This past month (and the month before as well) the kitchen has seen a lot of ice cream making. We are talking mega litres here. Not that we eat it all, tempting though it is. A number of small residential academic courses are held here in late spring and summer. We often have a BBQ for the students for each course. And, the meal’s finale invariably is scoops of homemade ice cream – brilliant since it can be made ahead and stored in the freezer, leaving us free to concentrate on the rest of the meal closer to the day scheduled for the BBQ. The ice cream has not let us down and is very much appreciated!
We’ve had an almost toffee-like flavoured ice cream with brown sugar and cream cheese (after miscalculating and purchasing several huge buckets of cream cheese at the catering supply shop and not knowing what to do with it all), chocolate-banana (sparked by a glut of ripening bananas left over from cake making – also for those courses)…
…fresh mint with grated chocolate flakes (from the large crop of mint in the garden – though a bit too minty for my taste)…
…and finally butterscotch ice cream (ditto that huge bucket of cream cheese and a big bag of demerara sugar from the same source) – similar to the toffee-like one and the best of the lot.
Butterscotch Ice Cream
Very creamy. It tastes just like the hard butterscotch candies my grandfather always had on hand. Truly addictive (especially with chocolate sauce!).
- 43g (3 Tablespoons) butter
- 200g (1 cup) demerara sugar (raw or turbinado sugar)
- pinch of salt
- 375ml double cream
- 250ml whole milk
- 5 large egg yolks
- 225g cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
First melt the butter in a large heavy bottom pot. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves and becomes slightly darkened. Be careful not to let it burn. Add the pinch of salt and the cream. The buttery sugar will harden. Lower the heat and stir the mixture until the butterscotch completely dissolves in the cream.
Meanwhile, measure the cream cheese in a large bowl and add half the milk. Mash the cream cheese and mix in the milk. It does not need to be completely smooth, but simply needs to break up the larger lumps of cream cheese. Add the vanilla to the bowl. Set aside and have a strainer handy.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks. Add the other half of the milk to the cream and sugar mixture to lower the temperature slightly. Stir, then add some of this to the egg yolks before pouring it back into the pot with the rest of the butterscotch cream. Continue stirring until the custard thickens. Turn off the heat and while the mixture is still warm, strain over the bowl with the cream cheese. Stir or whisk until the mixture is smooth. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely – best overnight.
Process the cold custard in your ice cream machine. Put into a container and freeze for 4 hours or more before using. To scoop, let the ice cream warm at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Fantastic with chocolate sauce.
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With all this practice, I think I have finally mastered proper egg custard style ice creams. I think I like these better than the cornstarch/cornflour custard versions I discussed in my previous post, The Art & Science of Gelato Making, Sicilian Style. Egg custard does not have that slight floury or chalky aftertaste that cornflour sometimes produces. My only concern now is dealing with little tuppers of egg whites stashed in the freezer. A few intriguing recipes for egg white cakes and cookies by my favourite bloggers might be the answer – starting with recent posts by Sandra on Nut & Spice Macaroons and Chocolate, Walnut & Date Meringue Cake by Francesca.
However, those light and refreshing fruit packed (egg free) gelatos still elude me. I much prefer these in the summer. It might be about time to do something about this. Professional help will be required – more anon on this subject. Meanwhile, I can enjoy the fantastic raspberry gelato made by our favourite sweet shop around the corner.