Summer Sweet Corn Ice Cream

photo by The New York Times

photo by The New York Times

You can’t get good, let alone great, corn in Tampa, That’s just the way it is, nothing I can do about it. But as a transplanted Northeasterner, this time of year stirs up deep cravings and memories of how spectacularly delicious an ear of corn is pulled off its stock and eaten raw standing right there in the summer heat. Corn eaten within the first twenty minutes of harvesting, before the sugars have turned to starch, has to be experienced to be believed. Its a different animal, I mean vegetable.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Anyway when I saw this recipe and video in today’s New York Times for Melissa Clark’s sweet corn ice cream I knew I had to post it. It is a straightforward egg custard based ice cream that uses 6 yolks for a quart of ice cream. She steeps the milk and cream in the corn for a hour to infusion it with corn flavor, which is imperative.

The only thing I probably wouldn’t do is strain out the corn kernels before making the ice cream. Smooth is overrated in my opinion, but having said that if you are going to leave them in make sure they are small enough so as not to become little ice rocks. Interestingly, it looks like you lose around 1/2 cup of mix in by straining as the recipe yields a pint and a half of ice cream for what is clearly over a quart of ingredients.

As regular readers of this site know there is also no way I would use 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of sugar, probably 3/4 cup.

Blackberry Sauce

The accompanying blackberry sauce looks and I’m sure tastes amazing. If you havent made fruit sauces before this is a perfect example of how easy it is to do. Start out with 1 1/2 cups of blackberries and..

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine remaining 60 grams sugar (5 tablespoons), lemon verbena (or zest) and 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts and syrup thickens slightly, about 7 minutes. Add blackberries and cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer, until fruit just softens, but doesn’t fall apart. Let cool, then discard verbena.

For the full recipe click here:

Corn Ice Cream on The New York Times

Egg Custard Based Beer Ice Cream

photo by America's Test Kitchen Feed

photo by America’s Test Kitchen Feed

 

Beer and Ice Cream, Perfect Together

I liked this post on making beer ice cream by Louise Emerick on the America’s Test Kitchen Feed blog. She has a experimented with a number of different styles of beer gives suggestions accordingly. A general conclusion is that beers that emphasis malt rather than hops make the best ice creams. Hoppy beers get bitter when cooked.  This matters here because of a feature of the recipe that is unique among beer ice creams that I am familiar with. Louise simmers the beer to reduce out some of the water and alcohol, so when she says avoid hops heavy beers there is a good reason.

She also points out that you need to make sure to use beers that have and alcohol by volume (ABV) of under 11%. This recipe uses 5 ounces of beer ( a little over half a cup) , 2 cups of heavy cream and no milk. Even though the beer is reduced by simmering Louise is concerned that you might end up with to much alcohol for the ice cream to freeze if you use a beer with a higher ABV. Its an interesting question, I would have thought reducing the beer on the stove would remove most, if not all the alcohol, but she has made a number of batches of this so her advice is best followed.

 

How to Not Temper Eggs

The beer ice cream version she details is egg custard based and what I really loved about this post was the way she tempers the eggs. She doesn’t. Louise just combines the sugar, dairy, egg yolks in a pan, whisks them together and brings the mix up to temperature slowly, constantly stirring with a soft spatula to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. The big reason this works is because she uses a good instant read thermometer. So when the temperature hits 180° F she intermediately pours the mix through a strainer over a bowl sitting in an ice bath. Duh! Why the heck haven’t I thought of this? This is the simplest technique imaginable. Now IMHO 180° F is living dangerously, I normally go to 170°, but she says does it all the time without a problem. It raises an interesting question though, how if at all, does cooking to a different temperature, somewhere between 165° – 180° effect the final flavor of the custard?

But the good new is as long as you have a good instant read thermometer (essential) , a heavy bottom pot or pan, and make sure to keep the mix moving while you are cooking, there is no reason to mess around with tempering eggs. Remember food keeps cooking after its off the burner, you have to stop this process by pouring the mix out of the hot pot and into a bowl or container sitting in an ice bath (even cold water will work).

Even if you don’t plan on making this ice cream, I hope you read her post just for the tempering technique. FYI you can read the post by just clicking below, however to see the actual recipe details, America’s Test Kitchen makes you sign up with either your Facebook login or by giving them a name and email address. The first time I have seen this on a cooking site.

How to Make Beer Ice Cream on America’s Test Kitchen Feed

 

David Lebovitz’s Rice Gelato


This is a killer recipe! If you like rice pudding ,which this essentially is, you will love, and I mean LOVE, this ice cream. It has one downside, which becomes apparent after 8 hours or so in your freezer. It freezes into a something that can be worked with a hammer and chisel! You will need to let it thaw for a good ten minutes or microwave it for 10 seconds or so before you will be able to scoop it.

However it is so good who cares. His recipe makes 1.25 quarts of ice cream, so make half. Invite friends over and eat it all right out of your ice cream maker. Store the left-overs, in single serving size containers. You can think of something. But whatever you do, make it.

The recipe is from his book The Perfect Scoop which I and many other people think is one of the great ice cream cookbooks. One of these days I write a proper review of it.

But I’m going to link you to the Spice of Life blog for the full recipe. Jescel, the author, faithfully reproduces it and also mentions an interesting variation at the end, where she replaces half the aborio rice called for with sticky rice.

