With summer in the air and 11 miles under my belt today, I figured a good way to kick off the regular blogging season (!!!) would be with a recipe for some classic vanilla ice cream.
Except this is no ordinary vanilla–this is the best dang vanilla ice cream that you will evah have, lemme tell you. Cross my heart and hope to die, I promise–well, cross my heart and hope you enjoy it as much as I do, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it. Oh, you know what I mean. 🙂
So last year, we gave my dad an ice cream maker for Father’s Day, and this past week we realized that we’d only pulled it out once in the entire time we’d had it (which kind of makes sense, given that no one is really ever in the mood for some Rocky Road when it’s 20 below freezing outside–I digress 😉 ) With a weekend promising 80 degree weather and only partly cloudy skies (we’ll take it!), we decided to bust it out. And we’re very glad we did. 😛
Now, you might be wondering what makes this particular ice cream so much better than regular ol’ Edy’s. It’s all frozen sugar milk in the end, right? But, as always, the fact that it’s homemade just makes all the difference. It tastes much richer and creamier than the tubs you can buy at the store, to start, so the texture’s just off the charts. It’s s-u-p-e-r smooth, almost like soft serve, and it coats your whole mouth with creamy, vanilla-y amazingness.
The other major (and I mean major with a capital M) difference is the vanilla flavor itself. After trying this, all of the storebought stuff will pale in comparison–you can tell that the homemade version is made from higher quality, fresher ingredients, and there’s no freezer burn to deal with! That’s always a plus, right?
The other thing I love about this is the simplicity of it all. No weird preservatives, no artificial flavoring or “diet” ingredients, just good, wholesome ice cream. Well.
Never mind ;).
Back to the ice cream and it’s beautiful simplicity. You take some whole milk, some heavy cream, a dash of sugar (alright, maybe a little more than a dash), and some pure vanilla extract. That’s it. You beat it all together with a handheld mixer, pour it in the freezer bowl, turn on the machine, and let it do what it was made to do. And, because of the ice cream maker we have (a Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2-Qt. Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet Ice Cream Maker, if you’re interested), you don’t need anything other than the machine itself. Simple! You’ll dump in the milk mixture and it will look like this…
…and half an hour later it looks like this <3…
It’s magic, I tell you!
The only complicated part of it all is making sure the freezer bowl is completely frozen before you try to make the ice cream. It sounds like it would be an easy thing to remember, but, knowing me, I managed to screw it up. 🙂 You see, I am the queen of on-the-spot baking. I never know what I’m going to make in advance, so I usually have the recipe pulled up on my phone, generally know the ingredients I’ll need, and then I’ll just go. Y’know, instead of “letting the butter sit at room temperature for a couple of hours”, I pop it in the microwave for fifteen seconds.
That doesn’t work when the freezer bowl has to stay in the freezer for anywhere from six to twenty-two hours before it’s ready to use…
…this post was supposed to be up yesterday…
And then, once you have this ice cream, you can do anything you want with it. Top your favorite pie (when I made it the first time, I served it with this peach cobbler), make some ice cream Oreos , or make it into some sundaes like I did here! Plop a scoop of ice cream down, drizzle on a layer of chocolate syrup, and add another scoop (of course). Top with copious amounts of whipped cream and sprinkles.
Let’s get to it, shall we?