I Scream for Ice Cream!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! As I was walking outside yesterday, the temperature was falling, and it reminded me of a cloudy and drizzly late fall day in New England. My mind then wandered off to the idea of ice cream. When I lived in Boston, ice cream was a treat for any time of day or year. Yup, deep in snow, Bostonians ate ice cream! I was hankering for some really good yummy, day's of yore ice cream.
On Christmas, I found myself wanting ice cream, but good ice cream like Ben and Jerry's, but alas all grocery stores were closed for the holidays. I did have an extra 3 cups of local grass fed cream in the fridge because I did not make it into butter, so I decided to try and make my own ice cream with this cream. I did not want to use egg yolks, so I was in search of yolkless ice cream recipes. I went to allrecipes.com, and came up with 2 recipes, one for vanilla and one for fruit ice cream. The vanilla requires an ice cream maker, and but the fruit ice cream did not. I thought to myself that I could make two different types of ice cream at one time. Wow!
The berry ice cream was really easy. The recipe called for frozen berries, cream, sugar and vanilla. Over the summer, I picked a quart of blueberries from the super secret blueberry patch and put them up in the freezer. Instead of using sugar, I used honey from my friend's bee hive. The vanilla was interesting too. In 2005, nearly 5 years ago, I put 3 vanilla beans with a cut long-wise into a pint of vodka. Now, I have a fabulous vanilla extract. The aroma, and flavor is just as good, or even better than the little bottles you can get at the grocery store. The method I used to make the berry ice cream is that I put the cream, a squeeze of honey and a small drop of vanilla extract into a blender and stirred the ingredients up for a second. Then, through the hole at the top, add the berries while the blender whirled. When all the berries are pureed into the cream, stop. Put the thick soft serve textured berry cream into a freezer container and freeze.
The vanilla ice cream called for cream, milk, sugar and vanilla. Again, I used honey instead of sugar. The recipe on allrecipes.com called for 1 tsp of vanilla extract per 1 quart of cream plus 1 cup of milk. I only made 1 1/4 cup of vanilla ice cream, and I used 1 tsp of my vanilla extract. I also did not measure the honey, I just plopped it in, and I think I added a little too much honey. The cream and milk, however, I did measure according to the allrecipe proportion. I used 1/4 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream. I stirred all these ingredients in a bowl, and then put it into my mini ice cream maker and churned it for about 15 minutes. When I was done churning, it was a bit soupy, so I put it all into a freezer container and put it up in the freezer.
The result is I need to watch the flavor and sweetening proportions for the vanilla ice cream. The product I made is really really flavorful, and it feels like it is only appropriate to eat one or to bites at a time. It is not as dense with milk fat as those top 5 ice cream places I have been to, but that is ok. The blueberry ice cream is also not as dense with milk fat as those top 5 ice cream places either, and that is also ok. The blueberry ice cream is slightly gritty from the small pieces of blueberry skin. Maybe next time I might thaw the berries and use the juice for flavor instead of the whole berry. I used very little honey and vanilla in the blueberry ice cream, so the berry flavor is not masked and is allowed to come through. I like both of my creations. For whatever it is worth, spending time making the ice cream, and tasting them through all the steps of making the ice cream, my craving for ice cream has been quenched. Success.