21 June 2011

Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream

I love ice cream. I love ice cream a lot. But there is one huge problem with it, it's never around when you really want it. Enter the ice cream maker. An awesome gift given to me by my brothers for Christmas. I haven't used it as often as I would like (yet) but I made it a point that my first recipe was the most important of all ice creams. That's right Peanut butter. It was fantastic. But on this particular weekend I didn't want anything super rich, I wanted something that would just hit the spot. Enter vanilla.

One of the big reasons I wanted to make ice cream, was to use up the heavy cream I had leftover from Easter. It was a few days away from hitting its best before date and I figured the only way I was going to use that much cream at once was to make it iced (that or have a really thick bowl of cereal :)). I think it was a good decision.

This recipe is your basic Philadelphia ice cream. Which is something I learned researching ice cream recipes. Philadelphia / New York / American ice cream does not have a custard base like French ice cream. Because of this it's much lighter (and tastes that way) than the custard based ice cream. It also makes the process very easy and super quick. Only a couple of ingredients. However, I have yet to make a custard ice cream and I really would like to. I think a good chocolate would work very nicely. Although I do have a vanilla bean hanging around that I would love to use to make a rich ice cream. That was actually my first instinct for this one, but I got lazy. Though I'm glad that I did :).

Instead of the vanilla bean I made the last minute decision to break out my Mexican vanilla. Oh yeah that was definitely a good call. I also decided to reduce the sugar a tad, not wanting it to overpower the rich floral vanilla flavour. I'm glad that I did that too. I'm not sure why the extra quarter cup was required, because after thirty minutes I was in creamy, smooth, Mexican vanilla ice cream heaven.

The Mexican vanilla made this ice cream taste much more decadent than it probably should have been. It was so light, creamy, and smooth; but at the same time was rich with vanilla.

Now one thing to note is that most ice cream recipes call for whole milk. I never have whole milk and I wasn't going to buy extra milk (that I won't drink) just to use up some cream before it spoils (it just seems counter productive :)). Instead I used what I had on hand: one-percent. In fact, it's all I ever use, and it works out fine when you first make the ice cream, but as a warning, it tends to freeze brick hard.

I'm going to assume that if you have an ice cream maker, you probably have a goto vanilla recipe. And if you don't have an ice cream maker you probably don't care too much. But just in case you don't and you do, give this one a try. At best, you're going to end up with a good vanilla ice cream; and at worst, you're going to end up with a good vanilla ice cream. I like those odds :).


P.S. Amazingly you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker, check here to see how.

Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream

Adapted from Cuisinart

Yields approx 5 cups

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk -- the recommendation is whole, I used 1%
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
1 tbsp vanilla -- preferably Mexican
1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl vigorously mix together milk, sugar and salt. -- The original recipe says to use a hand mixer, I have never done this and it always turns out fine. Even if it seems like there is a lot of undissolved sugar, it'll be okay once in the ice cream maker.

Whisk in cream and vanilla until completely combined.

Add mixture to ice cream maker following manufacturer's instructions.

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