David Lebovitz’s Rice Gelato Recipe on Spice of Life

 

06/17/2013
David Lebovitz Rice Gelato

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Rice, eggs / 1.5 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 1 hour 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 1.5 quarts (10 servings)


4.0 stars based on
1 review

Google/

French Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a classic French vanilla ice cream recipe that is simply a creme a l’anglaise  (egg custard) frozen in an ice cream maker.  You will be very, very happy if you eat it right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours in your freezer.  After that it will get hard and need a little thawing before you serve it.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Classic French recipe for vanilla ice cream. Read embedded links before printing.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a 2 inch piece of a split and scraped vanilla bean
Instructions
  1. In a medium, heavy bottomed pan, over a medium heat, cook the milk, vanilla bean (not extract), sugar and salt until it just starts to simmer.
  2. Temper the eggs with the cooked mix using one of these methods
  3. Add the combined mix back to the stove, and cook stirring, until the mix hits a temperature of 170 F or you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon and leave a track that doesn't fill in right away. This should only take a minute or two. Do not overcook or bring to boil.
  4. Immediately pour the mix into a medium heat proof bowl and whisk in the cold cream and vanilla extract if that is what you are using.
  5. Pre-chill as needed. Read this for options.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  7. Serve right away or after 2 - 6 hours hardening in your freezer as you prefer.
  8. Store in a freezer-proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed against the top of the ice cream to prevent frost buildup.

Google/

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Balsamic


Really incredible ice creams can be made from cheeses. This is a case in point. Goat cheese ice cream is rich and creamy, basically everything an ice cream should be. The folks at Brooklyn Supper brighten up the flavor with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and keep the texture soft with a couple of tablespoons of vodka. The later is optional of course. You could replace that with corn starch if you wanted an no alcohol version. Read the Jeni Bauer base recipe for other ideas.

Goat cheese is often served with various fruit spreads which would also go well this ice cream. Though I have to note this chèvre crème glacée au fromage does not have as pronounced a goat character as the cheese served by itself would. More than anything the flavor reminds me an excellent cheesecake.

A small amount of fig spread, quince paste and spiced apples for example, would be very nice accompaniments, as would pistachios or almonds and a little drizzle of honey.  Actually I just looked at David Lebovitz’s goat cheese recipe, interesting in that it only uses milk and no cream, -sigh so many recipes so little time- and he recommends serving it with a topping of strong honey and some walnuts.  Given how much like cheesecake it tastes a strawberry, raspberry or even chocolate sauce would probably work well.  Well enough with the tangents, on to the recipe.

 

04/26/2013
Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Balsamic recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
goat cheese balsamic vinegar / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream


I like this recipe for key lime pie ice cream because its a good example of how much fun it is to create an ice cream equivalent of some other food you enjoy. Last week a we had a couple of candy versions of this.

The first step is to decide what is essential about the original dessert and must be in or at least evoked by the ice cream version. I agree with the choices made by Renee on Magnolia Days. Sweetened condensed milk balanced with the proper amount of key lime juice, and a respectably eggy custard are essential. This may seem obvious but search the net for similar recipes and you will see this is not the case. I like that she uses a half cup of lime juice to balance the sweetness of the condensed milk. A good key lime pie is both tart and super sweet or its something else.

A variation I might try is to add the lime zest from the key limes and an additional cup of cream or half and half. Also I wonder if baking a ready made or fresh, graham cracker pie crust (brush it with a quick egg wash before baking) and then scooping the churned ice cream into it and freezing it like that would work?

 

04/19/2013
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Key Limes / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Saffron, Honey & Ricotta Ice Cream

 


I just came across this Saffron, Honey & Ricotta Ice Cream and haven’t had a chance to make it yet but wow! With these ingredients and 5 Egg Yolks, there is no way that this recipe isn’t going to be tremendous. To quote the post:

Saffron transforms ricotta into something fabulous

Here are the approximate American equivalents for the ingredients.

2 cups whole milk

1 tsp of saffron threads

5 egg yolks

7 oz/ .8 cups of sugar

1 cup heavy cream

18 oz ricotta cheese

2 tbsp honey, plus extra to serve

2 handfuls of toasted pine nuts, to serve

 

04/17/2013
Saffron, Honey & Ricotta Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Saffron, Honey & Ricotta / 1.3 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Cinnamon Ice Cream Recipe

cinnamon-ice-cream

Forget the first green buds on the trees, or seeing the first robin of spring. Here in Vermont you know spring has arrived when the ice cream stands open again. Take last Saturday, the first gloriously sunny day in almost 2 weeks… I had been heavily sidelined by a […]
 


There are a number of things I find enticing about this recipe for Cinnamon Ice Cream (Not the least of which are the brownies sitting next to it 🙂 ). First and foremost the use of cinnamon oil to intensify the cinnamon flavor of the ice cream, a spice that isn’t exactly shy to begin with. It’s a good reminder that our ability to discern flavors diminishes significantly in cold foods. A warm ice cream mix that tastes just right will probably be on the bland side once frozen. Getting a feel for this comes with experience, but as general rule of thumb, when flavoring ice creams remember the words of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein “Moderation is for monks.“.

Which brings me to using natural essential oils, and extracts when making ice creams. Vanilla extract is one everyone is familiar with, but they are available for a wide range of flavors. Concentrated, technicolor magic when used appropriately (which depending on the extract can be drops at a time), they are essential potions in the ice cream mad scientists laboratory. Not inexpensive, but with a fairly long shelf life, I like to use them to experiment with flavor notes in a couple of different ways. In milkshakes and when I’m being more methodical, by scooping out half cup of still soft, but mostly churned ice cream and then stirring in an extract a drop at time. I will be writing more about this in the flavor combinations section I am working. A good source of natural extracts in the Frontier Natural Products Cooperative, but there are a number of companies that make huge assortment flavors. Click on the previous link and then do an search on “natural flavors and extracts” and you will see that are pages of them.

Another potent way of intensifying this particular recipe would be to grind the cinnamon used right before making the ice cream. Grinding cinnamon by hand is simply not worth the effort when an inexpensive electric coffee grinder does the trick. This Krups is what I use and it works great, though it is a bit of a pain to clean. Grinding a little rice is a fast way to clean it out.

