Vegan Saffron Kulfi

photo by Vegan Richa

photo by Vegan Richa

Vegan Kulfi

This post  is about a delicious vegan, gluten free version of the traditional ice cream of India. It uses coconut milk or coconut milk and almond milk and is flavored with saffron, cardamom and raw cashews. This is very simple recipe that you don’t even need an ice cream maker for. Basically a simple series of steps, heating and combining ingredients then freezing the resulting mix in individual serving molds. Traditionally these would be cone shaped but the author, Richa Hingle, used small rounded bottom bowls. As she suggests you could use popsicle molds or even plastic cups if you wanted a more traditional looking final shape.  Actually this would make great vegan ice cream popsicles. If you end up liking it you will see that it could make a great vegan, gluten-free base for all kinds of  flavor combinations.

For the recipe details and other delicious looking vegan indian recipes check out..

Kesar Kulfi Ice Cream on the Vegan Richa Blog

 

Traditional Kulfi

In case you are interested, kulfi is normally made from condensed milk or whole milk or a combination that is slowly reduced over a low flame until it is about half the original volume. Both of these versions result in a pronounced caramelized taste.

Here is a short about.com video that shows how it’s typically made:

 

07/25/2013
Saffron Vegan Kulfi

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
coconut milk, saffron / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)

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Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe

 

I liked the Strawberry sour cream variation of Jeni Bauer’s ice cream I came up so much that  I decided to re-post it here set up as an ice cream base.  The slight tang of sour cream complements fruits and chocolate flavors (maybe herbs?) really well. And the high butterfat content contributes to a smooth and creamy dessert.   If you try it please let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

Makes roughly 1 pint, double quantities for a quart. 

Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Sour Cream Ice Cream Base - variation on Jeni Bauer's base
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 ounces (2 tablespoons) cream cheese
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice Bath (if you are going to pre-chill)
Instructions
  1. Add the cream cheese and sour cream and vanilla extract to a blender and blend until smooth. Or if you would prefer to use a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and vanilla to a medium mixing bowl and whisk until soft and smooth. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined and smooth.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons milk with the 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a small bowl. Mix together well.
  3. Pre-chill the container/s you will storing the finished ice cream in, in your freezer.
  4. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottom, 3.5 to 4 quart saucepan.
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring with a heat-proof spatula.
  6. Reduce the heat, remix the cornstarch slurry and slowly add it to the saucepan. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. You should be able to run a line through the back of your coated spatula with your finger and have it not fill back in immediately.
  7. If using a blender, pour in the milk mixture, make sure the lid is firmly on and blend covered until well combined, about 20 seconds. If using a mixing bowl, whisk in milk mixture until well combined and smooth.
  8. Pre-chill by pouring the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag, seal and submerge into the ice bath. Let stand for about 30 minutes until the mixture is cold. For detailed tips on pre-chilling read this.
  9. Cut a corner of the ZipLoc bag, pour the chilled mix into your ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturers instructions. It should take about 20 - 30 minutes.
  10. Store in a freezer ready container/s. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper or cling-wrap right against the surface of the ice cream before closing the container. Store in the coldest part of your freezer for 2 - 4 hours before serving.

 

Simple Fruit Ice creams

  1. Puree enough fruit to end up with at least a cup or two of puree.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of the puree with the sugar and heat over low heat until the sugar is completely melted and combined with fruit. You are not so much cooking the fruit as binding the sugar to the fruit and released water.
  3. Whisk or blend in the puree to the mix right before your pre-chill it.
  4. Chill the remaining uncooked puree to spoon over the served ice cream.  You can also use it in a cooked sauce but I love it fresh and simple like this.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base

sweetened-condensed-milk-ice-cream-base

I wanted to have one post that contains my current version of a sweetened condensed milk ice cream base. This is a work in progress as I keep tinkering with various proportions of milk, cream and condensed milk. Why do I keep tinkering? Because I actually made the perfect version of this once; silky smooth, absolutely perfect texture, that stayed that way for days in the freezer and I didn’t write it down! Sigh..

