Tuesday, June 9, 2009

happiness is...

...homemade ice cream. Yup. Never got the fascination with homemade ice cream before. Just seemed like a whole lot of work and a whole lot of "hurry up and wait". I found a great little electric machine on sale at Target during my last visit and snatched it up assuming I'd try it out once and forget about it. It would inevitably retire to the gadget graveyard in the basement, but I figured I'd only be out twenty bucks, so no big deal, right? I was wrong, wrong, wrong. This little puppy has a permanent home in my kitchen cabinets and I hope it lives long enough to crank out the ever-growing list of ice cream recipes I've found online.

Ben and I made the trek to Gade Farm on Sunday afternoon in search of the fresh produce we couldn't find at the farmers' market on Saturday. Besides, I'm still on the lookout for cute "cottage garden-esque" plants for the front beds and Gade is the best place for inexpensive-but-hardy perennials. Anyway, the farm stand had the most amazing fresh strawberries at a price we couldn't pass up, and it dawned on me that we could christen the new ice cream maker with homemade strawberry ice cream. Gade also carries milk, cream and half-and-half from local farmers, and well, you know about Shirley's eggs already. Voila!

We headed home and got started. I opted for the traditional or "old fashioned" ice cream base that needs to be cooked. It takes a lot more time than its more modern, instant sister recipe, but hey, that's what Sundays are for, right? I followed Emeril Lagasse's recipe, and it was completely and totally messed up (sugar measurements differ on the ingredients list versus the actual directions, there's vanilla listed in the ingredients but it's not mentioned in the directions at all, AND the cooking time was way off), but we made our way through it. If you decide to try this out, cut the sugar in half, add the vanilla seeds to the custard before it's completely thickened, and keep a close eye on the custard as it cooks.

Folks, I'd be lying if I said that this wasn't the best ice cream I've ever had. Strawberry ice cream isn't my favorite by any means, and I don't mean to toot my own horn, but holy shit was this good! Every single ingredient came from local farmers except for the vanilla and sugar (you could always use honey instead, but good luck with finding local sugar) and that made me feel great! It's definitely an eggy treat, so if you're not into the hand-churned or French style ice cream, this may not be for you. I recall Ben mentioning that the aftertaste was fantastic. Sweet fruitiness.

So now I'm searching the internet for ice cream recipes to test out. Some of the front runners:

White Chocolate Ice Cream

Do you have any favorites???

Photo courtesy of Williams Sonoma


yellow monday said...

Well strawberry happens to be my favourite, so I've just been transported by your description of homemade!
btw I haven't been blogging much lately, so it was really nice to see that you'd dropped by and left a message! Cheers!

O said...

HONEY. When I first started making ice cream the flavor I returned to over and over was honey vanilla. Just standard non-cooked, Philly style vanilla with honey mixed in. It's fantastic, really.