Tuesday, July 31, 2012

American-Style Ice Cream is also
delicious-style ice cream

Recently I bought a new ice cream machine, and the first two recipes I made in it were sorbets.
   I started to think perhaps I should actually make ice cream in it, and happily I came across a recipe in the August 2012 issue of Food & Wine magazine for American-Style Ice Cream (click for the recipe). I decided I would give the blackberry-sage version of the recipe a try.
   Well, it was a smash hit with my husband. He loved it, and I think it’s pretty darn good too.
   According to the F&W article from which the recipe came, American-style ice cream, also known as Philadelphia-style ice cream, is made with sugar, milk and cream. This is different from French-style ice cream, prepared with an egg custard (the two types of ice creams were contrasted in the magazine).
   The owner of Seattle’s Molly Moon’s ice cream shops, Molly Neitzel, contributed the recipe for American-style ice cream and its variations.
   “I love how easy it is to make, and I love its pure cream taste,” Neitzel told F&W.
   It’s a great description of the ice cream. It was extraordinarily easy to make and had a good cream taste. It had a terrific texture, and the blackberry-sage version I made was an absolutely brilliant flavor. I want to go back and try the chocolate-toffee, salted caramel, and strawberry-jalapeno flavors.
   There is just one slightly tricky aspect to making the ice cream, and that’s bringing the heavy cream (I used whipping cream), whole milk and sugar to a simmer. The recipe doesn’t say how long it will take nor the temperature at which to cook the mixture.
   I found it took about eight minutes on medium heat, with me stirring constantly, to reach the simmer stage. The simmer stage began when the mixture of liquids and dissolved sugar started to rise up and look frothy. Take the mixture off the heat at the exact instant it starts to do this, or it may burn.
   After the mixture of whipping cream, whole milk and dissolved sugar is brought to a simmer, the mixture is poured into a medium bowl, which is in turn placed in a larger bowl of ice water. The ice cream base mixture is left to cool completely (this will take about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.)
   The next step is crucial for successful ice cream: Refrigerating the mixture until it is very cold, at least one hour or overnight (I refrigerated the mixture for about three hours before proceeding). Making sure the mixture is very cold before putting it in the ice cream maker greatly aids the maker in producing the ice cream.
   The ice cream base mixture is put into the maker with optional additional flavorings. For the blackberry-sage ice cream, that meant putting in blackberry jam and one tablespoon of minced fresh sage with the milk mixture.
   After the mixture is processed in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, the ice cream is transferred to a plastic container and frozen until firm, at least three hours.

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