Monday, June 18, 2012

Making home made Ice Cream:

Strawberry ice cream with strawberries
Photo by Lotus Head

When the author was a child his mother used to make the greatest icecream that was far superior to anything that was store bought.  Among her equipment for making ice cream was an old fashioned icecream freezer that was a wooden bucket that you filled with ice and rocksalt.  This provided the cold for the icecream.  There was a cylindrical container that was immersed in the ice mixture that had a set of paddle wheels inside of it that were turned by a crank that all of kids took a turn at cranking.  Today you might find one of these ice cream freezers in an antique shop if you’re lucky.

However, they are still produced as churn type ice cream makers both with an electric motor or a hand crank.  The process hasn’t changed either.  The basic recipe for icecream is as follows for a simple vanilla ice cream:  You can find these devices on the Internet by Googling – ice cream freezers.  There are several additional styles available too.

1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
2 cups of heavy crème
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Start with a medium pan over a low heat and stir the eggs, milk and sugar together until they are thoroughly blended and the sugar completely dissolved.  Keep stirring until the mixture gets thick enough to stick to the back of your stirring spoon.  This will take from 10 to 20 minutes.  When this happens remove it from the heat and let the mixture cool.  At this point the mixture is custard.

Using a medium bowl whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer or a metal whisk until the cream forms soft peaks.  Then you beat in the vanilla (or other flavoring of your choice). 

Fold the whipped cream into the mixture you have just prepared, and chill in a refrigerator for at least 8 hours, but better overnight.

Stir the mixture again to recombine the ingredients.  Then place it into an ice cream maker until it has picked up enough air bubbles to make it slightly frothy and frozen to a consistency like ice cream that has partially melted.  The last step is to place it into a container and place it into a regular freezer until it is firm.  At that time it is ready to be served.

This is the recipe for a basic ice cream you can add fresh fruits that have been cut up or chocolate syrup or small chunks of chocolate.  You can also add spices and herbs to the basic mixture to create different flavors.  If you like to experiment you can even create your own flavors.  The wildest one the author ever heard of was dog bone, made from crumbled dog bones.

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