To go off on yet another tangent, cinnamon is another interesting spice to experiment with as there are a number of similar tasting plant barks that are sold as cinnamon. Actually its a good bet that you may have not actually ever tasted “real” cinnamon. You can get an idea of the variety on the The Spice House website, which is very good spice store in Chicago.

I like the use of 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Which I thought added just the right amount and character of sweetness.

I also thought it was interesting that MaryJane Robbins, the recipes creator, chose to use whole eggs, instead of just egg yolks. You rarely see this and honestly I think that’s mostly due to convention. There is without question a difference in the resulting texture, when just egg yolks are used. And my guess is, that if a recipe calls for many more than the two eggs used in this one, using the whites would start to become a problem. It would be interesting to try this recipe with just yolks and see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. I wish I can speak more knowledgeably on this. If anyone has any thoughts on using egg whites in ice cream please leave a comment below.

Lastly let me point out that this is a high fat recipe with a 3 to 1 cream to milk ratio, which means that it is very rich and creamy and freezes fairly well.

 

04/15/2013
Cinnamon Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cinnamon, eggs / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Chocolate Malted Ice Cream


This is a fun chocolate malt ice cream recipe based on a candy I was addicted to as a kid, Whoppers. Along with Raisinets, I would only get to eat them in movie theaters. In the small town in Connecticut I lived before I was 10, it was customary for what seemed like every kid in town to pack into the Strand theater for the Saturday matinee; an afternoon of Japanese monster movies, cartoons and b films from the 40s forward. Half the fun of course was loading up on candy. I probably could have asked my mother to buy them at the supermarket for me in those glorious days Before Nutrition, but it never occurred to me. Whoppers and Raisinets were eaten in movie theaters, end of story.

This Whopper Ice Cream recipe is on a family cooking blog, a sub-genre of food lovers blogs I particularly like. I hope those kids appreciate the fact that both their parents love to cook; as cliche as it sounds, my dad, could cook steaks on a barbecue, outside, 2 months out of the year, but indoors I don’t think he could boil water.

This is a very rich recipe with a 3 to 1 ratio of cream to milk and 4 egg yolks!  It should store nicely in your freezer.

It would be fun to experiment with varying combinations of malt and powdered chocolates, milk and dark.  Also a little cinnamon and or vanilla would certainly work with it.  For an adults only version, 3 T of Myers Rum might work, though that I’m less sure about.

whoppers

While wallowing in nostalgia after finding this recipe, I decided to look for an image of an old Whoppers box and found this great little website on collecting candy, named appropriately enough www.collectingcandy.com.

 

01/15/2013
Chocolate malt Ice Cream recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
whoppers, ovaltine / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

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
Posted By: 
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.

The Perfect Butter Pecan Ice Cream for Pie


I love butter pecan ice cream, but I never order it at an ice cream parlour or get cravings for it on its own. In my food memory it is inseparably linked to blueberry pie. A flavor combination I came upon by accident in Maine one summer, when the lobster shack we were at ran out of the customary vanilla.

One of my favorite food road trips was to drive the coast of Maine for the overt purpose of enjoying the beautiful scenery. In reality, the not-so-secret mission was to eat as much lobster and blueberry pie as was humanly possible. Those trips may have been where it first dawned on me that even (or maybe especially) simple dishes like blueberry pie held the possibility of infinite variation. That small differences in technique and quality of ingredients are easily discernible. Of course this is the essence of connoisseurship of any kind, and a great source of pleasure in my life now, but you are not born knowing this, and I grew up in a family that had a weekly TV dinner night.

The point of the story is that butter pecan and blueberry pie are one of those flavor combinations made in heaven. The butter in the ice cream, enhances the butter flavors of the pie crust, and the pecans add a textural component, and nuttiness, that complement the soft, sweet, blueberry filling. So you can understand why I think a great version of this ice cream needs to have a lot of butter and nuts in it.

After a lot of searching, I have come across this recipe by Elsie Bauer on Simply Recipes that should be perfect for serving with pie. It uses 6 tablespoons of butter, that Elsie takes full advantage of by browning first before adding to the egg custard. She also uses an generous cup of pecans for a quart and a half of ice cream, and  includes a comment on them that I don’t want you to miss..

Note, if you want an extra punch to this ice cream, brush the pecans with melted butter and sprinkle with salt before roasting.

As far as I’m concerned, you ALWAYS want extra punch!

 
Butter Pecan Ice Cream on Simply Recipes
 
Now of course I have to find a great recipe for blueberry pie. I like fillings that just barely hold together (minimally gelatinous), with surprising, but light spicing. My attempts at pie crust have so far been dismal, but I have heard very good reports about this one and plan to try it next.

01/15/2013
Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Butter, pecans / 1.5 quarts

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

Black Pepper Ice Cream


I am a big fan of Olga Massov’s blog sassy radish. Her recipes are always interesting and tempting, and I like the way she lets her personality comes through her writing. She sounds very warm, and down to earth, and her posts always leave me hungry!

 

Here are a couple of quotes so you can see what I mean:

While plain vanilla ice cream, done well, is nothing short of spectacular, vanilla ice cream with infused with pepper (black or pink or white) takes vanilla to a whole new level. Think of it as vanilla in fourth dimension.

Makes about 4 servings, or if you’re me, 1 serving for an ice cream lover with zero self-control.

If somebody ever organizes an International Food Blogger Exposition (hopefully Paris the first year, Tokyo the second) she would be someone I would make a point of trying to meet.

This recipe was inspired by a meal memory and David Lebowitz, both coincidently in France, but probably not at the same time. Actually the recipe is based on one from his book The Perfect Scoop. One of my two primary ice cream recipe references and one which I keep meaning to review here.

