I’m addicted to ice cream. In the summertime I make about a quart a week. I’ve made a lot of flavors – chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, lemon, lime. I treasure Ben and Jerry’s 1987 Ice Cream & Dessert Book, a valuable record of their recipes (and ideals) before they sold to Unilver in 2000. I used to love their Cherry Garcia. Unilver promptly added high fructose corn syrup to the ice cream, so now I just make it myself – I freeze some cherries in season just for that purpose.
By and large though I stick to vanilla. It’s endlessly versatile, I can put fresh fruit on it, or chocolate syrup, or just eat it straight, as vanilla.
I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It wasn’t expensive, I think I paid $40 for it at a Christmas sale. Now that I’m used to the way it works it takes so little time to do that I just bring it out while I’m doing other things in the kitchen, like making soup, or dinner. I make what is called Philadelphia ice cream, meaning that I don’t put eggs in it.
Here’s what I do:
Place 1 cup milk and 3/4 cup sugar in the stand mixer (you could mix with a hand mixer). I use vanilla sugar, which is plain sugar placed in a container with a vanilla bean.
Mix for three minutes on medium. The idea is to get the sugar to dissolve in the milk.
Add 2 cups of cream and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Mix for another 30 seconds on medium, just long enough to blend everything together, but not long enough to whip the cream.
Pour into the ice cream maker. The Cuisnart has a bowl that is kept in the freezer. The bowl goes on the base, the paddle goes in the bowl, then the mix is poured into the bowl, and the lid is placed on top. Turn the machine on and let it churn for 25 minutes.
When it’s done, I scrape the ice cream into a container. The cook gets to lick the beater. The most work involved here is in cleaning the bowl. I clean it in cool water and then wipe it down immediately and quickly with a clean linen towel to prevent the water from turning into ice. I cover it in plastic wrap to prevent freezer ice from forming. Both the covered bowl and the quart of ice cream go into the back of the freezer. The ice cream is somewhat soft when it goes in but hardens in a couple of hours. It never gets as hard as commercial ice cream, I suspect because I don’t add xantham or guar gum. I like it a little softer.
I use all organic ingredients. Hagen Daz 5 comes close to my ice cream in quality of taste, but I don’t know any ice cream maker that makes a completely organic ice cream. It’s amazingly good.