Memories and Ice Cream

We were sitting on the porch at Dorothy-Mom’s house last week, talking. Making plans for summer, musing about summers gone by, and relaxing. We do that a lot at her house. But I mentioned that I’d gotten an ice-cream maker, partly for an ETWYRT recipe, and partly for the kids to amuse themselves with this summer. Both Dot-Mom and the First Reader perked up. “remember the ice cream Grandma used to make?” The First Reader closed his eyes, an expression of bliss on his face. “Us kids would crank and crank…”

Dot-Mom nodded,  “When it got hard enough I was too light to turn the handle and someone else had to take over.”

They both agreed that the ice cream was rich and delicious, and you just can’t get anything like it at the store.

I suspect you can, but it costs like five dollars a pint, and both of them would be horrified to the bottom of their frugal souls. I wouldn’t buy it, either… But I would do the research and come up with a recipe for the good stuff. The right stuff. And I didn’t have to crank, because I didn’t buy the old-school ice-cream churn, I’d indulged in a countertop electric model. 

You have to freeze the inner ‘bowl’ at least overnight, but other than that, it’s a pretty simple device. Outer shell that you nest the freezer bowl into , a lid, and the electric motor in it’s housing, that turns a plastic ‘dasher’ and keeps the mixture moving as it freezes, which both prevents the formation of large ice crystals that aren’t tasty or comfortable to eat, and adds air, resulting in a light, fluffy ice cream. If you just stuck the bowl in the freezer you’d get an ice cube – or giant popsicle, anyway. So the ice cream maker is handy… and relatively inexpensive. Mine was less than $25 because I didn’t want to spend too much and don’t have a lot of storage space. It will make up to 1 1/2 quarts at a time.

After eating his portion of ice cream last night, the First Reader has declared it paid for.

Plain Jane Vanilla Ice Cream
Plain Jane Vanilla Ice Cream

This is not, I assure you, suitable for persons on a diet. On the other hand, it’s so very good! I was able to have a bit, since the milk is cooked and I use the enzyme tablets it didn’t make me sick. But Lactose intolerance is a matter of degrees and what works for me won’t work for someone else. I’ll have dairy-free recipes later, I’m sure.

Assemble the ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp vanilla extract and/or the beans of the vanilla pod, split lengthwise and scraped out. (you need this if you wan the little black specks)

4 eggs, separated. You’ll only use the yolks in this recipe, but I suggest my Forgotten Meringue Cookies to use up the whites.

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sugar (note to my low-carb readers. You could probably use splenda or something here, sugar isn’t essential to the structure of the ice cream)

Ribs and ice cream_-4

Whisk together the sugar and the egg yolks. Heat the milk (not the cream!) to a simmer (I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes) and then whisk into the egg mixture. Ribs and ice cream_-5

Cook, stirring occasionally, over med-low heat until it reaches 165 deg F. Try not to let it come to a boil. Place in the fridge to cool as long as you can – it should be no more than 65 deg F when it does go into the ice cream maker. Ribs and ice cream_-11

You can see the custard base, still in the pan, and the cream, and the ice cream maker without the freezer bowl here. The custard base is slightly thick, but not like pudding. Ribs and ice cream_-12

Combine all the ingredients. I like something with a pour spout to get it cleanly into the ice cream maker. Ribs and ice cream_-13

Assemble, start the dasher, and pour in the mixture. This will now take about 20-30 minutes to turn into the thickness of soft-serve ice cream. If, like me, you want it firm enough to scoop, then remove it from the freezer bowl to a sealed container, and place in the freezer for a couple of hours before eating. Ribs and ice cream_-20

I’ll have you know it’s really difficult to photograph a moving ice cream maker! This is very close to done. Ribs and ice cream_-21

And this is what it looked like when I decided it was done enough. We could have eaten it right then… and when I handed that dasher to the First Reader to taste, he almost decided we should. But dinner was served and waiting to be eaten, so I went ahead and put the ice cream in the freezer.

Still soft, but the texture is prefect.
Still soft, but the texture is perfect.

This isn’t the ice-milk they sell as ice cream in the store. One, you’re not going to find the custard based ice cream, much less the full-on cream, unless you’re looking at the very high-end. And even that, I’m not sure of. You can taste the custard. This is so rich, but it’s not terribly sweet. I left it naked for serving to highlight the vanilla ice cream and how good it is by itself, but you could add anything to this. I’m going to have fun this summer, I can tell that already! We’ll make more memories of good food together, and enjoying it with company and conversation.

Just no messy salt and cranking. I don’t think I’ll miss that part.


5 responses to “Memories and Ice Cream”

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard Avatar
    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Once Upon A Time

    There was this kid who wanted ice cream so he put a glass of milk into the freezer.

    Strangely, it didn’t work. 😀

    1. LOL! Yes, I think my kids tried that (only with chocolate milk) when they were little.

  2. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    Try using the device to make sorbets. Lighter than ice cream, and no lactose.

    1. I have done one in it already, and have plans for more! I love sorbets, always have.

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