The food memory she describes makes me wonder if this is a common occurrence among cooks, i.e. flashing back to a memorable meal when reading a recipe. It certainly happens to me all the time. I sometimes think I remember every meal I have ever had, and it doesn’t take much to tease up a memory of one of them. And this is from someone who otherwise often can’t remember his own name.

I haven’t made Olga’s recipe yet, but it is at the top of my list and I will update this post accordingly when I do. The idea of black pepper, in a not-to-sweet, vanilla ice cream is exactly the kind of elemental, savory flavor I am into at the moment. Behind the times I know, but I’m still fairly new at this ice cream making thing.

Black Peppercorn Ice Cream Recipe on sassy radish

Black Pepper Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Black Pepper, Vanilla / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Churro Frozen Custard


The last time I was working in New York, I went through a short period of becoming addicted to churros. Mostly I would purchase them from women selling them from tiny stands on subway platforms; but there were also restaurants were you could order upscale versions with cups of ultra-thick hot chocolate. Slightly crunchy, covered with cinnamon and sugar, and not a little greasy, if you are a donut fan, you will understand how they can become a bad habit. I finally willed myself to stop buying them out of health paranoia (and here I am with an ice cream website!).

 

When I came across this recipe on Bakers Royale for churro ice cream I knew I had struck gold. What a fantastic idea. It has all the flavor intensity of baked version without the grease-slick aftertaste. The recipe is quite straightforward and the crumble is very easy to make. I’m referring to it as a frozen custard just to stick with the conventions of my website but Naomi simply calls it simply an ice cream.

 

Churro Ice Cream Recipe on the Bakers Royale Blog

Churro Frozen Custard

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cinnamon / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

A Classic Gelato Base

This is the standard gelato base that I will be updating as I experiment. I put together this recipe to approximate the fantasy ideal of what most people imagine this Italian ice cream to be. That is lower in fat, at least dairy fat, and having a dense, silky-smooth, glossy texture provided by the inclusion of a lot of egg yolks. As you can read about here, this actually describes only one style of gelato, even in Italy.

The most important practical thing to know about making gelato is that it is best served either right from your ice cream maker or after only a few hours of hardening in the freezer. It just doesn’t keep well for long periods of time in a home freezer. You will find that the next day it can be hard as a rock and will need to be thawed a little before you can scoop, let alone serve it. The only problem with this is that if you do it more than a few times the process of melting and re-freezing starts to ruin both the taste and texture of what is left in the container. For that reason my recipe is for one pint rather than a quart. Just double everything if you with to make more.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup  heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cup  whole milk
  • 5 large  egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract

 

Instructions

  1. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a medium size bowl in your freezer to pre-chill for no more than than 1/2 an hour. If you do this at the start of making this recipe that should be enough time.
  2. Mix together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of cream and sugar until smooth in a blender.
  3. Add the milk 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 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 milk is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the 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 and immediately pour the mix into the bowl that contains the heavy cream you have been chilling in the freezer. Whisk together until smooth. The purpose of this step is to rapidly lower the temperature of the mix and stop it from continuing to cook.
  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 gelato before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.

Download a pdf of this recipe here.

Notes and Variations

Feel free to flip or even out the proportions of milk to cream. With a two to one cream to milk ratio I would call this a frozen custard and with a one to one proportion, I would call this an ice cream. But what’s in a name?

The number of egg yolks used is completely up to you. In one pint I wouldn’t use fewer than two or more than 6. The more yolks you use, the denser, smoother and glossier the result be. Unfortunately it will also be that much higher in cholesterol.

For a true vanilla gelato I would use 1/4 vanilla bean split and scraped and added to milk when you boil it. You can still add or not as you prefer, the teaspoon of vanilla extract later as the recipe above calls for.

If you prefer a sweeter result you can add up to 1/4 cup more sugar to the recipe above. In the interest of experimenting with texture, instead of adding more table sugar try adding 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. This should help it stay softer in your freezer. Add the corn syrup to the milk when you go to boil it. Another thing we could try to soften the stored texture, is the addition of one tablespoon of an 80 proof alcohol that compliments the flavor you plan to make; for example Meyers rum, bourbon, vodka or maybe a liqueur that you like. Add this right before you pour the mix into your maker.

A Classic Gelato Base

Bob Clark
Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Cranberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream


This is a perfect holiday season ice cream, if for no other reason, than it can be hard to find cranberries in the supermarket the rest of the year. Kerry Saretsky, the recipe’s author, states she was led to the idea for this frozen custard by cookies made with white chocolate chips and cranberries. Sounds right to me!

 
The Secret Ingredient (Cranberry): Cranberry Ice Cream with White Chocolate Chunks Recipe on the Serious Eats blog
 
Kerry has her own excellent food blog which I urge you to visit.
 
French Revolution
 

Possible Variations

First my standard caveat; chefs make choices about technique and ingredients for a reason. I list some things I might change, not as a criticism, but to reinforce the point that ice cream making is forgiving, and to encourage experimentation. In most cases I suggest that the first time you cook a recipe, do so exactly as laid out by its creator.

Kerry uses a hand mixer to combine the eggs and sugar. I’m currently hot on using a blender for this. Blend the eggs and sugar until pale and smooth. Then when you are ready to combine the cooked milk and cream mixture with the eggs, pour it into the blender in a very thin stream, with it turned on to its lowest setting. I describe this in a little more detail here.

I would probably go with 3/4 cup of sugar rather than a full cup as Kerry uses for this recipe. Cranberries are tart so many (most?) people probably wont find the full cup of sugar too much. This is just my personal taste.

