Saturday, May 28, 2011
Here is a revelation. You can make ice cream. At home. Without a fancy schmancy machine. AND it's pretty easy.
This little experiment started out as a failure. I made the New York Times Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies. After cooking one batch, and ending up with one giant cookie, I decided that I needed to find an alternative use for the cookie dough. Don't get me wrong, the dough is delicious. The problem is that the recipe contains approximately one cup of flour and ten cups of butter*. Fortunately, the cookie dough does not contain eggs, so it is perfect for eating raw. The large amount of cookie dough in my fridge inspired me to make some ice cream.
David Lebovitz is arguably an ice cream genius. Last summer, I read a David Lebovitz article on making ice cream without an ice cream machine. He says the key is to use a custard base, because the creamier the base is the creamier the ice cream will be. The other key is to continually break up the ice crystals as they form, because the best ice cream has very tiny ice crystals - which is why you will stir the ice cream every 30 minutes as it freezes.
The recipes below are simple and definitely open to your own interpretation. You can make heath bar ice cream, or caramel ice cream, or any other flavour you can imagine just substitute the cookie dough. The possibilities are endless. If you want to do cookie dough, make the dough first as it also needs to chill for about an hour before it will be hard enough to break into pieces.
*Slight exaggeration (see recipe below, cook if you dare).
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
From the New York Times
1 * cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt (I would use way less, maybe a teaspoon)
14 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (peasize pieces and shavings)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter, sugars and corn syrup until fluffy, 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, then the milk. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend just until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough.
Break the dough into small bite sized pieces and chunks.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Cover and remove from heat.
To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly.
Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.
After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it.
As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.
Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results, or use a stick-blender or hand-held mixer.
At the third time you stir the ice cream, add the chocolate chip cookie chunks.
But since we’re going low-tech here, you can also use just a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.
Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready.
Transfer the ice cream to a covered storage container until ready to serve.
More tips from David Lebovitz on making ice cream without a machine!