Happy National Ice Cream Day!
As promised, here is the basic recipe for homemade ice cream, as well as some of the variations you can do that I did. I got the base recipe from a book called Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. They are indeed splendid. The parentheses are to indicate that if you’re adding less stuff, like a compote, you can use the slightly bigger measurements.
- 2 cups whole milk (or 2 1/2)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch ( or 2 and 2)
- 1.5 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (or 1 1/2)
- 2/3 cup sugar (or 3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (or 3, for, say, chocolate)
Mix about two tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. In a separate, larger bowl (probably medium will do), whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar,and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan (or whatever you have that will hold that much). Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually mix in the cornstarch slurry (you’ll probably need to stir it again right before you put it in; also, she says to whisk it in, but I don’t feel the need to dirty YET ANOTHER utensil. There are already so many dirty bowls). Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook for one minute, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
Gradually mix in the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour mixture into a 1 gallon ziplock bag and submerge in the ice bath for at least 30 minutes. Then pour the base into the ice cream maker and go crazy! If I am adding chunky things, this is when they start to go in (nuts, marshmallows). If I am adding some kind of sauce, I layer it in the container, like fudge. If I am adding a flavor-enhancer, I usually put it in while it sits in the ice bath.
To Make Coffee Ice Cream:
Right before you whisk in the cornstarch slurry, add a 1/4 cup of coffee grounds. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain out. You can do it with a regular metal mesh strainer, but it does leave a smattering of grounds in. For best result, use cheesecloth, fresh coffee, and a good attitude. For Turkish coffee ice cream, add in about a teaspoon of cardamom while the coffee is steeping. You should be able to smell it but also still the coffee. If you can only smell cardamom you’ve added too much.
To Make Chocolate Ice Cream:
You will make a chocolate sauce which you will then whisk into your cream cheese prior to heating up your milk. Here’s how:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
In a small saucepan, combine the cocoa, coffee and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat so the sugar is dissolved (make sure to stir) and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir to make it smooth, then add it into the cream cheese mix. I recommend adding fudge, almonds, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, chocolate chips, or basically anything because everything goes with chocolate.
To Make Mint:
You could add just plain mint of peppermint extract, but where’s the fun in that?? Find a mint plant at your local plant place. Shower it with love and water. When it is ripe and full, rip leaves off of it like a savage. Then rip the leaves up (again, like a savage — I find it helps to make grunting noises) and toss them into the ice cream base as it’s stewing in the ice bath. You’ll want to keep them in there for at least four hours, so it can extract all the flavor possible. Overnight would probably be even better. Make sure to strain the mint leaves out.
Any Kind of Berry Ice Cream:
Make a compote! In saucepan/pot, put 1 cup of berries to about 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for a while, about 8 minutes or so until it’s nice and reduced and thick. Let chill completely then add to your ice cream base or layered in as you put your ice cream in the container. I do not recommend just trying to add raw berries to your ice cream. It will not be as tasty as you might think.