Onward go my homemade ice cream experiments. But folks, it may end here. I may have found the most perfect recipe. But let’s back up, shall we?
After spending hours researching recipes on the web I was feeling let down and defeated. Did no one have a straightforward vanilla ice cream recipe?! I kept finding recipes with condensed milk, cream cheese, gelatin, whipped cream, all sorts of weird junk in them.
Finally I found David Lebovitz’s Vanilla Ice Cream recipe on his blog. This is where it gets embarrassing though. It was in front of my face all along. On Day 5 of our Portland honeymoon I bought Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert book at Powell’s (the infamous bookstore). I’ve had the recipe all this time!
Anyway, no big deal. The point is that I have it now. The game changer? Eggs. Yup. Read on.
I adapted the recipe a bit to my own needs (cookies and cream, no vanilla bean, I used only 2% milk) but the full credit still goes to Lebovitz. Here is my adapted version (and here is the Master version).
(Oh, and BTW, I shot this blog with my nifty fifty lens if you were wondering.)
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
3 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. kosher salt
15-20 crumbled chocolate sandwich cookies (I used the Trader Joe’s variety, you could use Oreos)
Combine milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix thoroughly.
Warm over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until mixture is lightly bubbling but not boiling.
OK, the next step is equal parts tricky and critical – tempering your eggs. Separate 5 eggs, placing the yolks in a big bowl (you can save your whites like I did or whatever). Take a cup of your hot mixture and slowly pour it into your bowl of yolks, whisking quickly and constantly. You have to do this slowly or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. I mixed in just under 2 cups of my hot mixture before the temperature was up high enough to pour the entire bowl back into my saucepan without scrambling the eggs. When you’ve got everything in the saucepan together keep whisking and bring the mixture back up to a low bubble (not boiling though!).
After about 7-10 minutes your mixture, which is now custard, should be done. This needs to cool completely before making the ice cream so take it off the heat and away from the stove. Cooling, for me, took 30-40 minutes. Don’t put your mixture in the fridge though! It’ll set up like custard and then not be the right texture for ice cream. You need to bring the temp down slowly.
While I waited for my custard to cool I roughly chopped up my cookies.
After the long wait was over I set up my Kitchen Aid Mixer and the Ice Cream Attachment. I poured in my custard and let it go for about 25 minutes.
When it was set up enough to look like slightly melted ice cream I mixed in my cookies, packaged my ice cream up in a tupperware, and stored in the freezer overnight.
The results blew my expectations out of the water. This ice cream was smooth, rich, and so creamy. The eggs totally made the difference here. Using a custard base lets the ice cream set up properly while adding so much flavor. Plus cookies and cream is such a classic, you really want to do it right. There are some extra steps involved with the eggs but it’s so worth it that this is so totally going to be the base of all of my homemade ice cream from now on!