Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rediscovering Ice Cream

I confess to a pretty sizable sweet tooth, one that I try to satisfy as often as possible, in as many ways as possible. I’ve made cookies, cakes, pastries, puddings, tarts—you name it, I’ve probably attempted to make it. And I’ve definitely attempted to eat it.

There was always one glaring omission in my dessert-making endeavors, though, and that was ice cream. I didn’t know that I was missing much in the way of homemade ice cream—after all, I could just pop by a local ice cream shop for a heaping scoopful of mint chocolate chip, birthday cake, or, my favorite, cookie dough ice cream. And so I did for close to 20 years.

Unknown to me, a perfectly functional ice cream maker gathered dust in my basement at home.

I discovered the existence of this ice cream machine last month while on the phone with my mother. I had just churned ice cream with a friend and the experience was little short of revelatory.

“You have to try it, we have to buy an ice cream machine,” I said at least a dozen times in the conversation.

“What are you talking about? We’ve had an ice cream machine for years.” (The way my mom said this, you’d think the machine had been sitting on the kitchen counter all this time—not forgotten in the back of a closet somewhere.)

I convinced myself that the reappearance of our family ice cream maker was a sign. I had a newfound appreciation for just how creamy, custardy, and flavorful ice cream could be; now I could share this “discovery” with everyone around me. I ordered a copy of David Lebovitz’s book of ice cream recipes, The Perfect Scoop. His inventive flavor combinations caught my eye, and I couldn’t wait to try out the avocado, toasted coconut, and tiramisu ice creams. I looked over a recipe or two, stuck my nose in the ice cream maker instruction manual for good measure, and decided to give it a go.

Unfortunately, my first few attempts at making ice cream bordered on the disastrous. The machine’s freezer bowl hadn’t pre-frozen enough, the sorbets turned to soup in minutes, and I was more than a little heavy-handed with the Kahlua for the tiramisu ice cream. But with a few weeks of practice (and a better understanding of how the ice cream machine worked), I saw a definite improvement. The ice creams are lusciously smooth and creamy, the sorbets and frozen yogurts packed with fruit flavor. What’s more, these frozen treats are among the easiest desserts to prepare—so long as you keep a few key tips in mind.

Some Tips for Making Ice Cream at Home:
• Read the instruction manual for your ice cream maker. Really, though. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my mango sorbet wouldn’t freeze…until I read the manual and realized that the freezer bowl needed at least 12 hours in the freezer between churnings.
• Don’t get too worried if you’ve put freshly-churned ice cream in the freezer, only to find that it’s become rock solid. Take it out of the freezer and let it thaw for about 10 minutes. It should be as soft and delicious as ever.
• Booze can help. If you’d still prefer the ice cream to maintain its consistency while in the freezer, a small splash of liquor can do this for you. Alcohol freezes at a lower temperature than most freezers, so the ice cream won’t solidify. (Just make sure the flavor combinations of the ice cream permit the addition of alcohol.)

Recipe for Avocado Ice Cream
From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Ingredients
3 medium-sized ripe Hass avocados
¾ cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Big pinch of salt

Slice the avocados in half and pluck out the pits. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and cut it into little pieces.

Purée the avocado pieces in a blender of food processor with the sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice, and salt until smooth and the sugar is dissolved.

Freeze immediately in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
-Eesha Sardesai

1 comment:

  1. i ADORE avocado ice cream! so easy and SO DELICIOUS!! :D

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