Frozen favorites: Indulge in custard and other frozen treats without the long line
Indulge in custard and other frozen treats without the long lines
Johnny Andrews, Mct
Would you like to try to reproduce the summer custard-stand experience at home?
The bad news is that you probably won't be able to get your hands on one of the prepackaged mixes virtually all frozen-custard stands use. (What, you thought they kept a few thousand eggs in the back room?) Nor will you have access to the industrial-strength churning and freezing machines that result in the denseness that allows that nifty inversion trick for which our best-known local stand is famous.
The good news is that eggs, in fact, are what differentiates frozen custard from regular ice cream. And the small quantities you're going to produce allow you to use fresh eggs in every batch.
We'll get you started with a basic Vanilla Frozen Custard recipe that includes a variation for a Cookies and Cream version that might remind you of one of your favorite local flavors. If you're not in the mood for cookies, substitute another favorite mix-in instead.
If you'd like to feature some additional flavors but don't want to work as hard, we've also included an ultra-simple way of making Pineapple Ice Cream — not frozen custard, but still richly flavored. And if you don't mind a few extra steps, take a look at Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream, which uses buttermilk and cream cheese to tack on an added layer of richness.
If you really, truly want to make it seem like your favorite local stand, invite several dozen of your friends. Just be sure to get your home ice-cream machine churning away several days in advance.
VANILLA FROZEN CUSTARD
Yield: 4 servings
1¾ cups heavy cream
¾ cup 1 percent or 2 percent milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together cream, milk, ¼ cup sugar and salt. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the knife to scrape the seeds carefully from the bean. Add the seeds and the split bean to the pan.
2. Put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture just begins to bubble around the edges, remove from the heat, cover the pan and let steep for about 30 minutes.
3. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in the remaining ¼ cup sugar until smooth. Set aside.
4. Uncover the cream mixture and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
5. Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
6. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula or wooden spoon, and holds a clear path when you run your finger along the spatula or spoon, 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container in an ice-water bath, wash your spatula and stir occasionally until the mixture is cool. Remove from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least 2 hours, or overnight.
8. Add the vanilla extract and stir until blended.