I have a confession to make: I’m not the hugest fan of milk. Or eggs. I’ll eat eggs with ketchup, or with cheese and red peppers, but I won’t eat a scrambled or fried egg straight. I won’t drink a glass of milk. I am, however, a rather large fan of the stuff that happens when you heat up eggs and milk together and then freeze it. AKA, ice cream. And this month, my monthly recipe is that glorious creation in which you freeze custard and end up with smooth, creamy ice cream.
(if you wish to view last month’s recipe, go here)
I would like to apologize in advance for the weird lightening on some (most) of the pictures. My kitchen is the bane of photographs on a good day, and…well, it wasn’t a good day. Some day I would like to have a photogenic kitchen. Today is not that day.
This recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. ase for this, because literally all you do is cut down the vanilla and mix in Oreo bits.
Oreo Ice Cream
First, you mix together the sugar and half-and-half on low heat. Toss in a vanilla bean. There are two ways to go about with the vanilla bean: simply split it open and toss it in, or scrape all the caviar (the tiny black seeds inside) out, add it to the half-and-half sugar base, and toss in the empty pod, as well. I just split it open, because the beans really don’t add that much flavor. All it really depends on is if you care about having the little black flecks in your ice cream.
Heat the mixture until warm. I’d say about warm enough that you could comfortably leave your finger in the mixture for a few seconds.
While your sugary creamy milky vanilla-y mixture is slowly warming, separate your eggs. You can save the whites and make a meringue or something later, or you can toss them out. Whisk the eggs until they’re a paler yellow and slightly thicker.
Also, if you are one of those people who can separate eggs every time without breaking one or two yolks…teach me your skills.
Remove the vanilla bean from the sugary creamy milky vanilla-y mixture. While whisking quickly and constantly on low heat, slowly drizzle about a one and a half cups of the hot sugary creamy milky vanilla-y mixture into the eggs yolks, tempering them. Add the tempered eggs into the pot, and whisk constantly to make your custard. It should be thick enough that it coats the back of a wooden spoon, and when you drag your finger down it, it’ll leave a track.
Take your custard off the heat, and let it cool enough that it no longer has steam rising off of it. Pour it into a blender or food processor and blend for twenty seconds. We only have one of the mini, single or double serving blenders, so I had to blend it in two batches, which is fine. At this point, you can either pour it through a fine-mesh sieve or you can just go ahead with the recipe, it doesn’t really matter. If you decided not to blend it, which I often decide not too, you really should strain it, but blended everything just gets mixed back in anyway.
Add the heavy cream to your custard. Whisk gently until combined, then cover custard with plastic wrap directly on the surface to stop a skin from developing. Put in the fridge to cool completely.
While your custard is cooling, chop your Oreos into rough chunks. How much you chop is up to you, depending on how many you like in your ice cream. Maybe you want a bit in every bite, or many you like mostly vanilla ice cream with an Oreo here or there. I prefer it the second way, so I chopped a little more than a cup. Just eyeball it.
Once your custard is cool, add it to your ice cream maker. If you use one of the ones that you have to put in the freezer, MAKE SURE TO DO IT TWENTY FOUR HOURS AHEAD. You can’t skimp on the timing for that one, or at best, you’ll end up with very cold soup.
Allow your ice cream to freeze until it’s about the texture of soft serve. Mine is slightly softer than that, for several reasons, which I’ll talk about in a minute. Fold in your chopped Oreo bits. Put in an airtight container, and freeze for at least four hours, or overnight.
Several Things to Keep in Mind
- Even if the recipe says otherwise, ALWAYS COOK YOUR CUSTARD ON LOW HEAT, especially after adding the eggs. If it’s cooked on too high a heat or heated too fast, the eggs with cook even if they’ve been perfectly tempered. I may have done this.
- As said by the Ben & Jerry’s cookbook, it is nearly impossible to ruin homemade ice cream. Even if your mixture curdles, blending it will take care of any bits of cooked egg.
- Do not A) overfill your ice cream maker, B) stop to take pictures of the ice cream or C) let it sit out too long after taking it out of the ice cream maker. You want it as firm as possible when going into the freezer, because the more liquid it is, the solider it will freeze, and you don’t really want to be chipping away at an ice block of cream and Oreos.
- You can use basically any mildly flavored vanilla ice cream for the base. If there’s another vanilla ice cream recipe that you love, great! Use it! Or experiment a bit with different flavors. Basically, go nuts and make all the ice cream.
- Even if you don’t like the taste of the custard, DON’T WORRY. The custard tastes different hot then it does with the cream added and cold from the fridge, and that tastes different than the frozen version.
- Don’t take pictures in a weirdly lit kitchen at eight thirty at night.
So! Tell me blogglings, have you made homemade ice cream before? How did it go? How do you like your ice cream? Do you like to have a little bit of Oreo or other add-ins with every bite, or do you like it to be more of a sprinkling? Is there a recipe from a book that you would like to see?