Of all the desserts in the world, ice cream is actually my least favorite.
UNLESS it is Momma’s homemade ice cream! Growing up, I never considered myself a spoiled child. But then I grew up and discovered that nobody made homemade ice-cream half as tasty as Momma did.
Wow! We had it good. Her recipe is the perfect blend of creaminess and sweetness and it’s light as a feather. When we were kids, we would cover a bowl of it with chocolate syrup and stir and stir until we produced a chocolate ice cream soup. Now I think it would be fun to start experimenting with different infusions like lavender and lemongrass! However, knowing how quickly I tend to overwhelm myself with projects, I decided to start easy by trying Mexican vanilla first.
MMMMMMMMM!!!!!! It was perfection! I bet the batch would have been even more fab with the addition of coconut milk.
HOMEMADE MEXICAN VANILLA ICE CREAM
I have every intention of sharing the recipe with you, but the first half will not include my usual step-by-step photos because I have already made two batches of the stuff this week and each time I made the base I was too busy to take photos and I refuse to have more than two batches of homemade ice cream in my freezer. The end.
However, since the actually freezing part of homemade ice cream is the trickiest part, I have included a step-by-step photo process of that.
*2/3 cup sugar
*1/2 pint whipping cream
*2 Tablespoons vanilla or Mexican vanilla
*1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
*1 gallon whole milk, divided
In a large mixing bow, beat eggs and sugar until smooth.
Whisk in cream, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and half a gallon of milk.
Pour this milk mixture, or base, into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly so that the milk does not burn. Bring the base to a simmer but do not boil! (You know you are close to the right temperature when the base starts to steam. And whisk whisk whisk!)
Remove from the heat and strain the mixture. Even after all that whisking, you will be surprised at how many curds and clumps are in there!
Cover the surface of the base with plastic wrap to keep it from forming a skin and chill overnight.
TO FREEZE THE ICE CREAM
If you have a fancy professional-grade ice cream freezer, this step will be a breeze.
If you have a basic electric freezer like I do, then you need a couple tricks up your sleeve:
1. Always chill your ice cream base for several hours or overnight before freezing. Otherwise, it will take F O R E V E R to freeze.
2. Chill everything before freezing. The metal canister, the dasher, even the tub! This will shave a few minutes off the freezing time.
3. Set the dasher into the metal canister and the canister into the tub. Pour the chilled base into the canister. If the mixture does not reach the “fill line”, pour in the rest of the whole milk until it reaches the line. Do not exceed the fill line! Place lid on canister.
4. The directions on the ice-cream salt box suggests 1 part salt to 8 parts crushed ice. For simplicity’s sake, I evenly distribute 8 cups of crushed ice all around the canister first…
…and then evenly sprinkle 1 cup of rock salt over the ice.
5. Repeat with another layer of ice and salt.
Plug the machine in. The motor will start automatically.
7. Don’t forget to continue adding salt and ice as the ice melts. You want that tub filled to the brim with ice until the ice cream is done.
8. How do you know when the ice cream is done? The motor will automatically shut off. Unplug the motor and scoop the ice cream into a plastic container. If you place the metal canister in the freezer, your ice cream will be so hard you won’t be able to scoop it out! Save your joints and dump it into the plastic container as soon as it has finished freezing. For best results, store ice cream in freezer an hour before serving.
If you follow these steps, it should not take you any longer than 15-20 minutes to freeze your ice cream.
Good luck and happy ice creaming!