Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10th - Vanilla and Poppy Seed Ice-Cream

     It snowed out today. So it was probably strange that I got the sudden urge to make ice-cream.
     That didn't even come close to stopping me. It did, however, make me think nostalgically about when I was a kid, and often complained that there were no ice-cream trucks in winter.
     I can see now why it wouldn't sell. but back then, good food was good food despite any temperature clashing. It really didn't matter. Frozen treats are always the best treats, and if we had a winter ice-cream truck, to this day  I would wait on the curb for a scoop or two at least once a week.

    My friend and I took some time arguing over what the best ice-cream to make would be. We threw some pretty good ideas back and forth. Ideas that you will definitely see some time in the future.
     Carrot cake, Pumpkin pie, eggnog n' Rum...But as I had never made ice cream to date, I wanted something unique, yet simple. I wanted something you don't see very often, but stays true to the classic feel of ice-cream.

     I chose poppy seeds and vanilla. The flavor is dominantly vanilla but the texture offered by the poppy seeds is what really makes me love it. the little crunches make an ice-cream that is literally fun to eat. Still, next time I make this, I think I want to attempt making a poppy seed paste and halving the vanilla to see what I get.
     Before I begin, I must say that I had a lot of fun making this, though it was probably the easiest thing I'll ever write about on this site. And it will definitely not be the last ice-cream you see here.

Here's what you'll need!

3 cups Half n' Half
3/4th cup sugar
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp vanilla extract

     Easy short recipe. The instructions are only slightly harder. You can even have your kids help. What kind of kids don't love making their own ice-cream?
     There's not much more to say, so...

Lets Get Cooking!!

     Begin by pouring half of your half n' half into a small to medium pot and heating it at medium high. Add half of your sugar and stir to dissolve.
     In the mean time, in a bowl, whisk 6 egg yolks until smooth, then add the other half of your sugar to them and whisk smooth again.
     Once your half n' half reaches the point where it's just barely boiling (all you want to see are little bubbles forming on the sides. waiting for a rolling boil is a bad idea!! ) Take the pot off the heat immediately and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
     Go ahead now and add your poppy seeds and vanilla extract, stirring just a few times.

     Though the next step isn't hard, you need to do it carefully or you will have scrambled eggs in your ice-cream. You must temper the yolks.
     To temper the yolks, you must ladle the half n' half slowly into your egg yolks, whisking constantly. If you do it quickly the eggs will begin to cook! just take your good ole time.
     Once you get about half of your milk mixture into the eggs you can go ahead and just pour the rest in normally. It should be fine.
     - Side note- Tempering slowly raises the temperature of the yolk, and therefore warms it slowly, stopping it from becoming an omelet. 

     Add the rest of the cream now, and chill in the fridge over night ( or at least 6 hours. )
     When the time comes, just pour it into your handy ice-cream machine and let your instruction manual take it from there.
...what? No ice cream maker? No problem.

We can fix this!

you need-
2 cans with lids, one that can easily fit inside another.
Ice- Enough to fill the larger can with the smaller one inside
Rock salt- Just  a small hand full will do the trick.
Your ice-cream mixture.

     Fill the small can with your mixture, half way to 3/4ths should be fine. Lid it and place it in the larger can, add your ice and salt to the large can, then lid it and play catch with it for 10-15 minutes. open it up and serve. (This sounds more fun than how I did it, honestly. I want to try it this way some time soon. )

     The ice-cream maker I used, was accidentally a soft-serve machine, which was not what I wanted.
     If you've got this same problem, simply freeze your soft serve product for 2 or 3 hours, (if not fully frozen when soft, the egg yolks may separate from the ice-cream) just mix with a fork and place it back into the freezer.
     With that said, Enjoy your frozen treat!

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