Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One of my Christmas presents was an ice cream maker from my mother. While I'd used a previous version of the Cuisinart ice cream maker, either I had an old freezer that couldn't get the canister cold enough, or they've made some improvements, because the new one is so much better. You do have to be sure to cool down your mix in the fridge rather than using it at room temp, but that's just mathematical sense - room temperature is 30, 40 degrees warmer than the fridge, which is going to bring up the temperature of the freezing canister too quickly.

One of the nice things about an ice cream maker is how easy it is to make small amounts of ice cream to test out ideas. Since Christmas, I've made pineapple lime longpepper sorbet, carrot-lemon sorbet, carrot-pineapple sherbet, coffee cranberry Campari ice cream, maple pecan ice cream, and the star of the show, huckleberry spruce ice cream:

Huckleberry-spruce ice cream

The basics of making the custard for ice cream are simple - heat milk, cream, and sugar, add to beaten egg yolks to temper them, add back to the pan and stir until thickened. I infused the cream with spruce tips ahead of time, and while it was churning, added a simple huckleberry jam (huckleberries, sugar, citric acid).

So good. Spruce and huckleberry were meant to be together.

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