My first attempt at Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

OK so this is Ironic – Ive got my own ice cream van but I’ve never made ice cream myself.

cuisinartFinally after years of procrastination I have bitten the bullet and bought myself an impressive looking Cuisinart Ice cream maker. Now this bad boy is beautiful but strictly for personal use – it would take me a month to make enough to fill the van in
this baby – but it does mean I can start to trial different flavour combinations without the cost of making up a full batch from a supplier.

ok so I’m getting ahead of myself. As this is my first time I thought i should start with the basics – a really good vanilla ice cream – to be served with some macerated strawberries and melted chocolate for our Sunday night supper.

Now there are lots of ways of making Ice cream – some with or without eggs –  but the ice cream I’ve always loved is based on custard so thats the way I’m going with this recipe. Im sure there will be lots of posts trialling different versions but lets start with a classic!

Ingredients (makes just over a litre)

  • 200 ml semi skimmed milk
  • 400 ml double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 180g sugar
  • Tsp vanilla essence (or a pod if you have one)

Method

  • Gently heat the milk, cream, vanilla and half the sugar in a pan until it almost boils
  • Meanwhile whisk together the rest of the sugar and the egg yolks until thick and creamy
  • Take the milk off the heat and gradually add to the egg yolk mix, returning to the saucepan.
  • put back on a gentle heat and for the next 10 mins (or until the custard thickens to the point that you can coat the back of a spoon) whisk the mix in the pan over a gentle heat – do not allow this to boil!!
  • When the mix is at the required consistency take the pan off the boil and allow to cool before chilling for at least 2 hours.
  • Turn on your machine and follow its instructions to make your ice cream. my machine took about 50 minutes to give me a nice thick but not hard ice cream.
  • Transfer this to a plastic container and freeze until needed or if like me you just cant wait , add to some macerated strawberries and serve with melted chocolate….DIVINE.

So how hard was the experience? 

Making the custard was probably the most labour intensive part of the process – and thats just 10 minutes of stirring to contend with. The waiting is actually the hard part as, after making your custard, it needs to be thoroughly chilled to make the best ice cream. This means a minimum 2 hours waiting but preferably longer. (it may even be best to make custard the night before.)

The cuisinart really does make it easy to make ice cream. it has its own freezer unit so no waiting for things to get to the right temperature and its hefty 1.5 litre capacity meant more than enough ice cream for us all. (OK Both) and then I just popped the finished product in the freezer till ready.

Cleaning was easy too – just wash the lid, paddle and bowl in the sink and wipe down the rest (there was nothing to wipe though). Win Win

Was it worth it?

Hell yes – I love good ice cream and even though this didn’t have a full vanilla pod in it (which would have been incredible) this was still one of the smoothest, creamiest, vanillaiest (not even a word) ice cream I’ve ever had!! Add that to the strawberries – macerated in a little lemon juice and sugar, which really cuts through the creaminess of the incredibly rich ice cream, and you have a taste sensation!!

strawberries

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