Since this has 5 egg yolks in it, I think you would be safe reversing the proportions of milk to cream if you wanted to turn it into a lower fat gelato. By safe I mean I don’t think you would give up much in terms of creaminess. This would be especially ok to do if you plan to eat it all right out of the machine. With less fat, what’s left will freeze harder in your freezer and may need a few minutes to warm up before serving.

I think I also would be tempted to take this over the top a little, based on its chocolate chip cookie roots, and mix in a 1/4 cup of nuts (chopped walnuts or almonds), maybe even a little shredded toasted coconut. My favorite chocolate cookie recipe is out of the old Paul Prudhomme classic cookbook Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen. Lori Taylor’s Chocolate Chippers is chock o’ block full of delicious add-ins: dates, toasted coconut, granola, and walnuts. Here is the recipe online. Now of course if you start loading up this recipe with all these additions, you are moving pretty far way from the balanced elegance of the original. I know, make the ice cream as Kerry describes, and then serve it as an ice cream sandwich between a couple of Lori Taylor chocolate chippers!

Since I brought up the Louisiana Kitchen I have to mention another recipe because it is one of my all time favorites: Barbecue Shrimp. This heart attack inducing, butter loaded, hot pepper infused, take on marinating and cooking shrimp is so spectacularly delicious that regardless of any dieting distractions you may be currently fostering, I urge you to try it at least once. If this was typical of what Mr. Prudhomme was eating regularly in 1984, his cover photo makes total sense, from the big smile on down.

Cranberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cranberries, White Chocolate / 1 1/2 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Brown Butter Ice Cream

 


I am a total push-over for what I think of as elemental ice creams. Ones made with a few simple, earthy ingredients: cream, sugar, eggs and their derivatives, egg custard, caramel, scorched milk etc… So when I found Pim Techamuanvivit’s recipe for browned butter ice cream on Chez Pim I considered my day made! To quote her:

My brown butter ice cream recipe is a result of an experiment. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a quest: one to see how much brown butter I can get away with adding into a pretty classic, basic ice cream base recipe. I want my brown butter ice cream to actually taste like brown butter, not just hinting at it.

Talk about sympatico to my own approach to making ice cream and cooking in general. She can count me as a new fan. One thing I want to point out about this recipe before turning you over to her, is the obvious and ingenious use of a blender to mix everything together, incorporate all that fat, and temper the eggs when making the custard. What a great process simplifying technique! I’m going to be using it going forward. Now on to the recipe:

 
Brown Butter Ice Cream, or, how to make ice cream in a blender on Chez Pim

Brown Butter Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Brown Butter / 1 1/2 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 25 min
Total Time: 55 min

Over the Top Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted caramel ice cream has been a “flavor of the moment” for a very long moment now. It reminds me a little of the cupcake craze that started at the Magnolia Bakery in New York almost 12 years ago, and is still working its way around the country and the world as the next big thing.

No matter, because salted caramel deserves it’s reputation. It has introduced a lot a people to the joys of savory ingredients in ice cream and is one of the those flavors that people tend to get super serious cravings for. With that in mind I think that Molly Wizenberg’s recipe on Orangette will satisfy the most intense cravings of the biggest fans of this flavor. With 11 egg yolks, a proportion of half cream to half milk, and a corn syrup based, dark caramel, this is one very smooth, rich and tasty caramel sensation.

Molly expresses a concern that the cooking method described will not necessarily bring the eggs to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature needed to kill any Salmonella bacteria if present. Should this stop you from making this recipe, only you can decide. By the way, to put this into perspective, being a stickler about this, means you would never eat another sunny-side up (soft yolk) egg again.

Once you click through, scroll down the page to get to the recipe.

 
Salted Caramel Ice Cream Recipe on Orangette

As I have pitched this recipe as a craving satisfier, you may find yourself to be to impatient to cool the mixture down over night. If that is the case you can check out various pre-chilling alternatives here.

Over the Top Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Caramel, salt / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hours 10 min

Strawberry and Balsamic Ice Cream


As the authors say in their introduction, strawberries and balsamic vinegar are one of those flavor matches made in heaven. This is a very rich, egg custard based recipe. With a cream to milk ratio of 1 3/4 cups of cream to 3/4 cups of milk and 5 egg yolks, I would classify this is a frozen custard. The strawberry ice cream that results is delicious, with a technicolor stawberry flavor, and a rich and creamy texture. Try it even if you have to substitute fresh for frozen strawberries.

 
Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe on finecooking.com

Strawberry and Balsamic Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Strawberries / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Burnt Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Ice Cream

One of the best things about making ice cream at home is that of all the many foods you can cook, it is both very forgiving and very open to experimention. Once you learn a small set of basic techniques you can let the mad scientist in you run wild.

Last night I wanted to make some ice cream for dessert. After looking in my refrigerator I saw that I had some half and half, some buttermilk and some Meyer Lemons on hand. Also the idea of a caramel appealed to me at that moment. So I went to iloveicecream.net (what an awesome website! 🙂 ) and found two recipes I could mix and match from to make ice cream from what I had on hand.

Burnt Orange Ice Cream

Buttermilk Ice Cream

I primarily used the Burnt Orange recipe to see how to make a citrus caramel and the Buttermilk recipe to find out that the buttermilk is added in after the custard is heated up on the stove. So here is what I came up with. Note this ended up being a relatively low fat, low sugar recipe.

