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The Delicious Appreciations of Pick Yin

Not exactly predictable.
Has enough brains for codes
(but can be completely clueless on other more important matters).
Likes her Joe (and her man?) black, her chocolate dark and her food spicy.
“Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.” — Seneca

Total Posts   191      Last Updated   23 November 2015 12:00 PM (GMT +8)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

French Vanilla Ice Cream with Cherries

It's a week into August already. Before I can pause and contemplate a little, mooncakes are showing up in bakeries and the holy Ramadhan is just around the corner. Don't you just feel that time is flying and life needs to slow down?

In any case I know that you probably speed read that entire paragraph because your eyes were pulled away by this decadent looking ice cream. I will start by saying that it tastes as good as it looks, if not better. So while you're still scrolling up and down the page, possibly frustrated because you can't lick the screen, I'll just proceed to tell you your ice cream story. Yes, yours and mine will be the same story if you're still here, staring at that scoop.

Ice cream and I, we have an understanding. There's a permanent real estate spot for tubs of it in my freezer. Vanilla is in my humble opinion the mother of all ice creams. Regardless of weather, time of the day, the circumference of my waist or state of my health (cough? I'll have just one scoop...) I will keep my appointments with my ice creams. The reason is simple, as you already know - ice cream makes everything better.

Since ice cream and I are bonded as such, it doesn't come as a surprise that as I go through recipes over recipes everyday the bookmark count for this category has passed twenty.

When I came across this via foodgawker, it was an instant top priority to make, as soon as humanly possible.

This is not just the regular kind of vanilla ice cream. It is the French vanilla version, where the custard base contains egg yolks. It promises to be creamy and smooth. There's cooked cherries in it, perfect to use up those Rainier cherries leftover from topping these. At the corner of my spice rack, there was a couple of vanilla pods purchased so long ago the expiry date has passed yet they remained moist and soft. It was like the stars were aligned for me to make my first homemade ice cream after 15 years (my mum and I made chocolate ice cream once when I was still in school, it was awesome).

I have no churner (this ridiculous oversight is to be rectified soon, I already asked Mayer to contact me as soon as the stock comes in) so this translated to a good part of a lazy, rainy Sunday being spent on freezing and whipping custard every hour.

As it turned out, one star did misalign itself. I got the wrong cream while walking through Cold Storage's freezer half asleep Saturday evening (after a whole day at work). The result was milky and really rich. I shall try the recipe again using whipping cream once this batch is gone, which will be very soon as the recipe doesn't yield much.

Most ice cream recipes would suggest chilling the prepared custard overnight before churning or continuing with the manual freezing and beating process. Since this recipe does not specify overnight cooling I started the creaming process a couple of hours after it went into the fridge. I will let it sit overnight the next time, it should return a better texture and flavor.
French Vanilla Ice Cream with Cherries
Adapted barely from Trotamundos's Fook and Cook. Thank God for Google Translator.

Should you prefer a richer outcome, I think using heavy cream for the first 150 milliliters cream will be fine. The vanilla and cherries will balance it out.

  • 150 milliliters milk

  • 150 milliliters cream (I used 45% pure cream by accident)

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 120 grams sugar

  • 300 milliliters cream

  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

  • a pinch of salt

  • 220 grams cherries (I used Rainier)

  • 40 grams sugar

First start by splitting the vanilla pod in half and remove the beans. Reserve.

In a saucepan heat the milk, lesser part of the cream, beans and vanilla pod without letting it boil. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until well mixed and slightly thickened.

Remove the vanilla pod and pour the milk mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Return the custard into the pan and heat it, stirring until mixture is thickened and small bubbles start appearing (be careful to keep it below boiling).

Pour the custard into a large bowl and add the remaining cream and salt. Mix well until fully integrated. Cover and let cool completely in the refrigerator.

With an ice cream maker
Pour the cold mixture into your machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Using the ice cream attachment and bowl of the Kitchenaid on speed 1 it takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture into a container and freeze until ready to serve.

Without an ice cream maker
Pour the mixture into a freezer safe container (ideally a stainless steel loaf pan as the metal accelerates the freezing process) and leave it for about an hour.

Remove from freezer, (mixture should be slightly above freezing at the edges), beat vigorously with a hand or stand mixer to break the ice crystals which have formed. Return it into the freezer and repeat this process every 40 minutes three or four times until a creamy texture is achieved.

Prepare the cherries
Pit the cherries, cut in half and sprinkle with the sugar. Heat the sugar and cherries in a saucepan for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Drain well.

In both cases, before placing the custard into the freezer for serving, add the cherries by carefully mixing them into the ice cream custard.

Tomorrow I must go to the gym. *Walks to the freezer.*

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