Down the road from us is lady with a yard filled with chickens running around and laying eggs. The egg shells come in rainbow colors — almost like Easter eggs without the artificial dye. Inside, each egg is radiant with an intensely orange yolk and lovely white that whips to a perfect meringue.
This weekend we put seven of those eggs to good use: for ice cream and meringue cookies. Today is the ice cream recipe, tomorrow is the meringue.
Bruce Weinstein is an accomplished cookbook author with a half dozen serious books under his belt. Along with Mark Scarbrough, Bruce writes about all foods but with two ice cream books in his repertoire we can guess at his preferences.
In The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, you get, well, a very solid list of all kinds of ice creams, sorbets and toppings. Besides some standards, like chocolate and banana, there are some “got-to-try” recipes like Earl Grey and cashew. But on Sunday, with our eggs in hand, Suzen and I went through the book page by page with one goal. Flavor was an important but we were looking for the most decadent, the most rich, the most over-the-top egg-based ice cream we could find. Vanilla Ice Cream #2 (Extra Rich and Creamy) fit the bill. You get one quart of ice cream using a mere 7 large egg yolks. [You are not obligated to disclose this recipe to your cardiologist.]
Bruce’s recipes are simple to follow, with few ingredients, but get their superb flavor from just the right balance of components. Well, 7 yolks may seem a bit unbalanced to you at the moment, but you’ll know you have struck gold when you take this delight out of your ice cream machine. Surprisingly, the ice cream is not intensely yellow from all those yolks, but it has does have a hint of golden hue in its rich custard consistency. It’s hard to get all that new ice cream out of the container with just a spatula. You’ll have to use your fingers. You’ll probably want to lick them.
By itself, this ice cream is decadent. Teamed with a topping or over cake or pie or with berries added, this is the perfect end to any meal. Particularly if you dinner has left strong flavors lingering in your mouth — say a meat roast — this ice cream is the ideal way to cleanse your palette and give you a continuing feeling of satisfaction. This is serious ice cream, for devotees or addicts only.
Vanilla Ice Cream #2 (Extra Rich and Creamy)
Yield: 1 quart
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
7 large eggs yolks [the fresher the eggs the better!]
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract [yes, tablespoon]
With so many egg yolks in this recipe, it’s easy to “scramble” this custard. So, either use a very low heat or cook this custard in a double boiler or stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water. This takes a bit longer, but it is the safe way to ensure a smooth custard.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar and salt into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow. Set aside.
Bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a heavy medium sauce pan. Slowly beat the hot half-and-half into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over very low eat or in a double boiler. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.
Source: The Ultimate Ice Cream Bookby Bruce Weinstein