…I’ll just be eating it over a hearty rhubarb cobbler or a steaming hot slice of olallieberry pie, is all.
I was always afraid of making ice cream. So afraid, for a time, that I didn’t even attempt to make it, and stuck to warm desserts. The oven was a machine I understood. Those hand-crank things with all the salt and ice and achey muscles? Yeah, I remembered doing that in girl scout camp. But who would want to go to all that trouble when SF has some amazing local organic ice cream already made?
But then about a year ago Rick bought me an ice cream maker (with freezer bowls and a motor – no hand-crankin’ for me) after I’d spent a solid week watching Iron Chef and drooling over all their strange ice creams and sorbets. Because what I needed more than anything is another kitchen gadget, obviously.
Much to my dismay, my general laissez faire attitude when it comes to recipes DOESN’T WORK with ice cream. Cutting out the fat, or the sugar, or adding in something strange (like subbing yogurt for cream) makes the structure go all wonky and the resulting texture is unpleasant. Ice cream has rules, and I’m not so good at rules.
(3 Tbsp loose tea leaves, or 1 vanilla bean, halved/scraped, or one bunch of fresh herbs)
1/2 c honey (or sugar)
4 egg yolks
Heat 1 c half and half in a saucepan until steaming (but not simmering). If you are steeping a flavor into the ice cream (like tea, or vanilla, or mint, or lavender), mix it into this cup of warmed dairy, put a lid on it, and let it sit for about an hour. Then bring the half and half back up to “steamy”. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the honey (or sugar) until fully incorporated.
Pour this through a strainer to remove the unwanted bits of tea, etc (it will also weed out any lumpy/grainy parts at all from cooking the eggs – it happens sometimes) into the cold dairy, and stir to combine. Store this in the fridge overnight until it’s fully chilled, and then run it through an ice cream machine like you would any other basic ice cream. Mine takes about 20 minutes to be thick enough to handle. If I am adding nuts or crushed toffee (or caramelized fennel seeds – ahem), I add them at the very end of the cycle, once the ice cream is already thick enough for the bits to stay suspended in the base.