Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ice Creamathon

So one of the reasons that I absolutely love my job is for the random, silly, so-much-fun things that we do at work. For instance: I purchased an ice cream maker about 2 years ago and I have to say, I am pretty much a stellar ice cream maker. I like to experiment and make all kinds of delicious and unusual flavors. So, in those 2 years that I have been making ice cream, I've brought countless tubs of it in to share and my fellow associates are deeply grateful. The best part is that I have inspired about 10 more people to buy a machine and start making ice cream themselves. I like to think of it as an ice cream revolution.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with Nancy, one of the ladies I work with, and we thought it would be so much fun if everyone who had bought an ice cream maker made ice cream and brought it in for everyone to share. And so the Ice Creamathon was born. This week everyone will be bringing in ice cream on different days and there will be so much creamy goodness to go around it makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

So I came up with another idea: since I love making ice cream so much, why don't I share my love? I've decided everytime I make ice cream I'm going to post my recipe so that others out there with an unsatiated desire for cold, rich sweetness can try it (or not!). It'll be good for me to do this too since I always make up my recipes and never really remember what I do differently when I'm making variations. So here's my first official ice cream recipe:

Sweet Corn with Blackberry Swirl

1 c. cream
3 c. half and half
2 ears corn
2 pints blackberries
1/2 c. and 3/4 c. sugar
5 egg yolks
pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla

I start by bringing 1 cup of cream and 3 cups of half and half almost to a boil. I normally wouldn't go this overboard with the heart attack in my ice cream, but hey, it's for work and I won't be eating it all by myself. If you wanted to save the fat and calories you could use just half and half.

Using fresh corn is KEY here! I only make this ice cream in the late summer/early fall when corn is most delectable--and Ohio has some deeelicious corn! I suppose you could use frozen corn if you really wanted to, but why waste so many calories on something so imperfect? I take two ears of corn and cut the kernels off and hack the cobs into a couple pieces.

I dump the corn and cobs into the hot cream, put a lid on it and turn the heat way down and let it steep for about a half hour. Think of it as making corn tea...
In the meantime I take two pints of fresh blackberries (frozen wouldn't be so much of a sin here as it would be to use frozen corn) and add 1/2 cup sugar and bring that to a boil over medium heat. I let it bubble away for about 15 minutes until it starts to thicken up and get saucy, then I strain the blackberries through a fine mesh sieve so that the annoying seeds can't get stuck in my teeth later. This is your swirl...stick it in the fridge for now.

Back to the cream and corn...You are now faced with a dilemma--chuck the corn kernels or leave them in? I've made this ice cream both ways and each is equally good. It just depends what you like: little bits of intriguing texture or velvety smooth? If you prefer texture, fish out the cobs and throw them out and leave in as many of the kernels as you like. If you prefer smooth, strain the cream and do whatever you so desire with the kernels.

At this point I add 5 egg yolks, lightly beaten. Now, if I was a REALLY good cook I would temper my yolks by stirring a little of the hot cream to the yolks and then adding all that back into the pan--this keeps the yolks from scrambling in the hot liquid. But I really am lazy most of the time and it seems like so much work to me, so I just say a prayer to the egg yolk gods and beat them in as fast as I can hoping that I don't get chunks of cooked yolk in my ice cream. My prayers were answered this time.

I also add 3/4 cup of sugar, a good pinch of salt and then cook everything together until it coats the back of a spoon (aka pull the spoon out of the pot, swipe your finger across it, lick your finger and look at the back of the spoon. If the line from your finger is still there you have successfully coated the back of your spoon). Be sure you don't let the cream boil, or baaaad things could happen to your ice cream.

Then I take the cream off heat and add 1 tsp. of vanilla. That's it! Now just pour the mixture into a container of some sort, cover and stick in the fridge until it's cold.

Now all you have to do is pour it into your ice cream maker and let it churn until it's lovely and thick (you are allowed to stick a spoon in there and try it while it's still churning...I mean, really, you have to see if it's the right consistency...).

When it's done I like to spoon it into a container in several batches and then swirl the blackberry sauce through each batch. I find that if I add the sauce while the ice cream is still churning it gets too mixed in, and if I add it to a totally full container of ice cream it doesn't get mixed in enough.
You'll probably want to let the ice cream freeze for a couple hours if you want it more scoopable, or if you love soft serve, dive in! Nancy gave everyone these cute little cups to bring their ice cream in...aren't they so cute?
Viva la revolution!


Patty said...

A vegetable in Ice Cream hmmmmmm, I'm not sure about this. LOL

Annie said...

Your first PW-style recipe looks yummy :)

Maggie and Bobby said...

don't worry...the ice cream doesn't really taste too corny! it just gives it an interesting background note and sweetness that isn't too sugary and cloying. it got rave reviews at work and all of it was gone by the afternoon!

Kristen said...

I never would have thought to use corn - but the ice cream looks delicious! I'll have to try it soon!