Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ice Cream Experiment Update

A month ago Tim said, "Hey, you used to make home made ice cream all the time and haven't for a long time." I said, "Cream costs more in Colorado."

But it got me thinking, and I gave up on cream and am trying new ice "cream" flavors anyway. We've been using milk. Sometimes we add that poor-folk cream standby, evaporated milk (slightly different flavor, but you can even whip it like whipped cream).

So we tried pear ice cream. It worked okay. Tasted like canned pear juice. No surprise, since we used pureed canned pears, with the juice, for the flavoring. It was unusually, beautifully white. And surprisingly rich for pears, sugar, and milk. Nobody wants to eat a big bowlful, though. My judgement of the "goodness" of ice cream is how fast it disappears. This went, slowly but steadily, over a couple of weeks. We still have some left.

The next experiment was cake batter flavor. It tasted JUST like cake batter. But really, who wants to eat a Whole Bowlfull of cake batter? Nobody. Not even the kids. It would taste better with chocolate syrup, but this flavor I consider a flop. Too floury. There's quite a lot left of this one.

But I think I've hit on the real deal this time.

We've been experimenting with puddings (church brand pudding has to be mixed in a kitchenaid and not following their instructions to work, and we've been trying to enliven the usual "vanilla" and "chocolate" routines). So my most recent pudding masterpiece was Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, which was so good we ate it instead of lunch--even Tim had a lot, and he's avoiding sugar (fairly successfully, too) lately. It was as easy as peanut butter cup pudding. While the pudding is in its "two minutes of mixing" phase, drop in a tablespoon of raspberry jam. That's all it takes to create a fabulous tasty treat--tastes really fancy, like you'd get it at a formal wedding reception or fancier event served in crystal stemware with a swirl of whipped cream and a real berry on top. I want to try it stirred with cool whip to make chocolate raspberry truffle mousse--and that would make a great cake cream to go between layers of cake (and to frost it--yum!).

So my next ice cream flavors? Chocolate raspberry truffle frozen mousse, and peanut butter cup frozen custard. I've done frozen custard before, and, unless you have a fabulous pudding flavor, it tastes boring. But now I have two fabulous pudding flavors. Frozen custard is easy. Make the pudding. Before it sets up, whisk in all the milk, cream, half-and-half (or just milk for us here) required to fill the ice cream canister to the fill line. Then freeze it.

We'll let you know how it comes out.

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