Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Buttermilk Ice Cream

It is my fantasy to someday soon make ice cream with fresh, local eggs with fresh, local, non homogenized cream. Eric has been getting fresh eggs from a man at his work, so that part's covered. Sometimes we get cartons full of little bitty eggs, half the size of normal ones, and it's so fun to eat tiny fried eggs with tiny toasts. I'll keep you updated on my mission for fresh cream.

This ice cream is another recipe that I made while spending the week with Eric's Family at the Lake in New York. It went great with all our desserts for the end of the week- like Micah's mixed berry pie and my mother in law's fantastic thin-but-tender-heart-shaped-waffles and currant sorbet/syrup

It has a custard base, so it stays smooth and creamy in the freezer. It tastes sort of like frozen yogurt, but with the buttery richness of buttermilk giving it that je ne sais se quoi- that indescribable quality that makes something irresistible.

Don't be fooled by the looks- this is not vanilla ice cream by anyone's standards.

Buttermilk Ice Cream, from The Last Course via Smitten Kitchen

2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
8-12 egg yolks (I used 10)
2 cups buttermilk
2 t vanilla
pinch of salt

Heat the cream and one cup of sugar to simmering in a large pot on the stove. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Temper the egg yolks by whisking little amounts of hot cream into the yolks at a time, and so gradually raising the temperature of the yolks so they don't curdle. Once most of the cream has been added slowly and the eggs mixture is hot, you can whisk the rest in all at once.

Cook the egg yolk mixture over the stove until it can coat the back of a spoon (and thus becomes custard). Don't, DON'T, DON'T boil, or the eggs will curdle. However, if they should curdle, carefully blend the custard in a blender until smooth again.

Strain the custard into the buttermilk and stir in the salt and the vanilla.

Cool the mixture for several hours until completely cool, then freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

It will be very soft at first (which isn't bad at all, just melty), but a few hours in the freezer makes it just the right consistency.

One of the best meals of my life- those waffles with currants and gooseberries and buttermilk ice cream and currant sorbet. Oh, and fresh whipped cream. Enjoyed on a cliff by a impossibly blue lake.

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