Few things are better than ice cream – homemade ice cream being one of these few things. Making your own ice cream really isn’t that much of a difficult process. In fact, all you need are a few ingredients.
One of the best things about making your own ice cream is that you get to be in control of what exactly goes into it. No preservatives, no extra additives just the ingredients that you put in. And what are these ingredients? All you need is eggs, cream, sugar, and the flavor of your choice. In this recipe, we will be creating a classic French vanilla ice cream – therefore, you will need a single vanilla bean or some natural vanilla extract.
First things first. Get yourself a medium stainless steel saucepan. The reason for choosing stainless steel is because its surface isn’t porous. If you were to use an aluminum pan, metal may get into your ice cream mixture as you stir it. So, the best possible way to make ice cream is in a stainless steel pot, stirred with a wooden spoon. Avoid using a wire whisk, just so you don’t scrape the bottom of your pot.
A clever tip is to rinse your saucepan beforehand with ice cold water, before you add the cream. This is helpful in making sure that the cream doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. After you have rinsed it, add 1 cup of whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, the pulp scraped from a vanilla bean, and the vanilla pod itself. On medium-low heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
As your cream is heating up, separate three (3) eggs and put the yolks into a medium sized bowl. If you want to save the egg whites, all you have to do is put them into a container and freeze them. They can be used to make meringue. Give the yolks a whisk.
As soon as the cream comes to a boil, remove it from heat. Do not overheat, as this will cause the cream to separate and curdle.
Pour only a small amount of the cream at a time into the egg yolks, whisking vigorously. If you pour too much of the hot cream into the egg yolks at a time, you will cook the eggs. As you whisk half of the cream into the yolks, you can now add the entire contents of your bowl into the hot cream in the saucepan. Continue to whisk, and than switch back to the wooden spoon.
Put the saucepan back onto medium heat and continue to heat it, stirring constantly. Take a small metal spoon and dip it into the mixture. If the mixture coats the back of the spoon, it is thick enough.
Remove the pan from heat and put through a strainer and into a bowl. Refrigerate it overnight to let the flavors infuse into the cream, and than freeze it an your ice cream maker the next day.
Anything can be used to flavor your ice creams. Chunks of fruit, chocolate, essences, extracts, fruit purees, food colors – your options are endless. Experiment with your favorite flavors, and see what happens!
I find that the most important thing to follow is to make sure that your ice cream mix is well chilled before you add it to your ice cream maker. It allows for the flavors to infuse into each other, and it takes less time to freeze in your ice cream maker.