Recently, I became entranced with the idea of entering the Royal Foodie Joust, details about which you can learn here. I reasoned that it would be sort of like a small-scale, low-stress version of competing on “Iron Chef” only with three ingredients. I also thought that the three ingredients for the August Joust (honey, peaches and eggs) lent themselves nicely to the season, and to baking, which I love.
Which is why I decided to make ice cream, which I have never done, despite the fact that I have no ice cream maker. Why just make a cobbler, cake, tart or muffins when I could strike out and try something new? Besides, I’ve been reading David Liebovitz’s blog and various articles about him, and it just seemed so easy, so natural to whip up a batch of ice cream to delight family and friends. (Note: this disaster is in no way attributable to Mr. Liebovitz, who clearly would have had the good sense not to do what I did).
First, I found a recipe on-line for ice cream using the three ingredients. It also involved a cup of sour cream which sounded strange, but possibly interesting. Stranger still was the fact that the recipe never actually said at what point the sour cream should be added to the recipe. Upon mature reflection, I think its possible that the sour cream was supposed to be an alternative to the half and half, but that’s certainly not clear from the recipe. Did I trust my instinct that this was a strange ingredient list? No, I did not. I forged ahead.
I also priced ice cream makers and decided that I couldn’t justify buying one of the quality I’d like, at this point in the summer. My parents used to have a nice little ice cream maker of the freeze-the-cylinder variety, but they sold it at a garage sale. My friend Diane has one, but she’s on vacation. I thought about the pioneers and all of that ice cream they ate. (Okay, I have never heard of any pioneers eating ice cream, but its a nice image, isn’t it – the Ingalls family hunkering down inside the circled wagons to enjoy a bowl of Chubby Hubby?) Seriously, I figured people must have had some way of making ice cream without a machine, and possibly even without all of the rock salt business we learned in science class. Searching the Internet, I found this. No rock salt! No machine! Nothing but my mixer and my freezer! (Note: I am now painfully aware that in the time I spent finding out ways to avoid the proper making of ice cream I could have gone to the store, bought the salt, and used the “two bag” method to produce actual ice cream).
Still inspired by the pioneer spirit, I decided to adapt the honey ice cream recipe for use with the homemade-ice cream-without-ice cream-maker recipe. I made the custard, stirred in the sour cream (I figured that they couldn’t possible mean that I should add sour cream at the start and cook it for 5 minutes), cooled it, and froze the mixture for two hours. It was not “slushy.” It was just really cold. I waited another hour and it was still not slushy, although tiny crystals were forming at the edges of the bowl. I decided that since it was already 11:00 at night, I’d just proceed to whip air into it in the mixer for 10 minutes, fold in the peaches, put it in the freezer, and go to bed.
This morning, I found a bowl of what can only be described as cheesecake-flavored frozen milk with peach lumps. It was crunchy, and it was cheesy. Sam tried it and ran to get a drink because he “thought he might throw up, no offense mom.” Rob tried it, and made a face. “It has a funny taste to it,” he said. I can’t feed it to the animals; it isn’t good for them.
This story has several morals:
- Haste makes waste.
- Sour cream is not an ingredient that my family enjoys in ice cream.
- Sometimes its okay to take the road more travelled (sorry, Mr Frost) if it means you get a delicious coffee cake instead of a bowl of inadequately frozen dairy products.
- There’s a whole bag of rock salt in the shed, and I already used up all of the ice cream ingredients so its too late.