57 - Homemade Ice Cream: Vanilla & Beyond 🍨🎬

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Today’s lesson is 458 words, a 1 min 49 sec reading time. It is lesson ten of How to Hack Your Freezer.

πŸ“ Introduction: 

Homemade ice cream is both practical & divine. It stays good for weeks, takes under 30 minutes of active work, and allows you to get your creative juices flowing. A vanilla base is like a painter's canvas - ripe for flavor experimentation. πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ¨

Additionally, by making ice cream at home, you can skip the preservatives & softeners, which can taste a bit gummy. Believe it or not, a splash of liquor does the trick naturally. Because alcohol doesn't freeze, it acts as a natural softener. This trick will save you from two sub-par softening techniques - microwaving, which often leads to melting & subsequent freezer burn, and, well, waiting. 

This method uses a simple freezer bowl machine (~$60) and a classic custard recipe. For alternatives, see the "Further Study" section.πŸ‘‡

βš™οΈ Unique Gear (all are optional) : 

  • Whisk 

  • Mesh sieve 

  • Digital thermometer (πŸ›’: $)

  • Ice cream maker (πŸ›’: $, $$, $$$)

  • Container/Storage(πŸ›’: $, $$, $$$)

πŸ§‚ Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups heavy cream  

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2/3 c. sugar

  • Six egg yolks  

  • Kosher salt (pinch)  

  • 3/4 tsp vanilla (optional) 

  • 2 tbsp Vodka (optional) 

βœ… Instructions 

  1. Whisk all ingredients (except liquor) in a pot 

  2. Bring to medium heat.

  3. Stir regularly to avoid clumping 

  4. Turn off heat when the mixture reaches 170Β°F or coats spoon

  5. Strain & cool to room temp. Then cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. 

  6. Add booze (optional) 

  7. Churn until soft-serve consistency 

  8. Enjoy or freeze for later! 

πŸ“ Notes, Tips & Tricks:

  • If you don't have a thermometer: Run your finger across the wooden spoon. If the line stays without dripping or running, it's done.

  • Be careful not to overheat, or the egg yolks will cook & coagulate. Nobody wants to chew their ice cream. 

  • Add flavorings, toppings, & liquor after chilling & before churning. Alternatively, infuse the custard with flavors as it cooks.  

  • For flavor & add-ins inspiration, check out the Ice Cream Reference Guide (Premium πŸ”’).  

  • If using a freezer bowl, make sure it chills 12+ hours before use   

  • Feel free to adjust the ingredient ratios. For lighter ice cream decrease the cream & yolks, and increase the milk. To subdue sweetness, reduce sugar or replace with other sweeteners (e.g., honey, agave, maple syrup). 

  • To prevent freezer burn, cover ice cream with plastic wrap.  

  • If in a rush, cool the mixture on an ice pack. Alternatively, use the freezer to cool, but stir every ~5 minutes to prevent clumping. 

  • Save the egg whites for egg-white omelets or meringues. You can also freeze them for later use. (Learn more here).

πŸŽ“ Further Study 

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πŸ“š Want to learn more? Check out other lessons in the Table of Contents.

πŸ•Ί Need some musical inspo? Check out our new Cooking Dance Party Playlist.