15 June 2011

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home

We finally got our copy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. It has been on order since she stated writing the book. Lucindaville is the land of ice cream. We have quite the repertoire of favorite flavors including our Berries and Balsamic, Pimm's Cup, Red Velvet (hey we can turn any recipe into Red Velvet --it's a Southern thing), Pumpkin, Bloody Mary, if you can eat it, we can make it into ice cream. We recently ran across a recipe for asparagus ice cream and it is on our summer experiments list.

It is no wonder that our cookbook shelf is has an entire ice cream section. Bauer uses an interesting technique for making her ice cream. Instead of eggs to thicken it, she uses a corn starch. At Lucindaville where eggs are a mainstay, we were a bit shocked by this. So we were beyond anxious to give this corn starch thing a try. (Please don't tell our chickens about this cookbook. They are firm believers in offering up fresh eggs for ice cream and the thought that Jeni doesn't like that eggy taste in her ice cream will leave the girls miffed.)

Here at Lucindaville, the ice cream maker is a 1982 Simac Il Gelataio that was 20 years old when we got it. It is slightly smaller than a VW Beetle and weighs about the same. During the summer it sits on an old milk crate in the middle of the floor, close to the fridge. The freezing bowl does not come out. Generally it takes 40 minutes to make ice cream and 2 hours to clean it, but I still haven't found an ice cream maker that I would trade it for.

We were glad to see some of our staples in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home, like Sweet Potato and Olive Oil. We have been experimenting with a number of olive oil ice cream recipes, so we are adding Jeni's to our trial list. Another ice cream in the book that has us all aglow is the Oakvale Young Gouda with Vodka-plumped Cranberries. But let us begin with vanilla.

Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/2 ounces
(3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. fill a large bowl with ice water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla seeds and bean in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag into the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.
Of course it is Ugandan vanilla, but you can use plain old vanilla beans if you don't have the ones from Uganda. But then you will have to drop the "Ugandan" from the name. Now you need to go out right now and get yourself a copy of this book so that you, too, can make ice cream. If you live close to Jeni, just grab a pint. She's opening up a new store in Nashville real soon. Jeni is always on the prowl for new ice cream ideas, so check out her blog, salty caramel to follow more Jeni updates.

So now we have the ice cream machine sitting on the milk crate, the corn starch and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home, let the summer begin.

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