Ice Cream, You Scream!
Posted by by Maureen Fischer, FoodE Expert, Byerly's Ridgedale
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I have been married almost 23 years and I am on my third ice cream maker. Ice cream making is not a year-round event in our house, but for 4 to 5 months each year we dust off the ice cream maker and celebrate summer in grand style. Our “secret” recipe consists of 4 ingredients and is so easy we have relinquished the ice cream prep to our kids. Our promise of first samples to those who make the ice cream having them fighting for mixing rights! Our recipe, Ralph’s Easy Ice Cream, comes from a small town church cookbook and takes 5 minutes to stir together the 3 cups half-and-half, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 cups sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. I always use real vanilla extract for maximum flavor and often add an extra splash for good measure. We pack the ice cream maker with layers of ice and rock salt and set it spinning. In less than an hour we have amazing homemade ice cream.
Our time-honored tips are simple. Always be sure to use the freshest quality ingredients. Starting with the best ingredients yields the best ice cream! Don't overfill your ice cream maker. Leave it a little empty. If the canister is more than three-quarters full, it won’t properly aerate as it churns. Finally, I like to “ripen” my ice cream, although it’s not necessary. After removing the dasher, cover with waxed paper and repack the canister in a mixture of rock salt and ice. Let stand for 3-4 hours.
Sometimes near the end, after the ice cream had thickened, we add fresh berries, chopped fresh peaches or chopped brownies. It’s perfect for cones, shakes and smoothies, too, but I love it plain! Feeling fancy? Scoop it into Molded Chocolate Cups for an extra easy presentation. So, what makes you scream for ice cream?