So we have all been there, in the middle of a lockdown craving things, but unable or not feeling like going to the shop.
Or there is that one special ice cream place you like , but it is so far from home, that unless you actually bring a freezer, you can be sure to arrive at home with some warm ice cream soup instead.
So hey, why not make ice cream at home? Some years ago I came across the “ultimate” ice cream recipe, and it comes out pretty amazing every single time. In my version I use less egg yolks than the original recipe said, and it still comes out creamy as hell!
- 500 g whipping cream
- 280 g whole milk
- 140 g sugar
- a dash of salt
- 4 egg yolks
- some vanilla seeds or ground vanilla pod (optional)
Please, if and whenever you can, use locally sourced 0 km produce from your local farmers, from the market place, or buy organic stuff at the supermarket.
For this recipe it is easier and you will obtain a creamier consistency, if you use an ice cream machine. Just get the cheapest one, you only need it for mixing really. The container usually has to be left in the freezer for at least 8 hours before, so don’t forget to do that! There is a freezing liquid inside that will chill the whole bowl and your ice cream mixture, and a small churn that will turn once you plug it in to get that creamy texture.
If, however, you don’t have this machine and don’t want to buy below you will find some tips on how to best freeze it in your freezer!
When buying eggs, if you don’t know which are best, because there is no sign on the cardboard box for organic, you can always check the first number of the long code written on the eggs. Don’t be fooled by the phrases “farm-raised”, “grandma chicken” etc., that is mostly for marketing because once you open the box, you might be unpleasantly surprised.
The numeric code is regulated by the EU, you don’t need to know what all of them stand for, but the first number will indicate the following way of how the chickens have been raised, this is a standard in all of EU:
- 3 – raised in cages – worst option – don’t buy
- 2 – raised on the ground in a closed hangar – second worst option – don’t buy either
- 1 – raised out in the fresh air – good choice
- 0 – organically raised – excellent choice
Vanilla pod powder, this is a fantastic product. I always buy this when I visit Nice in the spice shop I mentioned in a previous post. You need very little, it is less expensive than the actual vanilla pods with seeds, and it definitely does the job for aromatising anything you need.
If you can’t get your hands on this, you can always get a vanilla pod, use the seeds for a more fancy dish, and then leave the pod in a sugar jar to aromatise your sugar.
In a pot, slowly heat all of the milk, whipping cream, sugar and just a dash of salt.
Take it off the heat once sugar has melted completely.
Don’t overcook the liquid because the milk will form a film on top that you will have to get rid of afterwards and the milk will lose some of its natural sweetness.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, they should be in a lighter color than at the beginning and more frothy.
Slowly pour 1/4 of the hot milk in the whisked eggs, be sure to stir the mixture vigorously. When you have a homogenous liquid, pour all of it in the rest of the hot milk and put it back on a medium heat.
Don’t let it boil!
Cook the mixture for a few minutes until it becomes just a bit more dense, that it covers the backside of a spoon.
Turn the heat off, mix in the vanilla and let it all cool to room temperature for an hour. After that, put it in the fridge to cool completely for another hour.
So when the mixture is nice and cold, it will speed up the freezing process. If you have your nice little ice cream machine, plug it in, pour the liquid inside and wait for the magic to happen! Mine usually takes about 15 min to get to that creamy yet good consistency.
If however you don’t have this little machine (really, look out for some bargains because I got this on the Lidl online store for 19,99!), you can pour the chilled mixture in a closed container and leave it in the freezer. You should take it out every 30 min to every hour and stir it, best use a whisk so you can break up the ice crystals into smaller ones, so you obtain a creamier result in the end. The more you stir and break up the ice crystals in those intervals, the better the ice cream will be, so have patience!
This is one of the greatest desserts or just the most cooling “drinks” on the planet. It’s not too sweet, so for those who are not too keen on super sweet stuff, this is an excellent choice.
“Affogato” from Italian means “drowned”. It basically is an ice cream ball with espresso. I like to make it double espresso, always using specialty coffee, with homemade vanilla ice cream. One of my favorites for this recipe is Nazareth’s Formula II from 80plus, it’s a naturally processed coffee full of chocolate flavours and a very delicate acidity that beautifully complements the creamy ice cream.