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Large Meyer Lemon zested and juiced. Try to have around ¼ - ½ a cup of juice.
  • ½ cup of table sugar
  • ¾ cup of half and half
  • ¾ cup of buttermilk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Combine half the sugar, and the 2 egg yolks and salt in heat proof, medium sized bowl. It needs to be big enough to hold the whole recipe.
  2. Combine zest and half and half in a saucepan and bring almost to a boil. Stir so that mixture doesn't burn. Remove from heat.
  3. Now we are going to make a simple caramel from the juice and sugar. In a heavy bottomed saucepan add half the sugar to the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over a medium low heat. Let the mixture boil until it starts to brown, swirl the mixture occasionally. I found that I had to add a tablespoon of sugar after awhile to kick it over the point of caramelizing. Once its starts to brown it does so quickly, so start stirring with a fork. You want to go for at least an orange brown color, but brown it as deeply as you wish, just keep it moving so that it doesn't burn. When you are finished remove from heat.
  4. Slowly add about ½ cup of the half and half/zest mixture to the caramel, whisking vigorously. Mixture will bubble and steam. when things calm down, add the rest in a thin steady stream, continuing to whisk. I prefer to use a fork for all this whisking as there isn't enough custard to fully engage a whisk. Return the caramel to the stove and cook over a very low heat until everything is well mixed and hot.
  5. Remove mixture from heat and in a series of small trickles pour into the bowl containing the egg yolks, whisking vigorously. The point here is to combine everything slowly enough so that the eggs don't overcook into scrambled eggs. If you are leery of this process you can use a more traditional tempering method.
  6. Pour the combined mixture back into the caramel saucepan and cook over a medium low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. 170 degrees Fahrenheit on a reliable instant read thermometer is good. Do NOT let it come even close to boil.
  7. Pour mixture into a clean bowl and stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.
  8. If you have a freezer/compressor ice cream maker you can pour the mixture into it as soon as you would like and freeze as per the manufacturers instructions. One pint wont take more than 20 minutes or so to freeze.
  9. If you have freezer bowl style maker, refrigerate the mixture until its cold, at least 2 hours, before making. For other pre-chilling methods click here.

 

So how did it turn out? Well I wont be entering any ice cream competitions with this recipe but it did the job, everyone forced to try it (little persuasion needed), liked it. I found the citrus caramel and buttermilk flavors worked very well together as I had hoped. Mission accomplished.

This ice cream freezes hard after an extended period in the freezer.  Microwave for 10 seconds to soften before scooping and serving.

Though I found the recipe plenty sweet for my taste, if you have strong sweet tooth that would be the first thing I would suggest changing. Maybe add a 1/4 to 1/3 cup more sugar. Next I think I would try heavy cream in place of the half and half or maybe add tablespoon of cornstarch to smooth out the texture a bit more.

A good video from finecooking.com on making caramels.

Helado de Cajeta


Nicky at Delicious Days, introduces this recipe by saying:

My dear friend Stephanie (who already kindly shared her grandma’s tamales recipe and her mum’s peach cobbler recipe with d:d-readers) has not only sent me the most delicious treat, but delivered a fantastic ice cream recipe (I SO MEAN THAT! Probably my favorite ice cream EVER!) and guest post along:

As Delicious Days is one of the world’s best food blogs (and I SO MEAN THAT!) I am really looking forward to making this. I am a big fan of Dulce de Leche, but was not familiar with a Mexican version; Cajeta, a sweetened caramelized goat’s milk. With the prevalence of Mexican grocery stores these days I don’t expect any trouble finding Cajeta, but if you cant, substitute Dulce de Leche which can be found in any Latino market. Not to mention the fact that there are a million places to buy Cajeta online.

Helado de Cajeta Recipe at the Delicious Days blog

I suggest using your gelato mixing blade for this recipe, if you have one, as the additional density you will get, should complement it well.

Update 12/20/12: I finally made this and it’s absolutely killer. Cajeta is completely addicting and makes an incredible topping.

Helado de Cajeta

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cajeta / 2 quarts

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 40 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

Buttermilk Ice Cream

What to do with the buttermilk left over from making pancakes, why make ice cream of course. For some reason it seems to be impossible to buy buttermilk in any quantity smaller than a quart. Well after you try this simple, if rich to the point of insanity, recipe, you may be purchasing buttermilk to make ice cream, and using the leftovers for pancakes.This truly is an insane ice cream. It uses 12 egg yolks. That’s right, an entire dozen egg yolks! If you want to be a stickler about it, this really isn’t even ice cream but a frozen custard. If you used milk for most of the heavy cream, you would have a gelato. If you used 24 eggs you would have a world record! Actually I shouldn’t joke, I bet I will eventually find an eggnog ice cream recipe or something similar, that comes in at 24 eggs. I like what Deb Perlman at The Smitten Kitchen says towards the end of the post.

 I’m going to share with you a little secret: You don’t need to use all of these egg yolks. Oh sure, you can and the results will blow your ice cream-loving mind. However, let’s say you find that you only have six or eight egg yolks on hand, this will also do. The ice cream will be less rich, but still incredibly more rich than anything you can buy at any store.

I’m all in for any recipe that will blow my ice cream loving mind!!!

Butter Milk Ice Cream Recipe at The Smitten Kitchen blog.

 

Update: 05/19/2013

I have found that this buttermilk ice cream recipe makes a very nice base for other flavors.  Here is a version to use as a base that gives you about 3/4 of a quart:

Buttermilk Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A ¾ quart buttermilk ice cream base. With non-fruit ice creams (nut, chocolate etc..) I like to use brown sugar. With fruit ice creams I use white sugar.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup white or brown sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Add the egg yolks to a blender. Cover with the blender lid with the pour hole open.
  2. Heat cream and sugar in a 3 or 4 quart heavy bottom pot, stirring until steaming and bubbles start forming around the edges. Remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Turn the blender on a low speed and very gradually pour the hot cream mix, in a VERY thin stream into the blending eggs. Turn off the blender 5 seconds after the mix has been completely added.
  4. Pour the mix back into the pot and return to heat. Heat, stirring until the temperature reaches 170 F on a good instant read thermometer or you can coat the back of your spoon or spatula with the mix, run your finger through it and leave a trail that doesn't intermediately fill back in.
  5. Take pot off the stove right away.
  6. At this point you need to combine in the buttermilk and vanilla. Also any additional flavors that you wont be adding in as mix-ins later in your ice cream maker. What I do is add everything back to blender and blend together (with the lid on, pour hole closed!) on a high speed for 10 or 15 seconds. A blender acts as a poor mans homogenizer, giving you a better emulsion and adding some air to the mix. This will result in a smoother, lighter texture. However note that you still will have some raw egg in your blender unless you clean it water over 160 F first. This is a potential health risk If you don't want to risk it you can simply whisk everything together in a bowl.
  7. Pre-chill as needed.
  8. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  9. Best eaten right out of the ice cream maker or within 6 hours in your freezer.

