Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Ice Cream Sandwich Man Cometh - Second Installation

The first component of this harebrained scheme I tested was the ice cream. The Cusininart came with a booklet that had quite a few recipes but on a whim I dropped into Barnes & Noble after an outing to the Union Square Green Market with Michele (I mentioned that here) to see if I could snag one of the bread making books I've been wishing for. I would have gotten one, too, if I hadn't seen the Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream book first.

Mmmmm.... Ice cream! Oh. And that's my cook book stand behind it.
One quick flip through it and I knew I'd found the right book for my ice cream projects. Most of the recipes are for one quart batches and that's a perfect size for our freezer to handle. As I said earlier, this is New York and space is at a premium...even in the freezer. The very first recipe was vanilla, obviously, and I made it without any alterations – heavy cream, whole milk, lots of eggs and vanilla bean.

A quick word about custards: I've made three different desserts in the past few months that are based on custard. I've never thought about how many of the desserts I had as a kid required custard. I think about that word and an image of movies in black & white flow through my mind because I've always associated the word, "custard," with a bygone era in our culinary history. You know, with people seated around a long dining table, cloth napkins and dozens of forks and spoons at each place setting. I always thought, my grandmother's egg custard pie to the contrary, that people just didn't have custard for dessert any more. Silly me!

Once the custard cooled, I poured it into the assembled Cuisinart (after chilling the freezing chamber overnight), and waited. Unlike the ice cream makers I remember from my childhood, though, the wait was only twenty minutes. The result was something very close to soft-serve, which I don't particularly care for, so I put it in the freezer to firm it up.

Mix it up! (Twenty minutes? That's all?!?)
After about an hour, I scooped out a sample. It was some of the best ice cream I've ever had! Amazingly delicious! And quite deadly. After having a small bowl,

Dish it up!
and making a milkshake with it,

Shake it up!
I realized that it was way too rich for my father. Heck, it was way too rich for me! I barely survived the encounter. I did, however, finish the batch over the next several days. Come on...I had to test how the ice cream held up over time, didn't I?

Now here's an example of decision-making in action: I knew I was creating these sandwiches to send to my father (and I'd make sure that there were enough for me to have a few myself). I also knew that I'd have a short window of opportunity to get it right. So, I bypassed the intermediate step I would normally have taken in altering the ingredients of the recipe (whole milk and half-and-half) and went straight for the version I was pretty sure would work best for him: two-percent milk and half-and-half. It was the right decision. It lost none of the genuine flavor (mainly because I kept the number of eggs the same) but cut the richness down substantially. This version was still amazing, it still made an incredible milkshake and it was still better than anything I've ever bought in the store – Blue Bell included.

If I haven't said it yet, I'll say it now. I absolutely love the Cuisinart! I'm looking forward to making a few different kinds of ice cream and then branching into sorbet and gelato. Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream has has a recipe for mint chocolate chip, too. Move over Baskin Robbins! And friend of Michele's gave her a recipe for pistachio ice cream that I'll make for her with lactose-free milk because she's lactose-intolerant (poor girl).

So. One problem solved (and a whole new obsession created). Now on to the next hurdle: The Cookie.

Installment Two Ends Here.

Currently listening to: The Whispers - It's A Love Thing



  1. I just love you! Every time I read your blog, I feel like running out and buying whatever you're working with so we can play together in the kitchen. And adding in the songs you listen to at the end of every blog, is inspired! I always, ALWAYS click on them and as I listen, I feel like I'm hanging out in your apt. with you and Michele and watching you cook. LOVE you! (It's Grace, by the way)

    1. Grace, you are a dear and a treasure and I'm very happy to have you along for the ride! We'll work out that whole hanging out in the apartment/cooking thing for sure! I'm also glad you like the music links. Granted, I'm limited to what's on Youtube because of the way Blogspot is designed, but I manage to find just about everything I'm listening to.

      I love you!