18 July 2009

summertime ice cream

I never realized it was possible to make ice cream without a machine, either because I'm stupid or because I never looked into it more deeply than an afterthought. Whatever the reason, a visit to David Lebovitz' blog where I found a method to make ice cream without a machine, I did a back flip and screamed for ice scream. I don't have any pictures of this.

This isn't actually the first ice cream I made as I tested it out 4th of July weekend with spectacular results (and you can substitute the heavy cream with evaporated milk...), an orange-flavored ice cream with melted chocolate added close to the end of the "churning" process. My next flavor needed to be something completely different than what I'm accustomed to making, and I used this opportunity to make a peach flavored ice cream for my brother, with what was supposed to be a hint of mint in the background.

The chosen recipe was the same as last time from Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook for the custard base, and the peach jam for the peachiness.

Giving step-by-step instructions so you cannot fail unless your inherent trait is fail, you cannot go wrong with this recipe. I chose it because it was a custard, including eggs, and therefore richer. I used heavy cream this time, but replaced the skim milk with whole milk for even more richness. A little tip, the custard is supposed to be more liquidy than what you might think a custard to be, but it will coat the back of a spoon.

So the first step is to heat the moo juice with some of the sugar, then remove from heat and steep the flavoring for 30 minutes. A word to the dumb: Don't steep mint for 30 minutes unless you want what tastes like undertones of rye. I figured maybe it was just me, but my brother commented on it. And I smushed his bowl in his plate and insulted is palate. Kidding.
The better way to steep the mint is to put a few sprigs in after the entire custard has finished, for 5-10 minutes. Unfortunately, while the mint flavor came through this time (I didn't feel it was enough to come out against the peach the first time), it was very strong. Whoops.

As all ice cream recipes will instruct you to chill the custard in an ice bath prior to churning, I don't have ice. You could instead place it in the fridge overnight, but I hadn't any patience. What I did was place the custard bowl in a bowl of really cold water, changing the water whenever it became warm.

Next step is to place the cold custard in a shallow container and place in the freezer.

After the first 45 minutes this is what it will look like. Since you don't have a machine, you'll want to really get in there with a sturdy spoon or spatula and mix it all up, churning with the strength of your own arm, breaking up any frozen particles to emulsify the mixture into something evenly smooth.

The freeze-and-mix process continues every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours, as per Lebovtiz' instructions. The top picture is what it looked like after one of those, I think nearish the beginning, I'm sorry but I forgot precisely. But it shows how my freezer has a cold spot, so I turned the container at the halfway point. The second picture illustrates how I broke down the frozen parts and blended it all back together; you can also see the difference in texture from the first picture. Take your time and don't rush the process.

Here, near the end, is where I added the peach jam, though in two additions. Stewart's recipe said to add it near the churning time is completed and right before placing it in the freezer, but again this was with a machine so I was a bit unsure as to when I should actually add it. I noticed it made the mixture more liquidy, of course, so the freezing time had to be increased. (I also forgot to change camera settings.)

And finally, it'll look something like this at the end. As per normally, homemade proves to be better than many pre-made products. My one brother liked how it seemed richer and more dense than most ice cream, which makes sense considering less air was probably mixed in, not entirely unlike gelato.

Next time I want to try a recipe for chocolate sorbet I have bookmarked, and I probably will have waffle cones to go along with it. So, on the count of three we will all scream, just wait until I leave.


  1. ooh, peaches! what a great idea :) time to clear out the freezer...

  2. Perfect time of year to whip up a batch of ice cream! Peach is a great summertime flavor...

  3. Those peaches look incredible!!!


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