I am pretty much addicted to ice cream. I love it. When my brothers and sister and I were younger, it was a ritual. Every night, we had a bowl of ice cream. In the summer, when we’re down the shore, one of my favorite things to do is go out for ice cream. While I don’t still indulge as much, at any given point, I have some in the freezer. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with different flavors and making my own. Last week, I tried out cinnamon ice cream, and it was awesome!
I came across an ice cream base that works really well with different flavorings. Sure, you could just add vanilla (which I always do) and have some of the best vanilla ice cream you’ve ever had, but it’s also a great base for adding other flavors. The one thing you need, though, is an ice cream maker. I have to admit, I hate appliances. While I love the tools, and I love making different things at home, I hate having another piece of equipment I have to store. Since I have the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I gave the ice cream maker attachment a try. Instead of having a whole machine, it’s just the bowl and the paddle that you have to store when not in use. I’ve been very happy with that, but, I’m sure there are other great ice cream makers out there.
To start, mix 1 cup heavy cream with 3 cups half and half in a large saucepan. Place it over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until it’s simmering. You don’t want it to boil. Once it’s simmering, turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together 8 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl large enough to hold the egg mixture and cream mixture. Slowly pour some of the cream mixture into the egg mixture (about a half cup). Whisk to combine, then add a little more. Keep doing this until all of the cream is combined. You want to be careful because if you add too much of the hot cream, and don’t whisk, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in your ice cream base.
Once it’s all combined, add it back to the saucepan and put it back on the stove, on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. This takes about 5-8 minutes. You want it thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and, if you’re not familiar with that test, you literally dip a spoon in the mixture, run your finger over the back, and see if the line stays. If the mixture is thick enough to keep the line you made with your finger, you’re good. Once it’s done, pour it into a bowl. At this point, I add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and, because I was making cinnamon ice cream, 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Let the mixture cool before chilling in the refrigerator overnight.
Make the ice cream according to your ice cream maker instructions. For the KitchenAid, you start the mixer on low and slowly pour the base into the bowl. Keep it running for 15-20 minutes until thick, then pour into a freezer safe container and freeze for 2 hours.
As I mentioned, I used this base with cinnamon, but you could use any number of flavors. You could add fruit puree, chocolate, espresso powder, chunks like chocolate chips or crushed cookies. You get the idea. Just keep in mind, if you’re adding something sweet, you may want to reduce some of the sugar in this base, as it has enough to be sweet on its own.
If you haven’t tried making ice cream, or eating homemade ice cream, it really is superior (not that I ever turned down store-bought, but it really is good). And since it was cinnamon, I made oatmeal cookies to go with it. If you’re going to indulge, you might as well indulge!