Monday, May 21, 2012

A Cornucopia of Ice Creams

Mr. D loves ice cream. I enjoy it mightily myself. In a great inrush of fantabulous kitchen equipment that preceded and followed our wedding, we got an ice cream maker. I had previously made my own pseudo-ice cream without a churn by whipping cream and folding in egg yolks, sweetener, and flavoring, such as honey, vanilla, and cinnamon oil. Freezing this results in an OK ice cream (that goes jaw-droppingly well with port, unexpectedly enough).

Ice cream from an ice cream maker is much better. I have figured out an ice cream base into which I insert various flavors, because hey, I prefer figuring out one fantastic wheel and using it each time to reinventing the wheel over and over again. Raw milk and cream work wonderfully, but I normally pull out a BPA-free can or two of coconut milk. The advantage of coconut milk is that the ice cream is scoopable right out of the freezer. Normally the water content of milk makes ice cream very icey and hard when frozen, requiring thawing before one can dig it out with a spoon. Store-bought ice cream gets around this by including antifreeze agents as industry-standard additives i.e. ones that do not have to be listed on the ingredient label. Alcohol is a good anti-freeze additive in homemade ice cream.

Ice Cream Base

1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1 cup cream and 1 cup whole milk

3-4 egg yolks
sweetener to taste, such as 1/4 cup raw honey
1-2 T. or more alcohol, optional but strongly recommended if using milk and cream for better frozen texture

- Select an alcohol that will not make a noticeable flavor difference, such as plain vodka, or choose something that will enhance and complement the ice cream.
- Note that vanilla extract is almost always in a strong alcohol base, so it definitely counts as adding alcohol.

Some flavor suggestions:
- grade B maple syrup as the sweetener
- 1 T. lime zest, 1-2 T. fresh lime juice, and rum as the alcohol (or use another citrus fruit)
- 1-2 cups peanut butter and a large handful of chopped chocolate
- 1 cup chopped or puréed fruit
- a few drops of peppermint or cinnamon oil
- whole cane sugar as the sweetener plus one cup very strong fresh coffee
- 1/2 t. almond extract, Frangelico as the alcohol, 2 T. cocoa, and 1 T. strong coffee

- chopped nuts and whole cane sugar


Thoroughly whisk together milk, egg yolks, sweetener, alcohol, and any flavor ingredients. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to instructions. Easy-peasy.

Golly, now I'm hungry. Good thing the second combination on the list is sitting in my freezer!

What kind of ice cream do you like? What additional homemade flavors can you recommend for us?

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