 

Google/

Vanilla Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Eat the Love


I found this amazing vanilla, peach and graham cracker ice cream recipe at Irvin Lin’s wonderful, award winning food blog Eat the Love. It was his contribution to potluck he attended, that as you will see, looks like it was a great afternoon. There is fair amount going on this recipe and it calls for preparing the custard and graham cracker mixes the night before. Consider this an advanced but rewarding recipe.

 
Vanilla, Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream Recipe at Eat the Love
 
Note: You have to scroll down towards the bottom of the post to get to the recicpe.

Vanilla Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Peaches / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 1 hour
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min

Burnt Orange Ice Cream


Wow this is an interesting recipe! The burnt part is a caramel made of orange juice and sugar. Tim at Lottie + Doof says this is one of best ice creams he has made and that is saying something. It uses an egg custard base which seems fitting for the caramel. There is no reason why you couldn’t try it with an egg-less base or make a vegan burnt orange frozen yogurt if so inclined. It would also be tempting to add a little Grand Marnier, but enough, first try it as Tim intended.

 
Burnt Orange Ice Cream on Lottie + Doof

Burnt Orange Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Oranges / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

What is the Difference between Ice Cream and Custard?

chicagogeek

Frozen custard is kind of a Gelato/Ice Cream hybrid. It combines the density and egg yolks of gelato with with the balance of more heavy cream than milk of ice cream. Thus maximizing the fat content and density of the two. In the US, by law frozen custard has to contain at least 10% milkfat like ice cream plus at least 1.4% egg yolk solids. Commercial frozen custard machines churn in a way so as not to add air to the mixture; this is very similar to gelato.  Lastly frozen custard is often served at a lower temperature so that it is softer than ice cream. This is also similar to the way gelato is served in Italy.

For the purpose of this website ‘Im going to define frozen custard as ice cream that has a roughly a proportion of 2 cups of cream for every one cup of milk and at least 5 eggs per quart.  Additionally it should be served soft right from the machine.

Here is a basic recipe based on one from the American Egg Board that I found on food.com

 

What is the Difference between Ice Cream and Custard?
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Frozen Custard Recipe
Ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cups milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In medium saucepan, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, honey and salt.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat metal spoon and reaches at least 160 degrees.
  3. Cool quickly by setting pan in ice or cold water and stirring for few minutes.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to freeze, pour chilled custard, whipping cream and vanilla into your ice cream maker. If your machine is so equiped, use the gelato paddle and speed setting.
  6. Transfer to freezer containers and freeze to desired firmness.

Olive Oil Gelato

This is the gelato that forced me into making my own ice cream. I was lucky enough to have lived in Brooklyn for a number of years. In case you live under a rock and don’t know this, New York City has become Disneyland for adults. For foodies, with its over 20,000 restaurants, it is a paradise. While I was there Mario Batali opened a wine bar and restaurant named Otto. It is kind of his pizza joint. I’m a big fan of Marios. I think his cookbooks are indespensible for cooking Italian food at home. And Babbo, for a long time his flagship restaurant, is a source of many fond memories of wonderful meals at the bar.

When Mario opened Otto I went to check it out. I sat at the bar and ordered what the bartender told me to. Mario’s New York restaurants have great staff and can almost always be counted on for good advice. The wine was very good and very reasonably priced, another signature feature of his restaurants. When it came time for dessert the bartender suggested a dish of olive oil gelato.

I thought he was having fun with me since this was obviously impossible but I went along with the gag and said, “sure”! Honestly I thought he was kidding and would soon be back with a real suggestion. Well a few minutes later a tall ice cream glass filled with green-yellow gelato was placed in front of me. In case there was any doubt about the ingredients, sea salt and olive oil were drizzled on top.

Well it was the most delicious gelato I had ever eaten and still is. Extremely smooth and creamy due to the 10 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of high quality olive oil that are the heart of the recipe. The flavor is a kind of super french (eggy) vanilla with a strong note of olive oil, but really that description doesn’t do it justice at all. You have to make it to experience just how incredible it is.

After I left New York this gelato was one of the things for which I would occasionally get serious but unresolvable cravings. One day at a bookstore I happened to pick up the latest Batali cookbook and while flipping through it found the recipe. Hallelujah! Thus began my adventures in ice cream making and here we are today.