If you haven’t tried a condensed milk based ice cream, you should. It has a unique, cooked milk, slightly caramelized taste and very nice texture. It is very sweet!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon of tapioca or corn starch
  • 2 inches of split, scraped vanilla bean, use a whole for vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of milk and tapioca or corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat milk, cream, and condensed milk in a medium, heavy bottomed pot until simmering. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the remixed tapioca/corn starch slurry.
  4. Put back on heat and cook for about a minute or until you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon or spatula, and leave a track that doesn't immediately fill in.
  5. Remove mix from the stove and pre-chill as required by your machine.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions
  7. Store in freezer-proof container with a sheet of cling wrap pressed on to the surface of the ice cream.

 

Click here for more recipes that incorporate sweetened condensed milk.

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Goat Cheese Ice Cream

 

Sunday I had a craving for goat milk ice cream. Unfortunately though I had some goat cheese and cream cheese in the fridge, I did not have goat milk and I didn’t have whole milk, just 2%. So I pulled out my copy of Jenni Bauer and sure enough there was goat cheese ice cream recipe. Actually she has two versions, one with cognac figs and the other roasted red cherries spun in. Sorry to say neither one made it in. This is straight goat cheese, egg-less ice cream and it is fantastic. A very addicting flavor that would work with just about any mix-in or sauce you would want to add. Also this is another ice cream that would make an excellent side to pie.

Using 2% instead of whole milk did cause it to freezer harder than im sure it would have otherwise. But it still scooped out fairly well, was not at all icy and had a very smooth texture after a few minutes of thawing.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream
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Cuisine: ice cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Goat Cheese Ice Cream very closely based on Jeni Bauer's recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of 2% milk (whole would be better)
  • 1 T plus 1t of tapioca or corn starch
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) of goat cheese
  • 3 T (1.5 oz.) cream cheese
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1¼ cups of heavy cream
  • ½ - ⅔ cup of sugar depending on your sweet tooth.
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
Instructions
Prep
  1. Mix a few tablespoons of milk with the tapioca/corn starch, set aside.
  2. Put the salt, and cheeses in a blender. Put on the blender top but open the pour in it.
  3. Place the container/s you are going to be storing your ice cream in, into the freezer to pre-chill it.
Cook
  1. Add the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup to a 4 quart heavy bottomed pan on medium heat.
  2. Bring to a low rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula so milk doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove from heat, re-mix the tapioca/corn starch and milk slurry and gradually add it to the pot while stirring.
  4. Put back on burner and stir for a minute or so until slightly thickened. It doesn't need to boil, we are just cooking the starch and using it to thicken the mix.
  5. Pour the mix into a heat proof bowl that has a lip.
  6. Turn on the blender and from the new bowl slowly pour the mix into the blender through the top pour hole. Blend long enough so that the cheeses are smoothly incorporated into the mix. This should only take 10 seconds or so.
Chill/Freeze
  1. Pre-Chill the mix if you need to. Click on the link for suggestions.
  2. Pour mix into your ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturer's instructions.
Freeze
  1. Freeze your ice cream at least 4- 6 hours for the best texture. A layer of cling wrapped pressed into the top of the ice cream prevents ice build up on surface.

Alternatives

There is no reason why the milk and cream cant be substituted with goat milk and goat cream.

Using a blender when making ice cream has become a habit of mine. I like how smooth the mix ends up and I think Im getting a little more air incorporated into the mix.  But using one is a little extra work, so you don’t have to if you don’t want to be bothered. The cheeses can be placed in a large heat-proof bowl and after you are done cooking the mix, pour it over the cheeses and whisk together until smooth.

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Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

This recipe is based on one from Jeni Bauer’s cookbook, Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream. I cut the ingredients in half for what turned out to be a little less than a pint of ice cream. To be honest I wasn’t going to post about it because I was disappointed with how it came out. I thought it tasted too fatty and that the flavor of peanut butter completely overwhelmed everything else. Though I am a big fan of nut ice creams, peanuts are probably my least favorite nut.

