By Chef Judi Gallagher –
I’ve discovered ice cream nirvana. This is significant since I have never been much of an ice cream eater. In fact, our younger son used to marvel when we would all go out for ice cream and I would order a diet soda. Occasionally, I’d order a root beer float (if I was really crazy), but then I’d leave half the ice cream in the glass.
Then someone gave me the Cadillac of ice cream home machines, the Cuisinart Supreme Commercial Quality Ice Cream Maker. At $300, you could spend a lot less but, I promise, this counter monster puts Haagen Dazs to shame. Watch out Ben and Jerry’s and fear for your life Breyers, Chef Judi has the secret.
I love this machine but I did realize there was actual work to do in using such an impressive ice cream machine. I assumed I could dump in cream, vanilla and sugar and an hour later I’d be eating ice cream. Not exactly.
To make Health Bar Crunch, I went through a two-day process, because you start by making a custard. You mix cream, eggs and vanilla bean and simmer to 170 degrees, neurotically wondering what will happen if it does not hit exactly 170 or what if you sneeze and turn away and stop stirring for a millisecond. Fear not, I sneezed twice, went for the remote to change the channel and most importantly no one got sick from salmonella from not heating it at a precise temp.
After scraping the inside of the vanilla bean and pouring the mixture through a sieve, I had to add more cream and chill for 8 hours. Off to bed with a bowl of fresh blueberry ice cream I had already made two days earlier with only half the preparation time. Well, time heals all wounds and this wait was so worth every calorie-laced spoonful. Right at the end of the churning cycle I added a bag of Heath Bar bits. Then back in the freezer for 2 more hours. Sure I had a few spoonfuls along the way and licked the paddle clean, but that was to ensure I had nailed the texture and consistency. Success.
If you are a serious cook or enjoy making homemade desserts, I recommend the ICE-50BC Series. It takes up a fair amount of room on your counter but for someone who loves extra butterfat and a sense of accomplishment through creamy treats, this machine is for you.
Please note you can also make fat free yogurt and sorbets (although the recipe calls for white corn syrup). The actual recipe book included is perfect and there are many online recipes to chose from.
Blueberry Ice Cream
2 cups blueberries, pick off tiny stems and green pieces
¾ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
In a saucepan bring blueberries, sugar and salt to a boil over moderate heat. Mash the blueberries as you cook using a fork and continue to stir for about 5-7 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes and add puree mixture to the blender with milk until smooth. Stir in cream and pass mixture through sieve. ( I have omitted this process and the ice cream comes out just fine) Chill mixture, covered at least 2 hours, or until cold and up to 1 day.
Freeze mixture in ice cream maker – 35 minutes for soft serve and 50 minutes for hard ice cream. Place in an airtight container when finished and place in freezer for 2 hours to harden. Let the ice cream sit for 10 minutes on the counter before serving.
Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Heath Bar bits
Place cream, milk and vanilla bean in a heavy 4 quart pan. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Place egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on the highest speed until the yolks are thick and ribboning – 3 minutes. When the mixture is on low speed slowly add 1 cup of the hot cream/milk mixture back into the egg yolk mixture. Cook over medium low heat until the custard reads 170 on a candy thermometer. DO NOT BOIL. Strain the custard through a sieve. Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean and stir into custard. Stir in salt and vanilla extract. Place plastic wrap directly on custard to prevent a skin. Place in refrigerator for 8 hours, add to machine. Add Heath crunch in the last 5 minutes.
Fresh lemon Sorbet
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon zest
Combine the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a low simmer and do not stir simmer until all the sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Cool the simple syrup you have made completely. When cool, add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Pour the lemon mixture into the bowl of the ice cream maker. Set timer for 35-40 minutes for soft sorbet and 50-60 minutes for hard sorbet. (Note- I often add minced fresh basil or a pinch of rosemary to make this sorbet slightly savory to serve as an intermezzo).