You Scream We Scream We All Scream for Ice Cream

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Unfortunately, I am a little late with the timing of this post. I was just shy of posting it at the tail end of national ice cream month – hopefully you haven’t had your fill of ice cream yet this summer! I have been looking forward to making homemade ice cream all summer.  I don’t think I have touched our ice cream maker since I first started writing this blog. After reading a spread in Bon Appetit magazine about the perfect homemade vanilla ice cream I decided to give it a try.  I went ahead and used their recipe for a vanilla custard base and took inspiration from their Bourbon Cherry variation. It is a great way to enjoy the seasonal, sweet cherries. I used frozen Bing cherries, but you could also splurge and use fresh cherries.  I would advise you, however, to save your money and buy frozen. The cherries end up frozen again anyway and it doesn’t make any difference in taste. I also decided to add in some dark chocolate, because after all, everything is better with chocolate. I was inspired by Ben and Jerry’s infamous Cherry Garcia, which happens to be my mom’s absolute favorite. 

I was so excited to make homemade ice cream that I went ahead and started processing the milk ice cream base in our ice cream maker without even adding the custard base.  I realized this only after it had been spinning in the ice cream maker for half and hour and it still looked like soup. Luckily, I had just enough ingredients to make a second batch and try it again! I am glad that I did because the effort that goes into making homemade ice cream is well worth it.  It is best enjoyed the same day you make it because the ice cream is still soft and very creamy.  As it sits in the freezer it becomes icier, so I recommend eating it within three to five days of making it.  It doesn’t have any stabilizers like store bought ice creams to prolong it’s shelf life. I am sure eating it quickly won’t be a problem; it certainly wasn’t in our house.

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The ice cream phenomenon continues to grow in America even with the introduction of frozen yogurt and lighter frozen desserts.  The flavor options are endless when it comes to ice cream. It is not uncommon to walk into an ice cream shop and find candied bacon or blueberry lavender. Although we can always reinvent the summertime classic people will always revert back to the classics.  Surprisingly, however, this frozen favorite originated in China and later spread to Europe.  It wasn’t introduced to Americans until the late 1770s when George Washington and Thomas Jefferson began serving it at their dinner parties. Centuries later homemade ice cream will still impress your dinner guests.  Make this ice cream for your next summer cookout. There is still plenty of summer left to enjoy ice cream, so try all of your favorite flavor combinations.

Homemade Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Yields 1 quart

*Recipe for vanilla ice cream base from Bon Appetit

Special Equipment

Ice cream maker

Sieve or cheesecloth

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

1 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of sugar (divided)

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 vanilla bean (split in half)

5 large egg yolks

1 cup of dark chocolate pieces

1 1/2 cups of (frozen) sweet cherries

2 Tablespoons of triple sec

1 Tablespoon of vanilla

2 Tablespoons of brown sugar

Directions

Somethings you will want to prepare in advance to make this easier: freeze ice cream bowl for ice cream maker a day in advance, set up a glass bowl inside a larger bowl that is filled with ice, arrange ice cream maker on your counter

In a medium sauce pan combine the heavy cream, milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, salt and vanilla bean. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Then remove from heat.  Let mixture sit in sauce pan (covered) for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar until pale yellow (about 2 minutes).  Then mix in 1/2 cup of the cream mixture. Pour egg mixture into the sauce pan with the remaining sugar mixture. Cook together over medium heat until thickened (about 2-3 minutes).

Strain mixture using a sieve (or cheesecloth) into a glass bowl resting on ice. Let the custard cool. Stir occasionally. Once the mixture has cooled completely, process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions (should be between 20-30 minutes).

When the custard is processed transfer to an airtight container.  Freeze for at least four hours before serving. Store in the freezer for up to a week. Let soften for a minute before scooping.

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Sources:
“Vegetarian [Paperback].” Vegetarian: Nicola Graimes: 9780760749531: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. (19, 20)
“The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion (Deluxe Edition) [Hardcover].” The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion (Deluxe Edition): Sharon Tyler Herbst, Ron Herbst: 9780764162411: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. (227)
"History of Ice Cream." About.com Inventors. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 July 2013.