The good news is that it turned out to make a fantastic milkshake. I used unsweetened soy milk and a little (1/4 teaspoon or so) vanilla extract, but I am sure any “milk” would work well. The soy milk cut the fat and brought out the toasted coconut flavor. I found it to be quite addicting. If you are a milkshake person I can recommend this ice cream highly. The other reason I’m posting this, is that I made a critical ingredient substitution based on what I had on hand, that I think is the primary reason for it coming out a little fatty. I used canned unsweetened coconut creme instead of the coconut milk the recipe calls for, so blame the chef not the recipe.

Even though Jeni references Pad Thai as her inspiration, I think of this as an ice cream version of a Thai peanut satay sauce. One change I did make was to add some untoasted shredded coconut, in addition to the toasted, in order to bring up the coconut flavor. You can play with the proportions of the peanut butter to coconut milk to change the flavor balance even more if you wish. They both are pretty high in fat, so I don’t think it would drastically alter the texture of the resulting ice cream whatever balance you chose. As usual I used less sugar, 1/2 cup instead of the called for 2/3 cup. So peanut fans and milk shake aficionados, here is the recipe as I made it, except that I am showing Jeni’s ingredient quantities, as halving them didn’t make quite enough.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
My version of Jeni Bauer's Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream
Ingredients
  • 1/1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup peanut butter, preferably fresh
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (not light)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
Instructions
Prep
Toasted Coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Turn and stir every minute or two so that the coconut browns evenly.
  4. Bake for about 7 minutes. You really need to watch this carefully, at least once a minute, because it will go from nicely browned to unusable very quickly.
Cornstarch Slurry
  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl until well combined.
Cream Cheese/Peanut Butter
  1. If you have a blender, add to it the cream cheese, peanut butter, salt and cayenne pepper. You don't need to combine them yet. If you don't wish to use a blender, whisk together ingredients in a medium heat proof bowl. Set aside.
Ice Bath
  1. Prepare an ice bath of ice cubes and water in a medium size bowl.
Cook
  1. Combine remaining milk, cream, coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a 4 quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil on medium heat and boil for 4 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and gradually mix in the corn starch slurry. You will probably have to mix up the slurry again before adding it.
  3. Put the mixture back on the burner and cook until thickened, about a minute or so.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the blender or bowl you have the cream cheese mix in and combine until smooth.
  5. Mix in the toasted and untoasted shredded coconut. If using a blender, just pulse a few time to combine.
Chill
  1. Pour the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag and immerse in the ice bath for 30 minutes. Add more ice to keep cold if you need to.
Freeze
  1. Pour the ice cream into your ice cream maker and freeze.
  2. Store in a freezer proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed down to the surface of the ice cream to remove air bubbles. Store for about 4 hours before serving.

Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe

I have been curious about using goat milk in ice cream as I love goat cheese and was recently turned on to cajeta, a mexican goat milk dulce de leche.  After doing a bit of reseach I found that there are only minor differences either nutritionally or in make up between milk from cows and goats.  Here is a comparison table that I pulled from this interesting comparison between dairy goats and cows.

goat_milk_comparison

So the decision to use goat milk instead of cow milk comes down to taste preference. Maybe you are lucky enough to own a goat, and have a ready supply of fresh goat milk. While you will certainly taste the goat in goat milk ice creams, the taste is subtler than in cheese. Cold dampens flavors and the taste of sugar pretty drasticly alters flavor in most ice creams. Having said that, the unique tang of goat milk seems to be one of those flavors that inspires a wide range of extreme reactions in people.  I assume if you have read this far you are fan.

So here is my first attempt at a goat milk ice cream.  I decided to be a goat milk purist and use no cow milk or cream at all.  This means we have to get more fat from somewhere and we need something to to help us fight grainy ice crystals.  The additional fat will come from egg yolks and the additional ice tamer will be corn starch.  Im using honey rather than table sugar because the flavor is a good complement to goat milk. Try to use a strong, dark version. The downside to using honey is that ice creams with a lot of it tend to develop a coarse texture after being stored in a home freezer for a while. We are only going to make about a pint and a half so that we can eat it with only a few hours hardening (or straight out of our ice cream maker).

Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A vanilla goat milk ice cream that can be eaten as is or used as a base for other flavors.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups goat milk
  • ½ vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
Instructions
  1. Mix together the egg yolks, ½ cup of goat milk and the corn starch until smooth in a blender.
  2. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the goat milk in the next step. If using vanilla extract it will be added in at the end of the cooking process.
  3. Add the remaining goat milk and honey to a heavy bottomed, medium, saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip), and bring to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Boil, stirring for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the burner. Turn the blender on at a low setting and in a very, very, thin stream pour in the hot goat milk. It is critical that this is done very slowly so as not to end up with scrambled eggs. Do this through the access hole in your blender lid as opposed to just having the lid off, otherwise you risk making a surprising and regretable mess. If you would prefer a more traditional method read this.
  5. When the goat milk mix is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the goat milk.
  6. Thicken the mixture into an egg custard by stirring constantly, over a medium heat, until you measure 170º F/77° C on a good instant read thermometer. If you don't have an instant read thermometer, thicken it until you can run your finger over the back of the spoon or spatula you are stirring with and leave a trail that doesn't immediately fill back in.
  7. Remove from heat. Remove the two pieces of vanilla bean pod. If using vanilla extract instead, mix it in now.
  8. Pre-chill the mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker. Read about the various ways of doing this (or not) here
  9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker. It should take 15 - 30 minutes.
  10. Serve right out of your maker or within a few hours of storing in your freezer. Store remainder in a freezer proof container. A layer of cling wrap smoothed on to the top of the ice cream before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.

 

I would serve this as a sundae using a generous topping of warm cajeta sauce and some toasted almond slivers.

For more goat milk recipes click here.

Mark Bittman’s World’s Simplest Ice Cream Base

NY Times

Mark Bittman, The New York Times resident foodie and cook has come up with what has to be one of the easiest of all cooked ice cream bases. A basic corn starch base that is simple both in ingredients and in preparation. If you want to make a fast ice cream that is still better than anything you can buy at the supermarket this is the way to go. Plus as he notes in the article you can make this as low fat as you want or need to based on the type of milk or cream you use

Corn Starch Ice Cream Base

Mark Bittman's World's Simplest Ice Cream Base
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Corn Starch Ice Cream Base Makes 1 Pint
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups light cream, half-and-half or milk (whole or skim), or a combination. You can also substitute buttermilk or yogurt for half (1¼ cups) the mixture.
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl blend ½ cup of milk mixture with cornstarch so there are no lumps.
  2. Add the remaining 2 cups of the milk/cream mixture, the sugar and salt to a saucepan. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape in the seeds and then add the pod to the pan, if not don't add the vanilla extract now. Cook over a medium low heat until mixture begins to steam.
  3. Remove the vanilla pods and add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Cook, stirring until it starts to thicken and just begins to boil. Reduce the heat to very low and stir for another 5 minutes or so until thick.
  4. Take off the heat, stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a bean.
  5. If the mixture has any noticeable lumps, strain it through a fine mesh sieve. If you are not using an ice cream machine with a built in freezing condenser, pour custard into a bowl and refrigerate until cold. This will usually take a couple of hours but here are some options.
  6. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 
Go to the original recipe for a short list of flavor variations

Corn Starch Ice Cream on the New York Times

A Video of Mr. Bittman preparing the base.

Jeni Britton Bauer’s Ice Cream Base

To make great ice cream you need to start with a great base recipe that you can then build on with additional flavors. I first read about Ms Bauer’s in Saveur magazine and her base is one that I use regularly. I was put off from trying it for a while because of her use of cornstarch and (horrors!) corn syrup. Boy was that a huge mistake! For one thing the light corn syrup she uses is not the same as the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas. Most importantly, for philadelphia-style, eggless bases, it doesn’t get any better than this one.

