You may have realized that I have a thing for ice cream and sorbet. The only dessert that can trump ice cream for me is a handmade all butter double-crusted seasonal fresh-fruit pie. Ironically, I do not like ice cream (or even whipped cream) with my pie; nor do I like anything with my ice cream (save a good waffle bowl). I want the ice cream itself to be flavorful enough to stand alone. One of the great pleasures is vanilla ice cream that fills your entire head with the scent. When I don’t have time to make my own, I prefer Häagen-Dazs Five from the store. For local artisan ice cream it goes to Mora Iced Creamery on Bainbridge Island. Luckily, a ferry ride will keep them out of my market share when I open my ice cream shop. Oh, but it is so worth that ferry ride.
When it comes to ice cream makers, at home I use the attachment for the KitchenAid, because I did not want to find room for another appliance. Had I this purchase to do over again, I would find room for the Quisinart ice cream maker. While the KitchenAid attachment is convenient, the bowl is cumbersome to handle, the dasher is very awkward to scrape clean, and adding mix-ins is difficult because the turning mechanism is in the way. I found the Quisinart’s dasher to be of a more simple design and is held in place by the lid while the bowl turns, this leaves the large opening at the top free to easily add mix-ins. Evidently the ice cream maker I use at work is actually A’roFilter’s main computer core on Cloud City. Who knew?
I found this plate instructing a Gentlewoman on how to eat her ice cream cone in Frozen Desserts by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir. The other night at dinner, evidently my mother was “a woman of unsavory and unattractive appetites” with a cupful of this orange cream ice cream I have running at the restaurant.
Orange Cream Ice Cream
(makes about a pint and a half and easily doubles to make three pints)
1 cup half-and-half
Zest of half an orange
5 oz sugar
5 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a saucepan, combine the half-and-half, zest and a small scoop of the sugar and bring to a scald. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining sugar and salt until light. Add orange juice and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the hot half-and-half. Pour the custard base back into the saucepan bowl. Place the pan over medium-low heat and and stir constantly until thickened (the custard should be about 180º). Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, pour into a container and cool quickly in an ice bath and chill in the fridge overnight. Strain the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and churn it. When churned, transfer to freezer containers, label and freeze for several hours before serving.
While it seems like torture to have to wait to make your ice cream, letting the custard rest in the fridge overnight does two things. First, it gives ample time to fully realize the flavor. So leave those flavor components in the base (the exception would be with tea flavorings which will get bitter). Secondly, eggs are protein and when you agitate protein the chains get all wound up and tough (imagine what happens when you knead bread). Letting the custard rest (just like with bread) gives the protein chains time to relax which will result in a smoother product.