How many ice cream recipe does a creative cook need? When it's a "chameleon"? Exactly one!
This is my base recipe for a "skinny" ice cream that uses less sugar, fewer eggs, a lower-fat blend of milks. How to compensate? By bumping up the flavor essence, whatever the ice cream wants to be. There are nine suggested (and tested) ice cream recipes here, all start with the base recipe. It's a "chameleon" – it can turn into whatever ice cream you can dream up!
Warm spring evenings call for light suppers and something cold to follow. If you haven’t yet splurged on a new-style ice cream maker, it’s worth the $50 investment.
CHAMELEON ICE CREAM is my new "standard but never-the-same-twice" ice cream. It begs for creativity! Banana chocolate, anyone? Ginger? Have fun with this! I’ve lightened the typical ice cream recipe with a still-rich combination of milks, two eggs compared to eight or more, only 4 tablespoons of sugar.
The secret trick to satisfaction is to bump the flavor "essence" – note the three tablespoons of vanilla extract in VERY VANILLA – to compensate for the flavor loss from less fat.
COFFEE SPICE ICE CREAM Add 2 tablespoons expresso powder or instant coffee granules to egg mixture, then stir in 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.
COCONUT ICE CREAM Substitute 13 ounces coconut milk for whole milk and half & half. Reduce sugar to 2 tablespoons. Toast 2 ounces sweetened coconut. (To toast, spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet. Set oven for 350F/175C, put pan in right away. Stir every couple minutes during about 12 minutes of toasting.) Stir coconut into frozen mixture after processing.
RASPBERRY ICE CREAM Thaw 12 ounces frozen raspberries with 1 tablespoon sugar, stirring occasionally. Add berries just before processing.
LOW-GLYCEMIC ICE CREAM Substitute 3 tablespoons agave for 4 tablespoons sugar.
CHAMELEON ICE CREAM
Time to table: 2-1/2 - 3 hours
Makes 3-1/2 cups
- 1 cup half & half
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup ½% or skim milk
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
Stir milks in medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Bring almost to a boil. Refrigerate uncovered 15 minutes.
While milk mixture is heating, separately whisk eggs. (TIP: Use a two-cup container.) Add sugar and vanilla. Whisk again and set aside.
Remove milk mixture from fridge and discard thin skin on top. A quarter cup at a time, add about half milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking after each addition. Whisking, pour milk-egg mixture into saucepan. Over medium heat, cook until a slightly thickened custard forms. (TIPS: Stir often and then constantly to prevent uneven cooking. The custard is fully cooked once it coats a metal spoon.)
Refrigerate custard until completely chilled, 2 – 3 hours. (TIP: Another option is to place in the freezer for about an hour.) Process in an ice cream processor and serve immediately. (TIP: Start processor just before sitting down to eat.)
GINGER ICE CREAM Omit the vanilla. Add 3 heaping tablespoons of ginger paste to the milks while warming, strain before cooking the custard.
CINNAMON ICE CREAM Follow Very Vanilla instructions. Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the milks.
SOUR CHERRY ICE CREAM Follow Very Vanilla instructions. Substitute 1 tablespoon almond extract for the vanilla. Stir in 8 ounces sour cherries (preferably puréed first so they don't ice up) just before processing.
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