The epitome of summer......No additives, no preservatives, no eggs. Only fresh 1/2 and 1/2, vanilla bean, arrowroot powder (thickens and adds creamy texture), home grown strawberries, and our Cuisinart ice cream maker (picked up for $40 at Costco a few months ago - our second Cuisinart).
Our strawberries are late this year, but now that they've picked up steam they'll continue through late September. We grow a variety that (generally) comes in early, and continues producing throughout the fall. So while Oregon strawberries become a distant memory to most people, we're still enjoying the sunny sweet goodness. Sigh.
Homemade ice cream is so simple to make, and being able to regulate what goes in to it is an added bonus. I eliminated eggs from our ice cream over a year ago. I had read at a food blog about using arrowroot instead of eggs, so I decided to give it a shot. After all, that's how pudding is made.
I wish I could remember the blog so I could give credit where credit is due.
We have never looked back. Best. Ice Cream. Ever.
Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
In a good sized stainless saucepan, add;
*1 quart good quality 1/2 and 1/2 (we use Alpenrose dairy - local - or Organic Valley when affordble)
*1/2 cup of sugar, more to taste - if you prefer a sweeter ice cream, start w/ 1/2 cup and work your way up. Trust me. It's much easier to add more sugar than it is to remove it. Do a taste test, and add accordingly. :-)
*1/2 of a vanilla bean, split and scraped, add vanilla and pod to the saucepan
*3 Tbs. arrowroot powder (similar to cornstarch)
*3-4 Tbs. milk (I use 1%)
*For strawberry ice cream - 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit, slightly frozen, large pieces chopped
With a wire whisk, mix the ingredients together, making extra sure that the sugar is stirred in well.
Set the element on med/low and heat slowly. Using a thermometer, heat the milk to 180 degrees, stirring periodically throughout this process to keep the mixture from scorching.
I've made ice cream for so many years that I no longer use a thermometer, but until you get a feel for it, a thermometer is a handy tool.
While the cream is heating, mix the arrowroot powder w/ a small amount of milk (roughly 3-4 Tbs), just enough to make it pourable. If it's too thin the cream will not thicken properly.
When the cream starts to bubble gently (I guarantee if you want it to boil over, turn your back for just a second - trust me, it will), turn the heat down very low, add the arrowroot mixture in a steady stream, and stir gently and steadily until the mixture has thickened. This should happen fairly quickly. The consistency will be much like warm pudding.
Remove from heat, cover the sauce pan, and place it in the freezer to cool (and away from frozen foods), with the vanilla bean pod still in it. I usually allow light ice crystals to form on the side of the pan, but not so much that the mixture becomes solidly frozen.
In an hour or so, when the cream has cooled well, remove the bean pod, pour into your ice cream maker, and mix according to manufacturers instructions.
If adding fruit; strawberries, raspberries, peaches, having them slightly frozen aids in the ice cream. Add fruit when the ice cream is nearly finished mixing, just so it has time to incorporate. Alternately you can stir the fruit into the ice cream once you've scooped it into the storage container, or do a little of both, add half, stir half in.
I suggest setting a timer so that you don't forget you've got the cream in the freezer (been there, done that). If the cream freezes too much, you'll need to allow it to thaw some, which will result in ice crystals in the finished product. And although your ice cream will still be tasty, smooth and creamy is what we're going for here.
*Arrowroot powder can be found in the baking or bulk section of the grocery store.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, or pop off an email to me. :-)
9 minutes ago