Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ice Cream Partay! (for two)

My good pal Rafael (incidentally I call him Shogodog) came over the other night for an ice cream making sesh! I've been wanting to churn up some frozen creamy party times ever since I got my awesome new book "the Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz in the mail! French style ice cream vs. Philadelphia style (or American style) ice cream. Did you know there was a difference? Yes, it's true! French style ice cream is a cooked custard style ice cream, resulting in a rather eggy (much to my husband's nose-turned-up dismay), very rich, smooth and creamy ice cream. Philly style has none of this egg business; it's like the recipes that came with my Cuisinart ice cream maker.

So often I lie in bed at night before going to sleep and I read baking books or cookbooks. Right now "The Perfect Scoop" is on the top of the pile-- so I decided I would start by making the very first recipe, the author's fave vanilla ice cream. This recipe has seeds from a whole vanilla bean in it so it's very fragrant, and the end product turned out very nice and creamy and SO full of flavour it was insane. I found it a little too eggy and too sweet though-- next time I will adjust the recipe! David Lebovitz has a cute and toothy smile on the book jacket, holding up proudly a lovely looking cone. You can tell the guy really digs food.

The joy and the excitement of peering into the churning ice cream machine and seeing it slowly thicken, rich and creamy in colour, with specks of vanilla beans! We ate a few spoons right after we thought it was done-- it took about 40 minutes of churning, actually! And then we carefully doled out half of the ice cream into one container and the other half into another-- our prized product outcome of an evening's work!! I scooped out a small ball of it the following day and was amazed by the texture-- could've been Haagen Dasz! How exciting!!

{David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream recipe!}

You will need:

1 cup milk

A pinch of salt

3/4 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean

5 egg yolks

2 cup heavy cream

A few drops of vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.

2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

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