As I mentioned in my last post, I received a pretty amazeballs Christmas present this year… an ice cream maker!
I couldn’t wait to try it but we were so busy between Chrissy and New Years that I didn’t get a chance until a couple of days ago. So on the 2nd of January – after we’d spent New Year’s day recovering – I busted out the egg yolks and quickly realised I didn’t have nearly enough milk or cream, so off to the supermarket I popped. I also came back with a selection of gluten free flours to experiment with making my own flour blend but more on that later!
I am so stoked to be able to make my own ice creams and sorbets; firstly because I love knowing exactly what is in the food I’m eating without spending an eternity reading labels – which I have to do each time because there is no such thing as a FODMAP label in the USA and ingredients change – and secondly because I won’t have to pay for expensive “quality” ice cream.
This ice cream tasted like custard the first day (churning day), although there’s nothing wrong with that and then settled into a nice vanilla flavour by the second night. Ev’s brother approves – he was on his third bowl (at least) by the end of the second night but it was him who bought it for me… now I know why!
- I used normal milk and cream in this recipe but you can sub in lactose free cow’s milk and cream (milk with lactase added – I don’t know how other milk alternatives would perform, sorry).
- You can either use half and half in the first part of this recipe or equal proportions of milk and cream that add up to the same volume of half and half called for.
- Apparently 100% vanilla extract works better than vanilla essence or natural vanilla flavourings in ice cream recipes, as it doesn’t affect the freezing process.
- It is normal for the mixture to resemble soft serve post churning and an hour or two in the freezer should firm it up to normal ice cream texture.
- Ambient room temperature can affect your ice cream – wrapping a foil funnel over the top of the maker (if, like mine, it doesn’t come with a lid) can help to insulate the freeze bowl contents against the warm air.
- If you have a freeze bowl like mine, it needs to be frozen solid (this takes 24 hours) between batches.
- Apparently – and I haven’t tried this, only read it – a tsp. or two of vodka in the mix will prevent it from becoming too solid in the freezer after it has been churned. I know vodka doesn’t freeze, so this makes sense – but I wouldn’t do it the first time I made something in case it didn’t need it.
Vanilla Ice Cream
- 300 ml double cream
- 300 ml milk – or 600 ml half and half to replace milk and cream
- 8 egg yolks – the fresher the better, old egg taste can come through in custards and ice creams
- 1 cup dextrose – or castor sugar
- 600 ml double cream
- 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Optional – 1/2 a vanilla bean, split
- Optional – 3/4 cup finely chopped frozen berries or choc chips.
Combine the 300 ml each of milk and double cream (or 600 ml half and half) in a medium saucepan and heat over a medium flame until it is just about to boil. Don’t actually boil it and remove it from the heat once it is done. For a more intense flavour, add in the split half vanilla bean at this stage.
While that is heating, keep an eye on it as you separate 8 egg yolks and whites. Save the eggs whites to make an omelette, fritatta or a Pavlova and place the eggs in the normal mixing bowl of your stand mixer; add in the dextrose and mix on a low speed until the egg yolks and sugar have combined into a smooth, slightly fluffy yellow mixture.
At this point, slowly pour the milk/cream mixture (minus the vanilla bean) into the egg/sugar mixture and continue mixing on a low speed to prevent the hot liquid from cooking a portion of the eggs. Once it is combined, return the mixture and vanilla bean to the medium saucepan and heat it until little bubbles begin to form at the edges – this means that it is just beginning to boil. You don’t want it to fully boil or the egg yolks in the mixture will scramble and you’ll get lumpy ice cream.
Once the bubbles have formed, remove it form the heat and add in the second lot of cream, the vanilla and salt. Mix well to combine. Cover the mixture and refrigerate it over night (or equivalent) so that the mixture is completely chilled before you begin to churn it. Freezing the mixture for an hour before churning is supposed to increase the efficacy of bowl ice cream makers but I haven’t tried it – maybe next time. If you leave the vanilla bean in all this time and remove it before churning, the ice cream should have a really intense vanilla flavour. Of course, you can remove it at any stage prior to churning that you like.
Set up your ice cream maker according to its instruction manual and begin churning on a “stir” speed or equivalent low speed on your model. Pour in the ice cream batter and make the foil funnel (described in the notes section above) if required. Churn the mixture for 20-30 minutes, at which point it should resemble a soft serve consistency; if you want to add in frozen berries or choc chips, pour them in during the last 5 minutes of churning – the colder the better.
Now pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container with an air tight lid – I use a large loaf tin with plastic wrap and a rubber band – and freeze for 1-2 hours, until the ice cream has firmed up to a normal consistency.
I needed to let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5 minutes on the second night before I scooped it as it was quite firm – this might just be our freezer being overly cold, though. Or maybe the plastic wrap/elastic band combo wasn’t the best method to keep the loaf tin air tight but it was all I had at the time – all of our snap ware was still in the dishwasher from the New Year’s eve left overs.
Serve with toppings of your choice. I couldn’t say no to the last few fresh berries that we had left over from the trio of tartlets that I made on New Year’s Eve.
Enjoy! Next up I’m planning a coconut cream based recipe for those who malabsorb lactose… and myself. Who am I kidding? I love coconut.