I've been on an ice cream kick recently. And by recently I mean since the beginning of the summer. It was such a harmless idea. My sister-in-law thought it'd be fun to bring an ice cream machine down to the Cape house to show her kids how to make it from scratch. A great rainy day activity. They loved the ice cream, but were less interested in the process of preparing it. The adults, on the other hand, became obsessed. The vanilla ice cream we made using a recipe from Melissa Clark over at the New York Times was wonderful; smooth, creamy, and not overly sweet. At that point, we were hooked. What would should we make next?
While there have been a few misses, most have been hugely successful. Favorites were coffee, Oreo, and, the biggest hit, blueberry crumble. I took a short break from making ice cream, but, over the last month, have gotten back into it. Pumpkin was delicious, as was this cranberry sauce ice cream that I prepared for Friendsgiving. Served with apple cake, it was the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Having made four batches of it over the course of a week, I think I could do with my eyes closed.
Part of the joy of making ice cream comes from watching your creation churn in the mixer. For a while, I'd been using a machine that was a gift from my mom. It worked well enough, but it was starting to slow down. Time for an upgrade! I'd heard from a number of people, including my mom, who's also fallen hard for homemade ice cream, that the KitchenAid attachment worked well. So, I reached out to my friends over there, who were generous enough to send it over for me to play with. Since receiving the attachment, I've used it a half a dozen times, and it's worked beautifully on each occasion. I find that the bowl freezes quickly, which was not the case with my last machine. The paddle does a great job scraping the sides of the bowl, too. Overall, I've been pretty happy with it.
Cranberry Sauce Ice Cream
Yield: 1 quart Source: Adapted from Melissa Clark's recipe
Ingredients For the ice cream base 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup whole milk 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 tsp Kosher salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 6 egg yolks
For the cranberry sauce 12 oz cranberries 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
1. In a medium saucepan set over low heat, whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, Kosher salt and vanilla extract until the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg yolks to a separate bowl and give a quick whisk to break them up.
2. When the cream mixture becomes hot, slowly whisk in a third of the liquid to the egg yolks. Then, whisk the egg-cream mixture back into the pot. Continue to heat it, stirring often. Once the base is thick enough to start to coat the back of a wooden spoon, it's done. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Strain the base through a fine mesh sieve and, once it reaches room temperature, transfer to a container with a lid. Refrigerate for at least four hours.
4. Put the cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the cranberries burst. Stir sauce. Once it thickens a bit, remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Let cool to room temperature and then transfer to a container with a lid. Let chill in the refrigerator.
5. Once the ice cream base and cranberry sauce has chilled, churn the base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. When it's done churning, prepare the ice cream for the freezer. Start by putting a third of the cranberry sauce in the bottom of a container with a lid, then top with ice cream. Repeat with remaining base and sauce. If you like really soft ice cream, enjoy immediately. However, if you want your ice cream harder (like you get at the store) place the container in the freezer for at least four hours.