30 August 2012

A Learning Experience with Ice Cream

I recently bought an ice cream maker, which I previously wrote about in my Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt post. Last week, I set out to try my second batch, this time wanting to make brown sugar peach ice cream. I had this vision in my head of ice cream that would taste like peach pie.  I did my due diligence, googling various recipes and came up with some ratios that I thought would work.
        I couldn't resist including a few cat pictures in my post.  I think
my favorite part of making ice cream is how excited the kitties get
when they spot the cream.
Once I began, I realized I didn't have any brown sugar.  That was ok though, as most of the time I substitute maple syrup for brown sugar (and white sugar, and honey, and basically any other sweetener the recipe calls for).  I made the custard base and refrigerated it for a few hours.  Since I cooked the base, I don't *think" the substitution of maple syrup caused much of an issue.  I think where I ran into problems though, is when I decided to cook the peaches at the same time I began churning the ice cream.  I tried to cool the peaches as quickly as possible, moving them into a different bowl, placing that bowl in an ice bath, and then transferring the whole thing to the freezer.  I should have remembered that boiling fruit and sugar gets very hot (hotter than boiling water) and stays hot for a while (think jam).  Also, I got pretty enthusiastic with the number of peaches I prepared.  So when I added this mixture to the half-churned ice cream, not only did it double the liquid in the recipe, it was still quite warm.  It was actually still steaming but I didn't want to admit that to Noah when he came home and found me upset about the ruined batch of ice cream.  I plead ignorance about what happened for at least ten minutes.

Frozen disaster

I let my cat try a little of the ice cream.  She liked it.
I let the ice cream churn and churn and churn for about 35 minutes before finally admitting defeat and sticking the whole bowl in the freezer with secret hopes that it would freeze and taste awesome.  Well it wasn't.  It tasted like weird frozen ice and there were huge clumps of peaches that had separated out from the "cream" portion.  Noah pretended he liked it, and we let it sit in the freezer for a week before he conceded defeat and I threw it out.

So what did I learn?  Ice cream may be harder to make than I thought and perhaps I should follow a few recipes to get the hang of it before venturing too far off the path.  Also, ice cream ingredients should be cold when you put them in the mixer.  Duh.
What ice cream looks like when it churns.
The next batch I tried was maple toffee vanilla ice cream.  I made the toffee - a recipe I plan to share at some point this fall as it makes an awesome holiday gift.  I followed a very basic vanilla ice cream recipe from Epicurious and only made two changes - I used only 1/2 cup of regular sugar and substituted 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and used 3 tsp of vanilla extract instead of soaking a whole vanilla bean.  Once the ice cream was nearly churned, I added in 2 cups of finely chopped maple toffee.  I served it at our last supper with some very dear friends who were moving to Toronto in a couple of days .  (Miss you guys already!)

Happy almost Labor Day Weekend everyone! 

No comments:

Post a Comment