Recommendation:

The one recipe on this website that would be part of my last meal. What are you waiting for? Make it NOW. I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Olive Oil Gelato
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Olive Oil Gelato based almost entirely from Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali It makes 1.5 quarts, about 12 servings. The recipe can be halved. I strongly suggest you eat it out of your ice cream maker or after just a few hours of freezer hardening. Gelato does not store well for long periods. Use the highest quality extra-virgin olive oil and the freshest eggs you can.
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups of Milk
  • 1 cup of Heavy Cream
  • ½ vanilla bean split or 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling when serving.
  • flaky sea salt for serving
  • Ice bath. Bowl full of ice cubes big enough to fit another heatproof bowl that can comfortable hold your cooked custard.
Instructions
  1. Whisk the egg yolks, ¼ cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium, heat proof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine cream and milk in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over a medium heat. Remove from heat.
  3. If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean with a paring knife and add them to the hot milk. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. If you are using vanilla extract skip this step as it gets added latter in the recipe.
  4. Add ¾ cup of sugar to the milk and heat just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Very gradually whisk 1 cup of the milk mixture into the eggs.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and cook stirring constantly with a wooden spatula or spoon, until the mixture reaches 185° F. on an accurate instant read thermometer. If you don't have an instant read thermometer use you can tell the custard is ready if when you coat the back of a spoon with the mixture and run you figure across it, the track left by your finger doesn't get filled in by surrounding mixture. I urge you to watch this excellent video on tempering eggs in egg custard to really understand the cooking process. Note: 185° F is a good 15 degrees higher than most people recommend and very close to that scrambled egg line. If you don't have a fast and accurate instant read thermometer, I would suggest taking it off the burner once it is over 170° F.
  7. Immediately strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl (No, not the one you used above!). It helps a little if you chill the bowl in the freezer first. If you are using the vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean stir it in now.
  8. Place this bowl into an ice bath and leave it there until the mixture gets cold. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours preferably overnight. A couple of notes on this. If you don't want to wait 6 hours, don't. I'm just not convinced you are going to taste a big difference in flavor. Also a faster if slightly messier way of cooling down the mix is to pour it into a large Ziploc bag and immerse that in the ice bath. You will end up with a very cold mix in less than 30 minutes.
  9. Freeze the custard in your gelato (ice cream) maker according to manufacturer instructions. Add in the olive oil about half way into the process.
  10. Pack into a freezer container and place in your freezer for at least one hour. If you actually do this, wait an hour before eating some that is, you are insane.
  11. Gelato is best served the day it is made.
  12. Sprinkle each serving with a very little bit of flaky sea salt and drizzle with a line or two of super high grade extra-virgin olive oil.

Tempering eggs when making ice cream

Many ice cream and gelato recipes, including some of my favorites, are based on an egg custard. Eggs add a signature richness of flavor that complements many other flavors, especially vanilla. Vanilla ice cream is in turn often used as a base for other flavors.

If you can make a great egg custard, you are more than half way to making great ice cream of any flavor. There are a number of different egg custard base recipes on the site that result in wonderful but significantly different tasting ice creams.

There is a small catch however, the only aspect of making ice cream that is at all temperamental and needs to be done correctly is how you handle eggs when making a custard. You have to temper them. A process of gradual heating so that they don’t prematurely cook, become essentially scrambled eggs and ruin the mix for ice cream making.

Simplest Technique of All, Don’t Temper! (Update 7/2013)

I came across this technique for cooking egg custard when reading a beer ice cream recipe post.   As long as you have the simple equipment required and consider yourself of average competence in a kitchen, there is no longer any reason to temper egg yolks.

Essential to This Technique

  • A good instant read thermometer.
  • A heavy bottom pan that conducts heat uniformly and doesn’t have any hot spots.
  • A soft rubber or silicone spatula.
  • Bring the mix up to temperature slowly, then immediately pour it into a bowl that is in an ice bath or cold water to stop the cooking process.

The technique is as simple as can be.

Set up your finishing bowl in an ice or cold water bath.

Add the ingredients you will be cooking in egg custard (typically, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean, egg yolks)  together in you pot while it is at room temperature on a cold burner.

Turn on the heat to medium-low and whisk them together until they are well combined.  At that point switch to the spatula and keep the mix moving, scrapping the bottom and edges, so that no cooked spots develop.

Slowly cook the custard until the temperature reaches 170°.  Immediately pour into the bowl you have waiting in an ice bath.  Stir the mix to help it cool it down quickly.  If you choose to, you can pour the mix though a sieve to remove any bits of cooked egg that may have formed.  I never do this.

Also note the range at which you want to stop cooking is between 165° – 180° F.    In my humble opinion 165° is a little on low side and 180° is pushing your luck towards scrambled eggs, but if you closely follow this technique you can experiment safely.

 

Classic Egg Tempering Technique

The following video by pastry chef Heather Bertinetti that I found on eHow, is an excellent break down of the classic process of egg tempering and clearly lays out easy steps for guaranteeing your egg custard bases come out perfect every time.

 

 

My Blender Egg Tempering Method. 

It occurred to me that a very simple way to solve the problem of tempering eggs when making a custard is to use a blender to combine ingredients.
For this to work you have to have a blender with a big enough jar to comfortably hold the entire combined ice cream mix. Also you need to use a saucepan with a lip for heating your milk mixture or be willing to pour the hot milk mixture from the saucepan into a heatproof pitcher or bowl with a lip which you will in turn use to pour the milk mix into the blender.
The steps go like this.
  1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar portion (according to the recipe) in the blender. This quickly gives you a beautifully combined, smooth egg mix.
  2. Heat you milk/cream/sugar mix according to the recipe, in a saucepan with a lip.
  3. Turn on the blender to a low speed and with the cap on but the pouring hole cover removed, very gradually, in a very thin stream, pour the hot milk mixture into the blending egg mixture. After a cup or two you can pour it a little faster. Once you have poured it all you can turn off the blender in 10 seconds or so.
  4. Take the blender jar by its convenient handle and pour it back into the saucepan to heat the combined mixture until thick as indicated in the recipe.
  5. Continue with the recipe.
So far I haven’t made scrambled eggs yet and the work-flow of the process to my mind is noticeably smoother.
Note using a blender adds air to your mix. Good or bad, in this case it doesn’t matter because it all gets lost again in the process of thickening the combined custard on the stove.