Days for ice-cream
Last year I gave Georgia (dd#1) a book of vouchers for her birthday. She still had one voucher that had not been used up, and as her birthday has just passed, I thought we it was time to fulfill the gift. It was for a homemade ice-cream of her choice, and she opted for strawberry ripple. We haven't made ice-cream since last summer, which is ridiculous really, as we eat so much of it (when we have it here).
First we made a strawberry sauce by chopping up a punnet of strawberries and putting them in a pot with a little sugar and a tiny bit of water. They were stewed over a medium heat for about 5 minutes and allowed to cool. Next, they were whizzed up with a stick blender to a smooth consistancy and put into a squeezy plastic bottle.
The ice-cream mix is really simple, basically it is just a custard - we increased our recipe quantities for a bigger mix. The recipe is for equal quantities of milk and cream - in our case 1.5 cups of each, and 9 (yes, 9!!) egg yolks. The original recipe stated 1 cup of each liquid, and only 6 egg yolks, but I figure if you are going to the trouble of making ice-cream, why fiddle with piddly quantities? I would even straight out double it next time and use a whole 12 egg yolks. So where were we? Right, equal quantities of milk and cream, egg yolks, a vanilla bean, split lengthwise and 3/4 cup sugar. We had no vanilla bean so used vanilla extract instead (2 tsp).
Make the custard by heating the milk, cream and vanilla bean together in a pot over medium heat until starting to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until pale and thick.
Slowly add the warm milk & cream mixture to the egg yolk/sugar mix and whisk well. Wash the pot out and return the mixture to it. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and coats the back spoon. Add the vanilla extract at this stage (if using), and allow to cool, stirring frequently. Since we were making the ice-cream in the ice-cream maker we put both the custard mix and the strawberry sauce mix in the fridge overnight. If the ice-cream machine wasn't being used, the custard could have been placed into a container and put into the freezer for a few hours until semi-firm (stirring every now and then), and then the sauce 'rippled' through it and frozen overnight.
The next morning for us, it was a simple case of pouring the custard into the ice-cream machine and allowing it to churn for 10-15 minutes.
Then it was scooped out and layered with squeezings of strawberry sauce from the squeezy bottle.
And frozen for about 6 hours, until firm. The result? Very, very creamy and filling ice-cream (plus the 9 egg whites waiting to be made into something!)
Perfect for a hot, summer day to mark the end of the holidays.