Monday, June 30, 2008

Making Ice Cream

I'm making ice cream again. I don't know how much of this story I've already committed to blog, so let me start at the beginning. Well, in a moment. Right now I need to go and stir...

The recipe calls for "stirring frequently", which means that I pretty much have to hover over the mixture. It has to gain temperature slowly so that the eggs don't turn into a nasty mess. But the stirring is boring, so I have to find things to do while the ice cream is heating, or else I'll go a bit mad. Oh, better stir the thing again...

First I saw the recipe on an episode of Good Eats (great show, by the way). Then I found my old ice cream maker, but that turned out to be a disaster. Then I asked for a new ice cream maker for Christmas. I got one, and I've been making ice cream for myself ever since. And it's time to, well, you know...

I've tweaked the recipe a couple times because the recipe as written is much too rich. Then it was time to try a new variation. My mother doesn't do dairy, but loves ice cream, so I thought I'd try a version using almond milk for her. It's denser (for almond milk doesn't have a heavy cream version), but she says it tastes fine. I haven't tried it myself. (Oh, back to the saucepan...)

Today I'm making the almond milk version. It's finally starting to thicken up a bit (not as much as the milk version), and it's time to dip the thermometer in. Almost 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The target is 170, so I'm closer than I thought...(just a quick check)...It's only been 20 minutes, so either this is starting to go faster for me, or 20 minutes used to seem like such a long time when I started.

I guess buying ice cream is much simpler. It takes a lot less time. But I get a certain satisfaction from doing it myself. Pride of ownership, perhaps...

And now I'm to the last three degrees, the degrees that never seem to climb. It's best if no one is here to watch. I tend to get a bit cranky.

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