Thursday, July 02, 2009

Grandmother R's Ice Cream

My grandmother's ice cream days are not quite over, but she's started to pass the torch on. I think I'm starting to get it right.

Grandmother R's ice cream was one of those summer memories sacred to our childhood. The hum of the ice cream churn in the background of supper meant good things. Plain was heaven; gilded with sweetened peaches made it sublime. Her recipe is custard-based, which means you can make it in a sorry ice cream churn from WalMart (like mine), and it's still creamy and delicious.

I'm making this for our fourth of July, but I thought I'd give anyone a day or two in advance so that they could also try their hand at it. I'll add pictures later so everyone can see my ugly pink churn. :)

Grandmother R's Ice Cream (with a few changes)

this recipe came from Grandmother R's mother, G-Grandmother W, From Charleston.

For a 4-Quart Churn:
1/2 Gal. Whole Milk
6-8 eggs
2 c. sugar (though if you're watching it, you could get away with less-- 1 1/2- 1 3/4)
a rounded 1/2 t. or 3/4 t. salt
1 T. vanilla extract, or 1/2 a vanilla bean
1-2 c. whipping cream

OR--- Per Quart of Milk: (If you have a larger churn)
3-4 eggs
1 c. sugar
a rounded 1/4 t. salt
1 to 1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. whipping cream

Rock Salt
Lots of Ice

(My grandmother said that if she were making a whole gallon of ice cream, she could cut the eggs to 1 dozen and the sugar to 3 cups. Just don't skimp on the vanilla and the cream and everything's safe.)

I usually churn ice cream outside. It's pretty messy, and the salt-sludge isn't good for your pipes. I pour it out somewhere in the yard where I don't want anything to grow.

Traditional Directions:

Mix together milk, eggs, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Cook until thickened. Take off heat; mix in vanilla. Place in refrigerator until cold, 6-24 hours.

When ready to freeze, place ice cream mixture in churn. Mix in whipping cream; follow manufacturer's directions for freezing in your ice cream churn.

But-- most basic ice cream churns--the ones with the motors on top, and a bucket for ice/salt sludge--work like this:

Layer ice, then salt, in a ratio of 4 parts ice to one part salt. (This is more of a general direction than specific; I usually just layer in the ice, then heavily coat it with Rock Salt.) Repeat until area around churn is filled. Check ice often; when level of ice and salt is down, layer more ice and salt. When churn stops running, ice cream is "soft-serve". At this point, you have two options: 1) Dig in, or 2) make your ice cream firmer.

If you wish to have firmer ice cream, you can empty the ice sludge from around the ice cream bucket, once again pack it with ice and salt, and let that sit for an hour. Or you can wipe off the ice cream bucket and throw it in the freezer for an hour.

RAW Variation:

If you're like me and have raw milk and want to keep it that way, you can still make custard ice cream. Instead of mixing the entire 2 quarts of milk into the saucepan, mix 2-3 cups with the eggs, sugar, and salt. The custard will be a little less stable. You'll have to watch it more carefully, but it's worth it to get raw ice cream! After you've made the custard, add in vanilla, and place in refrigerator to cool.

When it's time to make the ice cream, get out the remainder of the two quarts of milk as well as the cream. Mix both into custard. Churn as directed above.

Vanilla Bean Variation:

Start out with 1/2 a vanilla bean per quart of milk. Cut the vanilla bean in half; scrape the insides to release the beans inside. Place both beans and pod in custard mixture before cooking, and exclude other vanilla. Cook Vanilla bean and outside pod in custard. Pull out the bean pod after cooling, just before you mix milk/cream/custard in churn. Test before churning-- you might want to add a little more vanilla extract for extra oomph.


1 comment:

Stephany said...

Thanks for a copy of Grandmother's Recipe! Have a good fourth of July!