Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Butterscotch Ice Cream

Yes, I do make a lot of ice cream. So you'd think I wouldn't be needing any more ice cream books.

But here's the thing. I seldom make the same ice cream twice. Oh, I make chocolate a lot - but I try different recipes. And I make vanilla pretty often too. Again, using different recipes.

And every time I get a new ice cream cookbook, I learn something new. If not a new recipe, then it's a new method.

The book, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, has a lot of recipes for making all sorts of ice cream, sorbets, and even vegan ice cream, along with a few recipes for toppings, add-ins and other things.

There are even a few recipes for using the egg white that you'll end up with after using yolks for ice cream.

I decided to make Butterscotch Ice Cream. Well, actually, the recipe in the book was for butterscotch ice cream with chunks of brownies mixed in.

While that sounded really good, I opted not to add the brownies. It was too hot to bake, and I really didn't want a tray of brownies sitting around. I figured the ice cream would be plenty of dessert for us.

Besides omitting the brownies, I also made quite a few changes to the method for making the ice cream. The original recipe calls for much of the cooking to be done in a double boiler, but I decided to cook mine on the stove.

A double boiler is a much safer method - almost no chance of the yolks curdling. But ... I make a lot of ice cream and I always cook it on the stovetop, so I figured I'd take the risk.

However, if any whites cling to the yolks (and they always do) those are likely to curdle with the stovetop method. They might not curdle with the double-boiler method. But it's not a big deal - I always strain my custards after cooking and there are never very many bits, anyway.

If you're new at making ice cream or custard, you might want to get a copy of the book and use the recipe as-is and use a double boiler.

The book also suggested having adding the hot butterscotch mixture to the milk and cream, but after thinking about it, I realised that was because the rest of the cooking was going to happen in the double boiler. So I added the milk and cream to the butterscotch.

This was a really tasty ice cream, and I can see how it would work well with brownie chunks mixed in. I'll certainly keep that in mind next time I have spare brownies hanging around. It was really good with another chocolate topping, though.

Butterscotch Ice Cream
Adapted from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream 
by Laura O'Neill, Ben Van Leeuwen and Pete Van Leeuwen with Olga Massov

3 1/2 tablespoons (about 50 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (227 grams) dark brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 large egg yolks

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until combined. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the cream and stir until smooth.

Take the pot off the heat and add the rest of the cream, along with the milk, vanilla bean and scraped seeds, and salt. Place the pot back on the heat and cook, stirring as needed, until you see steam rising from the pan.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

One ladle at a time, pouring slowly, add the cream mixture to the eggs, while stirring the eggs constantly. Keep adding cream mixture until you've added about half of it to the yolks, then pour the yolk mixture into the pot with the remaining cream mixture.

Cook, stirring constantly on low or medium-low heat until you see steam rising from the pan and the custard coats the back of a spoon.

To hasten the chilling, place the pot in an icebath or in your sink filled with several inches of cold water, making sure the water isn't deep enough to slosh into the pot. Stir to help the custard cool faster. I don't always do this but it's often recommended in ice cream recipes.

Remove the vanilla bean. You can discard it or use it to made vanilla sugar or vanilla extract.

Pour the custard mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a storage container. The sieve will catch any tiny curdled bits. You shouldn't have many, but if any bits of whites were clinging to the yolks, they tend to curdle and you don't want that in your ice cream. Refrigerate the mixture until fully chilled - I usually make the base the day before I want to churn, but 4-6 hours may be enough.

Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions, then transfer to a storage container and freeze until firm.
Butterscotch Ice Cream