for any of us who have ever chased after an ice cream truck as a kid, you know how much you look forward to the hot hot heat of summer and all the ice cream cones that come with the season. even at the ripe age of 26, i know that it would only take a few rings by the ice cream man for me to revert back to the behavior of a four year old, screaming and chasing his truck down the street. could you blame me though? it is the ice cream man, he who holds a truck-sized freezer of sweet sweet goodness.
luckily, the ice cream truck doesn't come around too often or i'd still be quite the chubster trying to shed that stubborn baby (i.e., ice cream) fat. so these days when i'm not chasing down the ice cream truck, i can be found instead in my kitchen putting my ice cream maker to work. i have to admit, i'm still quite the amateur ice cream churner (or rather watching my ice cream maker churn and knowing when to shut the damn thing off). i've had some disasters that more resemble ice rock than ice cream but i've also had a few successes.
i'm still getting rave reviews for my avocado ice cream (think sweet guac) and most recently, i've been practicing making a recipe for meyer lemon creme fraiche ice cream from my most talented pastry chef friend markell lewis. i've had lemon ice cream at both nopa and zuni cafe, dining institutions in san franciso, and they just couldn't compare to markell's version. the creme fraiche adds a creamy + tangy dimension that i've never tasted in ice cream before. i couldn't resist borrowing it for the base of a blueberry ice cream i wanted to make. from my previous ice rock disasters, i realized i did not need to churn for a full twenty minutes (despite the cuisinart directions telling me to do so). i decided that this time twelve minutes was going to be my magic number. the resulting ice cream was deliciously creamy, vibrantly violet, and tangily sweet. and i have to admit it was better than anything i could get from the ice cream man . . . but i still could use the chasing for some exercise after all that ice cream.
my next ice cream experiment: vanilla marscapone ice cream anyone? stay tuned.
*if you are a veteran ice cream churner, please share some of your tips and recipes. i'm a long way from getting it right.
blueberry creme fraiche ice cream
makes close to 2 quarts of sweet sweet tangy goodness
1 pint blueberries
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sugar
6 egg yolks
1.5 cup half and half
1 cup sugar
1.5 cup cream
1 cup creme fraiche
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
combine blueberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the blueberries completely soften. remove from heat and push through a food mill (using the coarsest disc) to make a blueberry jam-like sauce. place in a bowl and set aside.
whisk together egg yolks.
heat half and half with 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. when the mixture is hot, ladle one spoonful into the egg yolks and slowly whisk the warmed egg yolks into the half and half. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula. the mixture is ready when it's thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. take the pot immediately off the heat at this point or else the eggs will cook too much and become curdly (if this does happen, it can be rescued with a hand blender but does change the consistency of the ice cream). strain the mixture through a sieve and add the cream.
add blueberry "jam" and creme fraiche to the creme anglaise base. flavor with vanilla and salt. stir and chill the fridge for at least 2 hours.
churn in ice cream maker for 12 minutes. pour into a tightly sealed container and freeze overnight.