Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not-so-plain Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
Sometimes, I get so distracted by trying to something new that I forget that the classics are classics for a reason - they never let you down. My most recent example: my baby girl turned 13 last week, thir-teen! and she requested a rich chocolate birthday cake. Not my go-to chocolate pound cake, but something a little fancier. I found a pretty Ina Garten chocolate layer cake that filled the bill and started baking. Now, I've been putting together cakes for a long time, and this has never happened to me - when I pulled the layers out of the oven, they sank into themselves, becoming dark chocolate Frisbees.

Time for Plan B: my hasn't-failed-me-yet fudgy brownie recipe with a side of homemade vanilla ice cream. I love to make ice cream at home.

Ice cream freezer by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
And no, that's not my everyday ice cream maker - just a $4 estate sale find from a few years ago. I use a Krups La Glaciere, the kind with the canister you pop into the freezer (really, it's best to just keep it in the freezer all summer long so it's always ready for ice cream-making).

You can make this ice cream ahead of time and let it harden in the freezer, but I think it's best served soft, just out of the canister. The generous dose of cream fluffs up, creating a silky mouthfeel. Served alongside a warm, fudgy brownie, it's a winning birthday dessert.

Not-So-Plain Vanilla Ice Cream

¾ cup sugar

2 cups whole milk

2 eggs

1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Prepare your ice cream maker before beginning the recipe. I use a Krups La Glaciere that requires the canister to be frozen about a day in advance. It resides in my freezer during prime ice cream-making months. If going the rock salt-and-ice route, make sure you have plenty of salt and ice, the canister is clean and that you have a place to churn the ice cream, and if it requires hand-cranking, gather the excited young’uns together and tell them they’re about to experience one of the great joys of childhood: cranking ice cream.

2. In a medium saucepan, and I use nonstick, combine sugar and eggs over medium heat. Heat milk in measuring cup in microwave for one minute to take the refrigerator chill off of it and then whisk it into egg mixture. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking all the while, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon, about 10 minutes.

3. Have ready a bowl and sieve. Remove custard from heat and pour through sieve to remove any egg solids, (discard the solids, of course). Let custard cool, then place in airtight container and refrigerate for up to two days.

4. When ready to freeze, add whipping cream and vanilla and freeze according to ice cream maker’s instructions. This ice cream is fluffy and soft served from the ice cream maker. Place any leftover ice cream in an airtight container and store in freezer.

Brownie and vanilla ice cream by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Simply perfect, Lucy! Stay cool.