The most amazing distinguishing quality of Jeni’s base is its texture. Smooth, grain free and slightly chewy, with an inherent warmth that allows you to bite into it without it being so cold as to hurt your teeth. And it melts in your mouth in that perfect lush wave of dairy creaminess which is what ice cream is all about. Her’s are the only ice creams I make that I prefer eating after hardening for a few hours in my freezer, as opposed to right out of the ice cream maker. That time and additional freezing very noticeably locks in the texture. Unlike most homemade ice creams this recipe stores well and scoops out like a dream.

No ice cream recipe is for everyone (what fun would that be?) so let me point out a few aspects that I have read people having issues with. Some people find the cheesecake component really stands out in flavor, and either find it distractingly strong or just don’t like it.  Try to use a very high quality cream cheese (she recommends Organic Valley). If you are concerned this will be a problem for you, just leave it out. The recipe will be less smooth but cream cheese is not a deal breaker. Some people also claim the taste of corn starch is overwhelming to them. Though my natural inclination is to think this is a figment of their imagination, the fact is the range of what people taste is surprisingly broad so who is to say.  I don’t taste corn starch in the final product.

One issue that I do notice is that with 3/4 cups of sugar and two tablespoons of light corn syrup this is a very sweet ice cream base. Not unusually so, many ice creams use a full cup of sugar. To sweet for my personal taste. Jeni says you can reduce the the amount of sugar by two tablespoons but no more. Honestly I reduce it by 4 tablespoons (using 1/2 cup of sugar rather than 2/3 cup) and yes it degrades the texture a small, but noticeable amount. Life is compromise. I would suggest you try making the original recipe (below) to the letter before making any changes.

The last thing I want to point out is that you need a good 3.5 or 4 quart saucepan or pot that conducts heat evenly. Jeni has you bring the milk and cream mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes in order to reduce out some of the water in the mixture. If you use one with a thin metal base, you are much more likely to get some burnt milk sticking to the base. I use an enameled cast iron Le Crueset style soup pot as it totally avoids this issue. The downside is that it is heavy and doesn’t have a lip. Whatever you use, try to set the heat of your burner low as you can and still bring the mixture to a boil.

Recommendations:

  • Use Organic Valley cream cheese or better.
  • Harden the ice cream in your freezer for at least a few hours for the best texture.
  • Use the best quality ingredients you can. If you can get local, fresh milk and cream you will taste it.
Jeni Britton Bauer's Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of cornstarch
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. (1.5 ounces) cream cheese, softened (10 seconds in a microwave will do it.)
  • 1 Heavy duty 1 gallon ziploc freezer bag. Or a flat heatproof tupperware or rubbermaid style container that seals tightly and can hold a quart of liquid. The freezer bag works the fastest but can be a little messy when emptying.
  • A large bowl with a tray or two worth of ice and water in it.
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together a few tablespoons of milk and the cornstarch to make a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Place the cream cheese and salt in heat proof bowl or pitcher big enough to handle the full quart of mixture. Ideally this would have a pouring spout and and handle to make your life easier and would be non metallic so you can microwave the cream cheese for 10 seconds to soften it.
  3. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Boil for 4 minutes; give the corn starch slurry a remix and stir it into the pot.
  5. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about a minute. Coat the back of a spoon with the mixture and run a finger through it. If the track left by your finger doesn't immediately fill back with the mixture it is thick enough.
  6. Pour in ¼ cup hot milk mixture into your cream cheese bowl whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk mixture.
  7. Pour mixture into the ziploc bag or container. Seal, and submerge it in a bowl of ice and water until chilled. This takes about 30 minutes.
  8. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker. It is a little less messy if you cut off one of the bottom corners of the bag and pour the mix out through that.
  9. Process according to manufacturer's instructions.
  10. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set. At least a few hours. This step is essential to fully lock in the perfect texture Jeni as conjured into this recipe.