Adventures in Eating: Homemade Ice Cream
Remember the story of the King who promised his daughter in marriage to the young man who would create a dish for him that was both hot and cold at the same time? Voila, the winner created the hot fudge sundae and married the princess. So goes the tale.
Water ices were known in the Roman Empire and even Marco Polo is supposed to have brought back a recipe for milk ices from the Far East.
However, when the centrifugal cream separator was invented in 1867, the ice cream business took off. By 1950, 2,000,000,000 quarts of ice cream was sold every year in the U.S.
While raising a family, I have struggled with a number of ice cream recipes. Mostly very good when eaten right away, but not so good when the leftover sat in the freezer. They always crystallized.
You can purchase a decent ice cream for about $2.25 a pint, but homemade is easy, much less in terms of cost, and no unknown chemicals.
Some years ago I did some research on ice cream makers. The Waring Ice Cream Parlor won hands down. I later discovered it won applauds from the Consumer’s Magazine. With it, you can use homemade or store bought ice cubes, and ordinary table salt. The machine stops, when the ice cream is made. Let it “ripen” for 2 hours replenishing the ice and salt, and yum!
Remember, always add your fruits just before the ice cream is finished, or else they will freeze. Mash some fresh peaches, berries (with a little sugar). A dessert fit for a king!
Have you ever experienced asking for at recipe only to be told it was a family secret? Well, the court chefs of Europe tried to keep ice cream a secret, but lost the battle.
MY ICE CREAM
6 c half-and-half
1/2 c regular milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Mix half-and-half with milk in a pan. Break vanilla bean into pieces and place in blender with the sugar. Whirl until the vanilla bean is in tiny specks. Add sugar mixture to milk/cream and bring to a slow scald. Be careful it does not foam up and spill over. Meanwhile, beat the eggs until frothy and slowly add the scalded mixture. Return pot to a low heat and slowly cool while stirring with a wire whisk. Cook until it just starts to simmer. Put aside to cool. This can be made way ahead of time. Process in your ice cream maker according to its directions.
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