Hello from Caroline of Coeur De La! Ice cream for me is always nostalgic. I think back to warm summer days where I spent hours outside swimming and picnicking with my family, and somehow, ice cream was always involved. I remember days where it was so warm we enjoyed ice cream inside the ice cream shop because if we were to go outside our ice cream would melt, a catastrophic event for a six year old. The end of April is one of my favorite times as it marks a turn to warmer weather. I always seem to dust off my ice cream maker right around the same time every year. Last summer I put my ice cream maker to use and made batch after batch of ice cream flavors such as blackberry, peppermint, mint chip, dark chocolate caramel with sea salt (my personal favorite), and basil with a blackberry compote. I even made an apricot and coconut milk based ice cream. Whether ice cream is in a cone, served in a teacup, in a mason jar, or a colorful bowl, I like my ice cream homemade. So, I am excited to share with you an ice cream recipe that completely inspired me and it is perfect for April and May.
While paging through Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life” the latest of numerous times, I realized I had forgotten about her vanilla peppered ice cream. I have always been a fan of classic ice cream flavors but I love classics with a twist. Thus, this recipe was right up my alley and perfect for a spring day. Oddly, I had all the ingredients in my kitchen, brought out my ice cream maker from hiding, and got to work. The ice cream recipe is simple and straightforward. The pepper adds a nice kick to the vanilla ice cream that warms the pallet and will leave you scooping seconds. I used lowfat milk instead of whole milk as that is what I had in the fridge and the ice cream turned out just fine. So, if you have an ice cream maker and it has been collecting dust all winter, bring it out from hibernation and make some ice cream.
inspired and adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s 'A Homemade Life'
1 cup lowfat milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 pinches of salt
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 teaspoons black finely ground pepper
(I added a bit more as I love pepper)
1. In a medium saucepan, combine your milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar and salt. Stir over medium heat being careful not to scorch your mixture. I love using a big wooden spoon for this part. You want your mixture to be warm and not boil.
2. Separate your egg yolks and in a medium sized bowl whisk together your yolks. Once your yolks are mixed, you will take the warm milk mixture that has been on the stove and pour half of it into your yolk mixture, tempering the egg yolks so they do not turn cook. No one wants scrambled eggs in their ice cream. Make sure once you pour to whisk and whisk. Pour this mixture back into your other half of the milk mixture that is in the pot. Cook over medium heat being careful not to overcook. You will want to stir the mixture frequently. Once your mixture can coat the back of your wooden spoon, your custard is done. A tell tale trick that most ice cream recipes call for including jam recipes is that if you can draw a line into the back of your wooden spoon and the mixture separates cleanly, your custard mixture is ready.
3. In another bowl, pour the remaining cup of heavy cream. Pour the mixture through the strainer and into the bowl with the one cup of cream. Whisk and whisk until smooth. Place bowl into an ice bath and let chill for several hours. I seem to always rush this process as I can’t wait for homemade ice cream. So, initially when my ice cream comes out of my ice cream maker it is a bit soft. But, one night in the freezer and my ice cream hardens and turns out perfectly.
4.Leave your mixture in the ice bath for up to 6-8 hours in your fridge. Again, I let my mixture sit for an hour or two and then pour it directly into my ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions (pour into ice cream maker, it churns on its own etc.) Before the mixture goes into your ice cream maker add your vanilla and pepper. These ingredients are for flavor so it is up to you to decide how much or how little you would like.
5. Churn until ice cream is nice and thick. When ready take a spoon and have a taste or two. Now, because I put my custard in less of an ice bath I scoop out the ready ice cream into a large bowl, cover it in seran wrap twice, and keep in the freezer over night. Your ice cream can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And, if you are anything like me, straight out of your ice cream maker.