Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ice Cream for Mom

So, around Christmas time, I had major reconstructive jaw surgery.  As a gift, my wonderful troupe director, Jennifer Nolan, gave me an ice cream machine.  I will admit that, during the recovery time after my surgery, I did not use it once.  All I could eat was ice cream, pudding, and other sweet, soft nonsense.  What I really wanted was protein.  That, and toast.  I really wanted toast.  Not sure why, but toast was my number 1 craving!

Anyway, I didn't use the ice cream maker then, and it sat with my other large kitchen tools (stand mixer, bread machine, crock pot) pretty much all winter.  I made some fancy ice cream for valentines day, but that, I think, is it.

I hauled it out again for mothers day, and have officially decided that ice cream should be my new thing.  I can get eggs from the market, and I can find local dairy products at the grocery store... I love ice cream... Making it myself almost makes it feel healthy!

So, for mother's day, I went to my mom's house for dinner.  Her husband, who is in culinary school made dinner, which was great, and I brought this for dessert.

Raspberry Champagne Ice Cream:

For champagne:

Take about 1/2 bottle of the lowest alcohol content sparkling wine you can find (I used Asti), and pour into a glass baking dish.  Do not pour more than 1/2 an inch into the dish.  I actually ended up using two dishes, since my bigger baking dishes were being used for brunch.  Allow to freeze, breaking up with a fork every couple hours.  Because of the alcohol, this will not freeze solid, but you should end up with an icy slush.  I ended up doing this overnight.  You could, in theory, end here and have the best snow cone ever!

For custard:
  • 2 cups half and half (L)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (L)
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half, seeds scraped
  • 8 egg yolks (L)
  • 3/4 cups honey (L)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl, and nest a heat proof bowl inside.  Have a fine mesh sieve near by.  You will not have time to set this up once you've started making the custard, so do this ahead of time!

In a heavy saucepan, combine half and half, cream, and vanilla bean pod and seeds.  Warm over medium high heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture barely comes to a simmer - about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a heat proof bowl, combine the egg yolk, sugar, and salt.  Whisk vigorously until the mixture lightens in color and doubles in volume: about 2 minutes.

Once cream mixture is at a bare simmer, remove from heat.  Whisking constantly, pour about 1 cup of the mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.  Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the cream, whisking constantly, and place over medium heat.  Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the mixture forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  DO NOT allow the mixture to boil.
Ice cream churning

Pour the custard into the fine mesh sieve, into the heat proof bowl in the ice bath.  Discard the vanilla bean.  If you have any chunks that resemble scrambled eggs, you overcooked the custard.  Throw it out and start over.  Sorry.

Stir the custard in the iced bowl constantly until the custard has cooled.  Remove the bowl from the ice wrap and cover with plastic - resting the plastic right on top of the custard.  Refrigerate at least overnight, up to 3 days. 

Pour the cold custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers directions.  While the custard is churning, add in the champagne slushy and about 1/2 cup frozen raspberries.  Spoon into a freezer-safe container, cover tightly, and freeze until firm.
    If you really like a smooth ice cream, this might not be for you.  The champagne is little ice crystals, so there is definitely a crunchy ice component to the ice cream.  I thought it was good, but I did get a comment that the texture was "interesting."  (Define interesting: Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die?)  Once I explained what was going on, though, people seemed to like it... or at least they said they did.  Jeff did tell me that he prefers Ben and Jerry's, but I don't think that's a fair comparison unless I make some Chubby Hubby.  Maybe that should be my next ice cream experiment. 

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