Ice cream any-season family treat
I've never really figured out why my family usually made ice cream in the wintertime. Maybe it was to keep a bunch of stir-crazy kids content. Perhaps it was the only season when Mom and Dad had the time to churn cream and sugar into dessert. Or ...
I've never really figured out why my family usually made ice cream in the wintertime.
Maybe it was to keep a bunch of stir-crazy kids content. Perhaps it was the only season when Mom and Dad had the time to churn cream and sugar into dessert. Or it could be because there was so much free ice right out the back door.
Whatever the reason, homemade ice cream was a big family treat. Nothing could compete with that creamy, vanilla-spiked soft serve, scooped right out of the metal canister. Just as Dad always got the first slice of meat and the chair at the head of the table, he also got to lick the dasher - the central paddle that stirred the mixture.
Occasionally, however, my parents would make ice cream in the summer. They would save the ritual for special occasions, like when we were trying to impress city visitors with the charms of country life.
In the heat of July, it seems appropriate to share a few of our favorite ice cream recipes with you. These recipes, along with lots of air conditioning, will help get you through the dog days of summer.
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk, scalded (see tip) and well chilled
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, combine milk and granulated sugar with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla to taste.
Set up ice cream freezer per instructions. Mix about 25-30 minutes until thickened.
This recipe is for a 1½-quart freezer. Increase or decrease as appropriate.
Tip: To avoid the ice crystals that make ice cream grainy, heat any milk or half-and-half to a gentle simmer (about 175 degrees) before using it in any recipe. (It is not necessary to do this in the custard recipe, as the milk is cooked with the cream and eggs.)
Custard-Style Ice Cream
1 quart heavy cream
1¼ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (optional)
1¼ cups white sugar, divided
10 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
In a large, heavy pan over medium heat, combine cream and milk. Add vanilla bean and scrapings to pan, along with half the white sugar. Combine; allow to just come to a boil.
Meanwhile, in separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and vanilla extract. When the cream is ready, pour a third of it into the egg mixture and whisk. Pour egg mixture into remaining hot cream and return to the heat until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil.
Pour mixture through strainer into canister of ice cream maker and chill until cold. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
Hot Fudge Sauce
¼ cup butter
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate squares
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Melt butter and chocolate in microwave or double-boiler. Add salt and evaporated milk, stirring constantly. Slowly add sugar, continuing to stir. Cook until thickened (5 to 7 minutes) over medium heat; mixture does not need to boil. Stir in vanilla.
Cool in a covered jar. Great with ice cream or cake. Store in refrigerator. Can be reheated in the microwave.
Tammy Swift writes a weekly column for The Forum.
She can be reached at email@example.com