Does that title get you reading?? Well, it’s true. We made homemade ice cream this weekend and we used vodka (I’ll explain why in a minute).
First, I need to explain why making ice cream was on my summer bucket list. It’s all started because of this:
When we moved 2 years ago, Geoff’s mom sent up a truck full of what I presume was his childhood bedroom and half their garage. There was a lot of stuff to weed through, but we came out with a lot of useful things, and this was one of them! Unfortunately, it’s taken us 2 years to get around to using it, but that’s OK.
Anyway, I think I’d romanticized making your own ice cream a bit. Remember when you were kids, and it only took about 20 minutes, then you had awesome ice cream to eat? Strangely, I don’t remember doing it very often, and this weekend I learned why. It takes forever. Oh, it’s not time consuming, most of it is make this then put it in the refrigerator for 3 hours, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. Also, it involves cooking.
Nevertheless! I am here to say we did it, and it was delicious! Here’s the process, and the whole recipe, which I got from my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook (my favorite cookbook at the moment) is at the bottom.
First, this is in no way healthy. The cookbook specifically says do NOT substitute lowfat or nonfat milk, light cream of half and half. You’ve been warned! The following is a summary of the process, but the real recipe is at the bottom.
First, make the custard and put it in an ice bath. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then put it in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until cooled through. It only took ours about 2 and a half.
While you wait, cook the strawberries and mash them carefully to get as much juice out as possible. This is so that the ice cream has the strawberry flavor, not just chunks of frozen strawberries in flavorless ice cream. Put this in the fridge along with the custard until you’re ready.
Strain the strawberries with a small strainer, pressing the solids against the strainer until you have as much juice out as possible. Add it to the cooled custard, setting aside the solids.
Pour all but the solids into the ice cream maker canister and follow the machine’s instructions. Mix the strawberry solids with vodka and add them in the last 2 minutes of churning. When you’re done, it will look like soft serve ice cream.
Put it into an airtight container, cover with plastic wrap and cover with the lid. Put it in the freezer 3 hours minimum (overnight is best) and enjoy!
Recipe without all the pictures:
Strawberry ice cream (makes about 1 1/2 quarts)
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons vodka
- Heat the cream, milk and 1/4 sugar in a saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar until steam appears and the milk is hot (175 degrees).
- In a separate bowl wisk 6 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar until smooth. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the milk mixture into the eggs. This is so the eggs don’t curdle when you add it all together. Then pour that into the rest of the milk mixture, whisking vigorously. Continue to cook the custard mixture over medium heat until it’s hot but not simmering (180-185 degrees).
- Strain the custard into a bowl set inside a larger bowl with ice. Let it cool, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, remove the custard bowl, cover it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until completely cooled, about 3 hours (ours took about 2 1/2)
- Meanwhile, bring the strawberries, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar to a simmer in a clean saucepan over medium-high heat. As they cook, mash the strawberries slightly so the juices come out, about 5 minutes. (This is so the whole strawberry flavor gets into the custard that you just made, rather than hard, frozen chunks of berries in flavorless custard) Pour that into a bowl and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use the custard.
- Strain the berry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing the solids to get as much juice as possible. Set the solids aside, and stir the strained juice, vanilla and lemon juice into the chilled custard, pour that into the ice cream machine’s canister and follow the machine’s directions.
- Toss the strained strawberries with vodka and add them to the mixture 2 minutes before it’s finished churning. (The vodka prevents the strawberries from freezing and becoming hard chunks in the rest of the ice cream). Transfer the ice cream into an airtight container, cover it with plastic wrap and put the lid on it. Let it freeze at least 3 hours. Ours was yummy after 3, but I think overnight is actually ideal.