Saturday, July 24, 2010

Perfecting an Ice Cream Base Recipe

I found somewhere online a couple years ago a quick ice cream recipe.  Many may call it cheating, but I'm going to pull a Bittmann here and tell you that I'm just too happy with the quick way to bother with the hard way many times.  The hard way is actually making a custard, using eggs.  It is fantastically delicious, but so is making ice cream.  So, I make ice cream.

The recipe that I found used to delight me to no end.  But a few months ago I made my chocolate version of it, and it was really, really sweet for me.  I don't know if my taste buds are changing, or if I've just not eaten the amount of sugar that I used to, but I knew I had to change the recipe.

The old recipe was simple:

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • your flavoring of choice

In a discussion with Chef Reiton, we decided that trying a cup and a half of cream might adequately balance out the sugar of the condensed milk, so the next batch of ice cream I made, I did the following:

1.  Macerate a small container of rinsed raspberries (what is that, 6 oz.?) in a tablespoon of sugar for about 10 minutes.

2.  In a large bowl, blend the cream and the condensed milk until the mixture is completely smooth and combined.

3.  Turn on the ice cream maker and slowly pour the cream mixture into the container.  Let it run for about 5 minutes.

4.  Stir the raspberries and scoop them into the container as it continues to run.  Continue mixing for another 25 minutes until the ice cream is of soft-serve consistency.

5.  With a spatula, scoop the ice cream into a freezer container, then lay a piece of plastic wrap over the ice cream and smooth it down completely to make contact and leave no space for ice crystals to form.  Cover with the lid and "ripen" or freeze the ice cream for at least an hour.

I actually macerated more raspberries than I needed when I did this, so I whipped up a quick batch of Cook's Illustrated Perfect Pie Dough that uses vodka (only I used all butter) and made a few hand pies with the leftover berries to eat with my ice cream.

The ice cream result? It was perfect.  Sweet, but not gag sweet.  Creamy, but it still froze up nice and firm, just how I like it.

So, here it is: raspberry ice cream with raspberry pie, summer in a bowl!

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