Somewhere I heard that July is National Ice Cream Month, which makes plenty of sense to me. I don't think there's any other time of year when I crave ice cream as intensely. Calories become irrelevant. All that matters is something sweet and cold to take the edge of the sweltering heat.
For 4th of July, we had the wise idea to make our own homemade ice cream. It's been years since we've done this.. I might have been 15. Anyhow, we spent the week before Independence Day getting our ice cream plans together - making ice, picking up all kinds of dairy at the store (cream, milk, and half-and-half) and dreaming up our favorite flavors. For me, that means chocolate chip cookie dough... I made up half a batch of cookie dough solely for this purpose. :)
So we got to the big day. America's birthday! Ice cream-making day! Please note: it's 92 degrees outside. We took turns churning the cream recipe for an hour and a half, to no avail. Sure, it got a little foamy, but by no means was it scoop-able... or even soft serve. *sigh* We figured the most effective solution would be to freeze it and wait. Sure enough, the ice cream slowly began to set up. It ended up a bit crystal-y in texture, but the flavor was incredible! Overall, I'd say it was a pretty successful effort, considering the temperature and that we didn't have any polysorbate on hand. (A somewhat questionable emulsifier found in a many commercial ice creams. That's probably a health discussion for another post though.)
A few things I learned from the experience -
Have everything chilled. The cream recipe, and even the metal churning container, should sit in the fridge overnight so they're good and cold when you're ready to start churning. The faster the freeze, the creamier the ice cream, or so they say.
Never be discouraged. This is perhaps my biggest struggle in all things... dessert or otherwise. If this batch of ice cream wouldn't have set up, the cream mixture could have been used for an outstandingly rich bread pudding (with a couple eggs added, of course.) There is always a Plan B. When Plan A doesn't work out, it's more sensible to learn what we can and move on, rather than dwell on it and vainly wish that it had worked out. ;)
Thank you for stopping by,