18 June 2012

It tastes like childhood

So, during yesterday's strawberry extravaganza, I decided I wanted to make some strawberry ice cream. When I envisioned strawberry ice cream, I was thinking little bits of strawberry suspended in a flavourful vanilla base.

After trawling the internet for strawberry ice cream recipes, and not finding anything all that appealing, I stumbled upon this recipe over at smitten kitchen:

Buttermilk ice cream? Sounds nom. Buttermilk ice cream with bits of field fresh strawberries handpicked by me in it? NOMS.

So, I mix up the base more or less as instructed (I don't have a huge sweet tooth so I cut the sugar a little, and I only used 2 egg yolks because I really don't find the idea of using a dozen eggs in one batch of ice cream economical) and wind up with something reasonably custardy and working out to be a yummy ice cream base.

This is where it all started to go wrong.

I go downstairs to get the bowl of my ice cream maker, and discover that the protective saran wrap cover is gone and there are greebies frozen to the bottom of it.

Mistake #1: rinsing out the ice cream maker bowl and continuing on without refreezing. Thought it couldn't possibly warm up to the extent that it wouldn't freeze the ice cream, but I think it did.

Then I tested the ice cream base. It was slightly warm still.

Mistake #2: Continuing despite the ice cream base not being really really cold.

Then I put everything in the ice cream maker. And I mean EVERYTHING.

Mistake #3: Putting the strawberries in the ice cream maker, rather than folding them in after.

Now, all of these mistakes I would normally have not made. However, this is what happens when you take on too much during your precious short 2 days off in the week.

So, on the first try, nothing happened. So I dumped everything into a bowl, threw the ice cream maker bowl back in the freezer, and went for a walk. I came back, strained the base into the ice cream maker bowl, reserved the strawberries, and started the machine up again. Little ice crystals began to form, and my hopes were renewed that this wasn't going to be a disaster.

Then, it died.

So. Ice cream maker is pooched. I have half frozen (semifreddo?) ice cream. So, I put it in the freezer in a container with the aim of stirring it every 20 mins or so.

Only by the time I have to leave to go back to Wilberforce, there is still lots of liquid and little freezing. Have I mistakenly invented edible antifreeze??

So, I leave the whole darn thing in the freezer and forget about it until today.

After work I put the very frozen block of ice cream (would have made good ice cream bars, actually!) in the stand mixer and let 'er rip (nearly losing most of the mixture onto the counter). I beat the heck out of it, got some air in there, and it eventually resembled soft serve. Unfortunately, it also pulverized the strawberries - at this point, I was okay with this. Stuck it back in the freezer for the last time before it would hopefully be consumed ravenously.

Well, the effort was worth it... it is really very good. My brother had some, and being a good one with a turn of phrase said "It tastes like childhood." I'll take that.

So. Given that I really don't feel like getting a new ice cream maker, and don't really trust the old one, I think I'll still attempt another sans ice cream maker ice cream. I'll just pump the air into it prior to freezing, and fold the fruit in after.

But hey, not bad for a near catastrophe!

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