many scoops

As I stated before, Summer is here in Chicago.  The markets are filled with glorious goodies.  The Pride Parade was held over the weekend up in Lakeview.  The Taste is in full swing in Grant Park leading up to the 4th of July and many, many firework shows from my West facing balcony.  However, supposedly the 4th of July holiday is also the tipping point between feeling comfortable with the schedule of steady subject area BarBri lectures and practice problems and the sheer terror of “the Bar is only X days away and I still have how many flash cards to memorize and laws from 26 legal areas to be able to regurgitate over a 2 day period?”  I will let you know if I feel this panic in about a week.  However, I do know that the combination of summertime and stress calls for one thing: Ice Cream. 

I received a gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma (Thanks Deb & Rich!) for my birthday which I promptly spent on an ice cream maker.  All last summer I read blog post after blog post of people making flavor after flavor of homemade ice cream and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it another summer season without giving it a try on my own.  In the past couple of weeks I have already made 4 batches: vanilla bean, strawberry sorbet, strawberry frozen yogurt and chocolate.  

I lucked out and finally got a copy of The Perfect Scoop off my CPL hold list right when I brought home the new machine.  David does a wonderful job explaining how to make a custard, which is the only tricky thing about making ice cream and isn’t even necessary for sorbets and frozen yogurts.  All four flavors have been wonderful but I think my favorite is the uber-rich chocolate that I just made.  It is the best chocolate ice cream that I have ever had, hands down.  I used a Valrhorna 58% bar and dutch processed cocoa. Like he explains in a recent blog post, you really only need one scoop of this rich stuff to be totally satisfied.  It was perfect to mix with a scoop of strawberry frozen yogurt which was the perfect use for the amazing strawberries that I have been picking up at the market over the past few weeks.  I can’t wait to transform more summer berries into lovely summer desserts.  If you have ever been deciding whether or not an ice cream machine is worth it, take my advice that it totally is.  It only takes 20 mins of active time and a little planning to make a quart of ice cream.  I know I will have a couple handy in the freezer with the Bar Exam stress finally descends.  

All Ice Cream Recipes from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebowitz:  I am buying myself a copy once my book is due back to the library.  There  are SO many more flavors I want to try! (Cinnamon, Rocky Road, Vietnamese Coffee, Zabaglione!!!)  He explains the custard making process amazingly clear.  I was totally comfortable on my first try.

Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium sauce-pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture overnight in the fridge. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and using in another use [I stuck it in my vanilla sugar jar.] Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Chocolate Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ozs bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as posssible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as your stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture overnight in the fridge. The mixture might be thick when you go to pour into the ice cream maker to stir it vigorously to thin it out. Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions.

Strawberry Sorbet
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kirsch [I used Brandy]
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt

Slice the strawberries and toss in a bowl with the sugar and kirsch stirring the until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

Puree the strawberries and their liquid with the lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. [An immersion blender is PERFECT for this]. Press the mixture through a strainer to remove the seeds if you wish.

Chill the mixture overnight and freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vodka or kirsch [I used Domaine de Canton and it was REAL good]
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Slice the strawberries into small slices. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and booze, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

Puree the strawberries and their liquid with the yogurt and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until smooth. Press the mixture through a strainer if you want to remove the seeds. [I didn’t].

Chill for one hour then freeze in your ice cream maker according to its instructions.

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12 responses to “many scoops

  1. YUM!!! An ice cream maker is at the tip-tip of my “to buy” list…I can’t wait! Our blackberries are about to explode off the vine and I am determined to have blackberry sorbet in my freezer shortly after. :) Thank you for sharing these lovely recipes!

    When is the BAR?

  2. I am drooling over the Cuisinart ice cream maker but might have to wait until next summer. We’re worried that we’d eat too much ice cream if I had that maker at home!

    Did you get the 2 freezer bowl special at Williams Sonoma?

  3. Andrea-I love my ice cream maker so far. It works so well. Blackberry sorbet sounds perfect. Hopefully a crumble or a pie too? The Bar is July 28th and 29th. So close yet so far.

    Linda-I did get the 2 bowl special. I really like being able to have two bowls freezing at once. And they really don’t take up much freezer space because you can fill them with stuff (frozen peas, batch of ice cream in a quart container) and just line the inside with a plastic bag.

  4. That strawberry sorbet looks absolutely deadly… I might just have to actually break out the ice cream maker this summer for this one!

  5. Perfect Scoop is one of my favorite cookbooks…and probably one of the few that I actually use! I just ordered myself the very same cuisinart ice cream maker, as my 10-year old Rival model is giving up the ghost after making dozens and dozens of quarts of ice cream through the years. I keep my bowl in the freezer all the time too – you never know when you need to whip up a batch of ice cream. I make a lot of ice creams with a coconut milk base as well, and that works just as well as dairy! Now, I must go scoop up some of the chocolate ginger ice cream I made this afternoon…YUM.

  6. whoa! those look dreamy. i love david lebowitz!

  7. Ariana from Chicago

    When you make vanilla next time, add the suggested “stracciatella” for the best chocolate chip ice cream ever. Made the lemon sherbet recently and it was like Taylor street Italian ice. Yummy.

  8. Ha I JUST hit bar exam panic mode last week and what is the first thing I did? Ran out and bought myself an ice cream maker (and checked out The Perfect Scoop from the library, natch). Good luck wiht the studying! It will all be over soon (15 days, eek!!)

  9. WOAH! You really went all out and made different ice creams! Love the colour of the strawberry one and the creaminess of the chocolate. Now I’m off to put the freezing bowl in the freezer!

  10. Hi Whitney,
    Have you kept your ice cream frozen for more an hour? I am having troubles defrosting my ice cream when I leave it in the freezer overnight. Unlike store-bought ice cream, the homemade batch becomes solid as a rock. In the defrosting process, the ice cream just become liquid and I can’t seem to figure out how to get it back to a soft serve consistency.

    I was wondering what your ice cream batch is like after it is frozen?

  11. Linda

    It probably won’t ever be exactly like it was fresh out of the machine but I leave my batches out on the counter for like 10 mins before scooping and serving.

    Hope this helps!

  12. Pingback: getting my grove back « Whitney in Chicago

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