Ice Cream Base
Makes 3 cups
- 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream and half-and-half to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 6 to 8 minutes. Slowly whisk some of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, then add the egg yolks to the hot cream mixture and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the mixture begins to boil and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat, cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or see below if you do not have an ice cream freezer.
Vanilla Ice Cream: Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and add it to the cream mixture before cooking. Remove the bean pieces before adding the eggs. Or, stir 1 tablespoon vanilla extract into the chilled ice cream base and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Fruit Ice Cream: Stir 1 cup puréed fruit into the cooled ice cream base and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Liqueur-Flavored Ice Cream: Stir up to 2 ounces of a liqueur into the cooled ice cream base and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Macadamia Nut Ice Cream: Prepare vanilla ice cream. Before it is completely hard, add 1/2 cup caramel sauce and 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts. Blend into ice cream gently and freeze.
Sorbet, also called sherbet or ice, is made from fruit purée, fruit juice and sugar syrup. The length of time the syrup cooks affects the texture of the sorbet: French sorbets are usually made with a very light syrup and are slightly grainy, while Italian sorbettos are made with heavier syrup and are smoother.
- 2 pints fresh fruit, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 cup simple syrup
- juice of 1/2 lemon
In a food processor, combine the syrup and fruit, and purée until smooth. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve if necessary to remove seeds. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Making Ice Cream Without a Machine:
While there are a number of inexpensive ice cream machines on the market, it is possible to make ice creams and sorbets without any sort of ice cream machine. Here are two methods:
Food Processor Method:
Freeze mixture in ice cube trays for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cubes are almost frozen. Empty the ice cube trays into a blender or food processor and process, using on-and-off pulsing motions, until the mixture is smooth. Put back into the ice cube trays and freeze for another 30 minutes. Process again and scrape the ice cream into a plastic container or mixing bowl. Freeze again until solid. When you are ready to serve, let stand at room temperature for several minutes to soften slightly.
Electric Mixer Method:
Freeze the mixture in a mixing bowl until the outer 2 to 3 inches are frozen. Remove from the freezer and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Repeat 2 more times, then allow to freeze completely. When you are ready to serve, let stand at room temperature for several minutes to soften slightly.