Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ICOTW: Basic (but not boring) Vanilla Ice Cream

I've never been a vanilla ice cream person.  Chocolate.  Yes, all day.  Vanilla?  Ehhhh...I'd have it at Grandma & Grandpa's (with toppings) and occasionally at other gatherings but usually felt that there wasn't enough substance to it for me to want to eat it.  Just calories with no reward, no real taste.  It was fine but not for me.  I rarely eat anything "ala mode" and don't really see the point.  I just wasn't a big fan of vanilla ice cream.

Then I made this version, because with all the ice cream I make it feels like I should have a basic vanilla recipe, and I might be swayed to the vanilla ice cream side.  Not giving up chocolate, most definitely not, but vanilla ice cream like this?  I can eat this.  A lot of this.  As evidenced by eating my portion for dessert.  And then another 5-6 spoonfuls from the container while waiting for Luke to finish up his supper and get ice cream.  Then of course I ate this spoonful after taking the picture later, even if I had already brushed my teeth.

The fact that this ice cream is made up of cream cheese, heavy cream, whole milk, and sugar...might have something to do with that fantastic taste.  (I ran 4 miles today, it's fine.)  All that whole milk and cream pays off because this is very creamy, super delicious ice cream.  It's a good thing it's not easily scooped right out of the freezer or I'd be stealing bites all day. 

Do not be intimidated by making ice cream at home.  If you can measure, stir, and watch a pot from boiling over on the stove, then you are not only ahead of me (definitely some pot overflow here) but you can make ice cream.  (Also, assuming you have an ice cream machine.)  It's not hard, just takes a little bit of time and the results are most definitely worth it. 

Basic (but not boring) Vanilla Ice Cream
yield: about 1 quart
-2¼ oz cream cheese, softened
-¼ tsp sea or kosher salt
-3 cups whole milk, divided
-2 TB cornstarch
-1¾ cups heavy cream
-1 cup sugar
-3 TB light corn syrup
-1 TB + 2 tsp vanilla extract

1) In a medium sized bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese and salt.  Set aside.

2) In a large liquid measuring cup, measure the whole milk.  Pour about 2TB into a small bowl and add the cornstarch to the 2TB.  Stir together with a fork and set aside the milk/cornstarch mix.

3) In a large saucepan, combine the rest of the milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla extract.  Stir often over medium-high heat until it's reached a rolling boil.  Let boil, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.

4) Stir in the milk/cornstarch and return to medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, it should thicken slightly.  Remove from heat.

5) Pour about ½ cup of the stove mixture to the cream cheese bowl and whisk until smooth.  Add the rest of the stove mixture and whisk until smooth.

6) Now you need to cool this all down to churn into ice cream.  You can either transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate (at least overnight or up to a few days) OR pour into a gallon ziplock bag and submerge that (sealed!) bag into a bowl of ice.  A lot of ice.  That should only take 30-60 minutes.

7) Once base has been chilled, churn according to your machine's instructions.  Mine takes about 30 minutes.  When done, transfer to a freezer container and tap it on the counter a few times to release any air bubble.  Press a piece of parchment paper directly on top of the ice cream and seal the lid.  Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.  You may (likely) need to let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before it is scoopable.


Source: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home via The Yummy Life

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In the summer I aim to make a different homemade ice cream (or other frozen treat) each week and report back here, good or bad!  I call it "Ice Cream of the Week".  You can follow the "ICOTW" tag to see them all chronologically or go to my "Recipes" page and scroll down to the "Ice Cream/Frozen Things" section for my favorites! 

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