--- LAZY READER ALERT ---
If you don't feel like reading the details, please scroll down to my 5 questions at the bottom.
--- END LAZY READER ALERT ---
Hi 'hounds! Well I finally did it. After years of intense curiosity, I got my $10 panasonic ice cream maker from Amazon (see previous postings) and made a batch of French Vanilla, and I wanted your input.
Here's a paraphrasing of the recipe:
1/2 cup (120ml)heavy cream
1/2 cup (60g)granulated sugar
1/3 cup milk (80ml )
1/2 tsp, vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
the instructions that came with this ice cream maker are very unspecific and distinctly un-chowhoundy, so I'll try to describe my "best guess" process.... any input from experienced ice cream making hounds would be greatly appreciated!!
I whisked the sugar and yolks together until I got a whiteish, cream color. I then whisked in the milk until I got as smooth a consistency as I could get.
I then heated the custard in a nonstick saucepan on my gas burner on low for a few minutes, which seemed to thicken in just a couple of minutes but I kept stirring, not knowing what an adequate custard consistency is for purposes of ice cream making. I took it off the burner while it had a runny cake batter consistency. I then stirred in the vanilla (I used the thick, rich vanilla paste from trader joe's). I then submerged into a bowl of ice water and let it sit while I prepared the cream.
In a steel bowl I had left in the freezer, I put the heavy cream, which I beat on low with my also-frozen steel beater blades. The directions say to whip the cream into peaks which droop off the blade, but I went a little crazy and made a thick whipped cream.
When I folded the custard (now slightly warmer than room temp, despite the submerge in ice water) with the cream, there were many lumps. I then realized "why am I folding, when the mixer will be churning this up? So I stirred with my spatula, in an attempt to beat out the whipped cream lumps, to no avail.
I chilled the mixuture overnight. The recipe says to chill to 41 F, but my refrigerator would only chill it to 46.
I then set the gizmo to work (this one operates in the freezer, eliminating the need to babysit and move your product to the freezer for final setting process)
When I came home for lunch, the ice cream was done... but it was good but far from perfect. It was way too sweet, and the exterior had a strange, slightly rubbery consistency on the outside. However when cut into with a spoon, it was rich and creamy.
-- ATTENTION LAZY READERS -- 5 QUESTIONS, AS PROMISED! --
1. Is it important that the custard base be fully chilled when incorporating into the whipped cream?
2. How did the dense beating of the cream affect my final product? Would I have had a lighter ice cream with less beating?
3. How critical was it that I did not reach the target temp of 41?
4. Where is the coldest spot in your refrigerator? (I have an older top/bottom model)
5. How would you change this recipe to make a great basic vanilla template for future gelatinicious endeavors?