Lets face it, I like my Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs, but the ice cream you generally buy in the supermarket doesn’t really give you that super premium taste you get from an old-school ice cream parlor that makes its stuff from scratch.
While it takes a good amount of effort (and some degree of experimentation with technique to get it right) I love to make ice cream. There’s something innately satisfying and mystical about doing this, kind of like you’re engaging in alchemy. Ice Cream is no simple feat, there are a lot of variables involved and things can go wrong. That’s why most restaurants leave this kind of thing to the pros.
The first recipe I made this week was a caramelized Banana Flambe’ frozen custard with St. Maarten vanilla rum and chocolate ribbon. I took a whole bunch of bananas that I let go to just on the verge of over-ripe, right at the point of optimum sweetness, sliced them up and sauteed them in butter, with about 2tbsp of sugar added to caramelize and cook down until they were golden brown, and a shot of a vanilla rum I picked up on St. Maarten a few years ago. I let this mixture cool off, after which I took a quart of half and half and heated it on medium heat in a large saucepan, added 2 cups of sugar and gently added 2 beaten egg yolks until it got incorporated, stirring constantly until the mixture stuck to a back of a wooden spoon and just about came to a boil, after which I removed it from the heat. I let the mixture cool down for about a half an hour, after which I combined it with the cooked banana saute into the trusty Vita Mix and blended it up, and then poured into quart plastic containers to chill in the fridge for a few hours.
Once the ice cream batter was chilled, I poured quart size portions into the ice cream machine and churned it until the point of becoming a very loose soft-serve. This was then spooned into pint-size plastic containers along with U-Bet chocolate syrup to create the ribbon, and allowed to freeze the rest of the way in the freezer. We also did versions with Cajeta (a type of Mexican goats’s milk Dulce De Leche caramel) as well as Peanut Butter.
The second Ice cream we did was blueberry ice cream. The batter was prepared identically to the Banana, except that the blueberries were cooked in the quart of half and half with the sugar, allowed to cool, blended in the Vita Mix, chilled in the fridge, and then frozen to soft-serve consistency and then portioned into containers and frozen in the freezer.