I was expecting. I was clearly impressed by the overall texture though I would probably cut down on the sugar next time. And I’m pretty sure that there will be plenty of next times for this one 🙂
VANILLA ICE CREAM
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk.
- Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
- Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2L) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water.
- Set a strainer over smaller bowl. Pour cream into the bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together egg yolks.
- For a richer custard, add up to 3 more egg yolks. Rewarm milk.
- Pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Scrape the bottom with a spatula, until custard thickens enough to coat spatula.
- Strain custard into the heavy cream. Stir over ice until cool, add vanilla.
- Refrigerate to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight. Remove vanilla bean.
- Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Used vanilla beans can be rinsed, dried and stored in a sugar bin for baking and future ice cream making.
- If you dnt own an ice cream maker, prepare your ice cream mixture as above, then chill it over an ice bath.
- Put a deep baking dish or plastic/stainless steel bowl in the freezer and pour your custard mixture into it.
- After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it. As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer.
- Stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.
- Continue to check every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously. Use a hand-held mixer for best results, or a hand-held mixer.
- Or simply use a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.
- 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. Makes about 1 quart (1L) of vanilla ice cream.