We got an ice cream maker as a wedding present earlier this summer, but it sat unused on a shelf in our kitchen until Tuesday of this week. Then, by some strange confluence of intention and overestimation, we found that we'd acquired the necessary ingredients to make not one but two batches of creamy delicious ultra-fatty ice cream.
The first set went together super easily, I combined 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 cups of fat-free half & half, about a cup of sugar, and two teaspoons of vanilla extract (so basically the simplest ice cream recipe ever) and tossed it into the machine. While it was freezing, I chopped up a square of this semisweet Scharffen Berger baking bar we had lying around. The resulting mixture was rich and light but tasted more like chantilly cream than true ice cream. I pawned most of the batch off on our neighbors Eisha and Nicole at the second day of a Pride & Prejudice marathon they had going with Dana. They were troopers and choked it down which is good because we definitely couldn't have eaten it all ourselves. The four cups of ingredients swell into like 6 cups prepared, and the fact that we used basically all cream meant that eating more than a bite or two of the stuff left our mouths covered in a ridiculous--though not un-delicious--dairy residue for hours. This was not the ice cream for us to make habitually, this was a flawed recipe.
Our friends Hunter and Marissa joined us in polishing off the remains yesterday, then a few hours later, caught in the roiling tension of a Settlers of Catan game, we decided to whip up another, better batch. Well armed by Hunter's familiarity with this Ben & Jerry's book, we set off to make a mint chip batch. And we sort of succeeded. I guess.
Ben & Jerry's recipes start with an egg yolk in addition to the dairy products to lend the resulting concoction a thicker consistency, but this addition, coupled with a little bit of an overestimation of our mint extract requirements, and the swapping of skim milk for the nonfat half & half kept the ice cream from freezing as quickly or as uniformly as I would have liked. Finally, at 11:30, half mad from the grinding of the ice cream machine, I pulled the whole batch out, served some of the syrupy product up and threw the rest into the freezer to chill and set. This morning, despite Hunter's prediction that the whole batch would ice, it seems to have set quite well into the familiar consistency of ice cream.
So, we're still working at this ice cream thing, but it is getting better. We just have to balance a couple of things, maybe figure out our ingredients list, and then we'll start experimenting in earnest. I'm looking ahead at passion fruit ice cream (I've been obsessed with passion fruit since we stumbled into dinner and passion fruit margaritas--served in an actual coconut! Non-ironically!--at Bamboo restaurant during our vacation in Hawaii last summer) and mango sorbet most fondly indeed. All you troopers who live near us are just going to have to suck it up and consume some ice cream disappointments before we can get on to the good stuff. I hope that isn't too tough an assignment for you.