Friday, January 12, 2007

Miracle Ice Cream Technique

Adapted from Vol. 19, Number 2, of A La Carte, the newsletter from the best cookery shop in the world (at least in the world as I know it), La Cuisine in the Old Town section of Alexandria, Virginia.

If you're lucky enough to be in Alexandria, go to the shop, which is located at 323 Cameron Street, see their wonderful merchandise, and meet The Cuisinettes, Nancy, Stephanie, and Larissa. You will not find any trendy implements, cookware, books, or foodstuffs here - only items chosen, tested, used, and recommended by The Cusinettes, who all have discriminating taste (not a pun) and high standards.

Stephanie says when she discovered this technique in Marcel Desaulnier's Desserts To Die For, she knew found a major breakthrough. No matter what ice cream recipe Stephanie tried, she never had a failure with this wonderful method, and, thanks to Stephanie, I can say the same thing.

Another tip from La Cuisine comes from Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Dessert Book. If you are making fruit-flavored ice cream, to eliminate an ice cream full of "fruit rocks," slice the fruit early, add sugar to taste, and chill in a covered bowl for an hour or so before you put the ice cream base into the ice cream maker. Drain the fruit and add the juice to the ice cream base at the beginning of freezing, then during the last 15 minutes of churning, add the fruit itself.

If you ever make ice cream (or if you're thinking about making ice cream), this method will change your life. You can use these directions with whatever ice cream recipe you are using. However, you MUST have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for this recipe to work, and you must follow the directions explicitly.

Heat the cream, milk, and half of the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil.

While the cream mixture is heating, place the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer FITTED WITH A PADDLE - THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Beat the eggs and sugar on high for 2-3 minutes, then scrape down sides, and continue beating on high until the mixture is thick and lemon colored.

At this point the cream mixture in the saucepan should be boiling. If not, adjust the mixer speed to low, and continue to mix until the cream mixture boils. The eggs must be well mixed BEFORE the boiling cream is added.

Pour the boiling cream mixture into the beaten egg yolk/sugar mixture, and whisk (mixer on low) to combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a temperature of 185 degrees. This will only take about one minute. Chill the mixture in a bowl, and when the mixture is cold, strain it through a sieve. Then freeze it in an ice cream freezer following manufacturer's instructions.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great tip! I (sadly) don't have a standing mixer. Casualty of a tiny kitchen-- I can't justify the space it would take up. But in my dream kitchen I'll have one and then I'll try your miracle technique.

    I love the fruit tip too. That's super-useful information and something I'd never have thought of. Thanks so much for passing on the info!