My New Toy...

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Santa was very good to me this year.  Or rather, my husband was.  I didn't ask for anything but was blessed with more than I could have asked for- all things that will be put to good use in the kitchen!  Mr. K knows me well.

The loot?

Pyrex glass measuring cups- in multiple sizes.


A new glass 9x13 Pyrex dish with a carrying case



Some decaf Cafe Verona


Lindt's Chile Dark Chocolate Bar


A new Cuisinart coffee maker


And.....dun-dun-dun-dah!

A pristine Cuisinart 1.5 quart frozen yogurt and ice cream machine!


Ahh, yes.  Isn't she lovely?

As some of you may not know- I am currently 11 weeks pregnant with our second sweet little one.  Thus the decaf Verona (no caffeine for this gal) and the homemade ice cream maker.  My cravings have been quite random- but ice cream usually tops the list (along with pineapple, limes, and Taco Bell.  Yeah.). 

So this little contraption was the perfect accompaniment to my current state.  Perfect.

Thus to break it in and test it out- I made, of course, the original favorite: vanilla bean ice cream.

It was the perfect first test run- and it turned out beautifully.  Was it the cook or the machine?  We will never know...but as easy as it was I'm going with the machine.  All I did was stir, watch, wait, then dump.  It's quite the change from the old-school cranking ice cream makers that involved copious amounts of rock salt and lots of arm muscle.  This beauty fits on your countertop and involves nothing but some dumping and the flick of a switch.  Amazing. 

Thank you, Cuisinart.  Or rather, the engineer who designed it.

Vanilla Bean Custard-style Ice Cream
(courtesy of the Cuisinart manual)

Ingredients:

- 2 cups whole milk (or 2% if you want to lighten up- I wouldn't use skim though)
- 2 cups heavy cream (or half and half if you want to make it lighter)
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- pinch salt
- 1 whole vanilla bean, halved and the seeds scraped (but save them!)
- 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
(note: because there are so few ingredients make sure that you use only the very best of everything!  It will make the ice cream taste incredible)

Instructions:

1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, whisk together the milk, cream, half of the sugar, salt, and the scraped vanilla bean (including both the seeds and pod).  Bring the mixture just to a boil.

2. While the milk/cream mixture is heating, combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl.  Using hand mixer on low speed or a whisk, beat until mixture is pale and thick.

3. One the milk/cream mixture has come to a slight boil, whisk about 1/3 of the hot mixture into the yolk/sugar mixture.  Add another 1/3 of the mixture, then return the combined mixture to the saucepan.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly over low heat until it thickens slightly and coars the back of the spoon.  This mixture must NOT boil or the yolks with overcook- the process should only take a few minutes.

4. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer (discard the vanilla pod) and bring to room temperature.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

5. Turn on the ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes.  The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture.  If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.  Serve or save in sealed containers:


Simply gaze upon her gloriousness:




Now please excuse me while I satisfy my afternoon craving for creamy, milky, vanilla-y goodness...

2 comments:

Bianca Gillespie said...

Oh that ice cream looks incredible!! I love a good rich ice cream. I think I may have to hint to Derrick I "need" an ice cream machine!!

Joanna Kay said...

I'm drooling on my computer right now.

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