I’m going to start this, the first of likely many future posts on homemade ice cream, with a few words to the wise: making ice cream from scratch is an exercise in delayed gratification. There’s nothing like digging a spoon into a quart of ice cream made just the way you like it, but you have to really want it. While there’s no doubt homemade ice cream can make a mockery of the so-so frozen treats available at places like Coldstone and Baskin Robbins, I’d go so far as to say that whatever you make at home often tastes better than the fancy ice cream available at many shops in San Francisco. I like a scoop of [insert salted ice cream flavor here] from [insert Mission District ice cream shop here] as much as the next gal, but predictably I’d rather spend a few days waiting for my scoop than a few minutes and a few dollars at my local scoop shop.
First, ice cream made with a traditional custard base requires eight egg yolks. I’m not often willing to part with this many of my eggs at once unless I have a master plan for using the whites. Sometimes, even my best-laid plans to use egg whites go awry. But forge on! Once you have your carefully separated egg yolks, you combine them with some sugar and A LOT of dairy to make custard. Let’s not mince words here: by dairy, I mean heavy cream and whole milk. Introducing skim or reduced fat milk in to this equation is only a good idea for your waistline, and that’s not really why you’re making ice cream in the first place, right?
After the somewhat-tedious process of cooking the custard and chilling it thoroughly, you’re ready to pour that deliciousness into your ice cream-maker and pump it full of all sorts of fun additions. Adding mix-ins is probably the best part of making ice cream. For this batch, I added salted roasted peanuts and what I like to call ‘chocolate grab bag’ (translation: all of the odds and ends of chocolate bars, candies and whatnot cluttering my pantry). The finished product is ultra-creamy, with salty and sweet morsels in every giant spoonful.
So, get thee to the kitchen now! If you’re lucky, you’ll have ice cream in 48 hours…