Hmmm ! It's summer and although it's pouring with rain and the temperatures have gone back to March time here in Vienna as I write this, June reminds me off strawberries and ice cream. Having spotted the Perfect Scoop book by the famous David Lebovitz on other foodie blogs, I couldn't resist on my next amazon.co.uk order to buy this book and try some recipes out.
OK ! as you should know me by now, I had to add my own touch, so the recipe I'm about to share with you on making this rich ice cream has some of my touches, but I owe the inspiration to God and method to Mr Lebovitz, because just by looking at the book and the way he talks about ice cream, you can't put it down without wanting to try a recipe out.
OK ! some rules about ice cream.
First up, ice cream is what it actually means... ICE-d CREAM. It is cream that has been iced up. There's no easy way to say this but ice cream has cream like features in it. OK ! some recipes will call for using more full cream milk and perhaps half-and-half if you are in the US, which is half cream and half milk, but before it takes on ice cream qualities, it will have to be armed up to have cream like characteristics.
Secondly, ice cream has to be sweet. You've got to put sugar in it. Cream might be fattening but it tastes horrible without sugar in it. Don't cut down on sugar - believe you me, once I cut down on sugar whilst making strawberry ice cream and no one liked it, even me, and it ended up in the bin and I hate throwing food away.
Thirdly and this isn't a definite, to make ice cream, you need to create a custard, which is a mix of egg yolks, sugar and cream/milk. There is another version, but see Mr Lebovitz's book for more details.
Lastly, before I bore you with these lessons, it's much easier to make ice cream with an ice cream machine. Some recipes will say, freeze the mixture, take out, whisk and freeze again and repeat for a few hours, but we've all got a life and we can't wait around for hours just trying to freeze ice cream. So after spending all that careful time and money trying to make ice cream, it's worth buying a basic ice cream machine, which won't cost more than $50 (£35/€35).
I forgot one, enjoy yourself and experiment making lots of lovely flavours.
So, my first detour from Mr Lebovitz' recipe is that I prefer to use more cream than milk. You see, I'm following rule number 1. If I'm going to make ice cream, I want it creamy, rich and full of taste. Let me run through this now, so that you don't think making ice cream is difficult.
75g white chocolate crushed and placed in a strainer over a large bowl
200ml single or double cream (we only get something called schlagobers in Vienna)
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
150ml organic milk
2 dessert spoons unsalted pistachios roasted in a frying pan for about 5 mins with 2 dessert spoons of free flowing honey
Ice Cream Machine (nemox, phillips, etc)
2 Clean Bowls
Stainless Steel 2 litre saucepan
A bowl that will take about 500l
So here's a step-by-step guide;
1. Place the egg yolks in the bowl and whisk, leave.
2. Warm the milk and the sugar in the saucepan on medium heat until steam begins to ooze out
3. Pour warm milk into the egg yolks mixture, whisking constantly, making sure it doesn't cook - you don't want sweet scrambled eggs
4. Pour the whisked egg yolks and milky sugar mixture back into the saucepan on low-to-medium heat and stir constantly with the wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of your spoon - now you have custard
5. Pour the custard through the broken white chocolate which will be sitting on a strainer over a bowl. In this way you will melt the chocolate with the hot custard as it pours throw - cool eh ?
6. Now place the bowl, which has the custard in it, into a stainless steel bowl, filled with ice cold water, because you want to continue stirring the custard to avoid it cuddling (turning into bits) as it cools down - Don't worry, it won't take long, about 5 minutes. My daughter was more than happy to do this, thinking ahead to the finish product, licking her lips.
7. As soon as the custard has cooled down, pour it into a clean bowl and place in the fridge for about 5-6 hours - yes ! you need to do this in the morning, if you want ice cream for that special dinner dessert, like we did, when it was hot in Vienna, two weeks ago.
Now, make the roasted pistachios, which couldn't be simpler - just throw your slightly crushed pistachios into a hot frying pan, moving it around for a few minutes and pour your honey in towards the end, watching it sizzle until it attaches itself to the nuts, then let cool until ready to use.
When you want to churn the ice cream in the ice cream machine - it will take about 20 mins, make sure you put the nuts in at the end or after the custard has become ice cream. I only put the nuts on one side, as my family are not really into nuts in ice cream like I am - more for me, yipee !
You see, it wasn't that hard, just a few careful steps and a delicious and tasty experience awaits you.
Inspired by a recipe in David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop.