Have you ever made your own ice cream? If you have an ice cream maker, it’s very simple and well worth the day’s wait. Ice cream was a dessert I had never made before, but I’ve always wanted to try it! So when Melissa Clark’s recipe appeared in the New York Times dining section, I cut it out and promised myself I would make it by the end of the month.
It just so happened that I had made a coconut layer cake that used 6 egg whites, so I had 6 egg yolks I needed to use. While searching for possible recipes I could make, I came across Thomas Keller’s pasta recipe, but then I remembered ice cream. And when I looked back at Melissa Clark’s recipe, it just so happened that it required 6 egg yolks! Perfect! (this never happens).
There was the base recipe for ice cream, but then there were variations on the base recipe to create different flavors. So many to choose from…and so many that looked delicious. I decided to go with coffee. It seemed pretty simple; I didn’t want to attempt one of the more difficult variations since I’d never made ice cream before.
There were definitely a couple nuisances I encountered along the way…nothing disastrous or even bad, just unexpected.
So since I already went through it, I can warn you and give you recommendations ahead of time, or you can just make the basic recipe, which is probably what I should of done first. But that just sounded too boring if I was going to go through making ice cream!
1. When you dissolve the sugar in the milk mixture, the coffee grounds make it tricky to tell when all the sugar is dissolved and you can proceed to the next step. My suggestion would be just to go by the amount of time in the recipe– about 5 minutes of stirring on low-heat. Also, the coffee grounds seem to float on top, so if you can try to feel the sugar underneath the top of the milk mixture, that should tell you whether it’s clumpy or smooth, thick or thin.
2. When you’re at the step where you strain the liquid into a bowl, it takes a lot of time for the liquid to go through the strainer because the coffee grounds are blocking the liquid. To make this faster and easier, I removed some of the coffee grounds and let the mixture strain, then added them back in to strain any extra liquid.
Besides these two minor issues, the process is quite easy. Put the liquid in the fridge overnight. Take it out the next day, churn it in the ice cream machine for about 15 minutes, eat like it is, or place in freezer to harden more.
Everyone who tasted this ice cream said it was absolutely to die for, better than any coffee ice cream they’d had! Rich, silky, creamy, and filled with coffee flavor! So I’d say, give it a try! And if it’s a success, experiment with all the different flavors!
Ice Cream Base
Yield: 1 1/2 qts.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
6 large egg yolks
Your choice of flavoring
1. In a small pot, simmer cream, milk, sugar, and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisk constantly as you slowly whisk in about 1/3 of the hot cream mixture into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and cook mixture until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 170 degrees on an instead-read thermometer).
2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature (this will take several hours). Cover and chill in fridge at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. It should take about 15 minutes. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.
Coffee Ice Cream:
Grind 1/2 cup whole coffee beans (caf or decaf) until coarsely ground in a coffee grinder or food processor. Place coffee grounds in cold milk mixture in step 1. Follow step 1 in main recipe accordingly. Then, instead of straining immediately, let the custard steep off the heat for about 1/2 hour before straining. Then go through with main recipe steps.
*For a couple tips about coffee ice cream, read commentary above.
From Melissa Clark’s column in Dining section of New York Times
For more variations, see http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/01/dining/the-master-ice-cream-recipe.html