July is National Ice Cream Month and most will agree that nothing beats the homemade kind.
Chef Aaron Ballard with Harmons shares how easy it is to make any flavor if you start with the right base.
French Ice Cream Base
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup white sugar
In a small saucepan, heat cream, milk and vanilla until bubbles form at edges. Jest before you add the hot cream and milk mixture whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth (doing this too soon with result in grainy bits in the base as the sugar will start to chemically cook the egg).
Slowly pour the hot milk and cream mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add the tempered base back to the saucepan and cook on medium heat stirring constantly with a spatula. When the mixture thickens to the consistency of melted ice cream (it will coat the back of a spoon) pour through a fine strainer into a chilled metal bowl and cool.
You can store this in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for a year. If you choose to freeze allow to defrost in the refrigerator a few days before using. When you are ready to use for ice cream follow your manufactures recommendations as per your ice cream maker.
When adding flavors you may add it to the cream and milk and steep flavor during the initial heating process. Make sure you strain the flavorings out (such as lavender flowers or whole spices) before tempering it with the eggs. If you are using fruit juices and chunks substitute the whole milk with the fruit juice or flavoring liquid and add fruit chunks after you have cooked and strained the base during chilling.
If you are adding chocolate-finely chop the chocolate and pour the cooked and filtered base over the chopped chocolate. Gently fold the hot cream mixture over chocolate once or twice and allow to sit for five minutes in a warm place.
After five minutes fold the chocolate and cream mixture together just until incorporated – do not over mix. You will want to make your chocolate ice cream while the base is still warm as the chocolate sets firmer. Use about 4 oz. chocolate for this recipe.