My First Attempt at Ice Cream

Ice Cream: Served
French Vanilla Ice Cream


Having a stand mixer is great not only for the work it saves you but but also for the great attachments you can get. Single use appliances and cookware take up too much space, and where possible I like to purchase items with a lot of versatility. I recently purchased an ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and have been looking forward to using it, but my main focus has been the Cooking Through Ratio series. My recent experience making Angel Food Cake left me with several egg yolks that I didn’t want to discard. As luck would have it, I had just made a dessert involving crème anglaise in a French cooking class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Making crème anglaise was a lot easier than I anticipated and was an easy way for me to use up the remaining egg yolks while also allowing me to use my new ice cream maker attachment.

Just about every kitchen appliance you can buy comes with a recipe or two to get you going. The ice cream maker came with a recipe for French Vanilla ice cream. A quick glance at the recipe and knowledge of crème anglaise made an obvious connection. This French ice cream was really nothing more than frozen crème anglaise. Last night I started just before dinner making the ice cream.

As instructed by the recipe, I scalded some half and half cream in a medium sauce pot on the stove top.

Ice Cream: Scalded Cream
Ice Cream: Scalded Cream

The heated cream was set aside as I got the sugar and eggs ready. In the mixing bowl I combined the yolks and sugar, ribboning them together using the whisk attachment.

Ice Cream: Sugar and Egg Yolks
Ice Cream: Sugar and Egg Yolks

Once the yolks and sugar were combined, I slowly added the heated cream and combined them.

Ice Cream: Cream, Sugar and Egg Yolks
Ice Cream: Cream, Sugar and Egg Yolks

The cream, sugar and egg mixture were poured into the sauce pot to heat up again over medium heat. The recipe called for heating this until small bubbles formed around the edges of the pot, being careful not to boil the mixture. During the French cooking class, Elise the chef instructor cautioned my mother and me to not exceed a temperature of 180 degrees F or the eggs would start to curdle. I got out my digital thermometer and observed the temperature rise steadily as I mixed stirred. 180 degrees were reached, but no bubbles had formed. I wondered if the heat measurement was a result of the ambient heat coming from the stove and not the mixture itself. I made the decision to let it cook longer. The heat rose more and more to about 190 degrees and  instead of seeing bubbles, tiny lumps started to appear. I was 10 seconds away from a pot of sweet scrambled eggs as right after the lumps started to appear, it started to boil. This was not the steady rise that I was waiting for. I had missed the mark.

Ice Cream: Heated Cream, Sugar and Egg Yolk Mix
Ice Cream: Heated Cream, Sugar and Egg Yolk Mix

Immediately the pot was pulled off the heat and the remaining cold cream was added. I put the liquid back into the mixing bowl and stirred on a low setting to cool it down a bit and combine the cold cream throughout.

Ice Cream: Cooling with Added Cream
Ice Cream: Cooling with Added Cream

I didn’t notice any more lumps forming. I further cooled down my original pot and transferred the liquid back into it and mixed in vanilla and a bit of salt hoping to bring the temperature down even more.

Ice Cream: Stirred Cream and Flavoring
Ice Cream: Stirred Cream and Flavoring

The recipe called for cooling the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Thinking twice before covering the pot and putting it on a glass shelf, I poured it into a glass bowl and then placed it in the fridge for cooling overnight. Elise also mentioned that the cooling down of the crème anglaise allowed it to thicken. This seemed like a good thing for ice cream.

Tonight was the easy part. All that was required was pouring the mixture into the mixing bowl to let it churn for 20 minutes. I used a strainer to prevent any scrambled egg bits from entering the mixing bowl. 20 minutes later it was thickened and ready to go. After that I packed up two pint containers and let them freeze for a couple of hours.

Ice Cream: Packed
Ice Cream: Packed and Frozen

Despite the mishap, the ice cream came out really great. Even after a couple of hours it was still a bit soft, but the flavor was perfect. Another waist expander has been conceived.

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