Sunday, 13 December 2009

Odd but nice. Nice but odd.



This is a post for Kristina, who makes beautiful-looking ice cream, and seems to make it properly, unlike some of us....

My brother in law, John, who (along with my sister) will be visiting for a couple of days after Christmas, is very fond of ice cream, so I'm stockpiling some in different flavours for him, with total, uncaring disregard for his waistline. One batch of favourite mocha with chunks of chocolate (Lindt Coffee Intense, should you wish to know) is in the freezer, and last night I set out to make a batch of Butter Pecan. I like the simplicity of the Ben & Jerry recipe book, and often tweak the ingredients a little, but I wanted maple syrup with the pecans, and that meant combining two very different recipes. Undaunted, I gave it a go. Failed ice cream is still edible, no? I didn't know, but I'd assume so.....

So off I went, a bit late in the evening for such risky endeavours, and not long after a brain-damaging trek round Ikea, confident that another effortless batch of something good would be in the freezer within the hour.

Once the interestingly-salty pecans, sauteed in a wicked amount of butter, were cooling, a combination of sugar and maple syrup was added to the eggs, milk and cream. Definitely not diet food, this, not scientifically informed either - just a rough guess at how much syrup would do in place of sugar, and no guessing at all about whether or not it would work. Tra-la-la - see me work without wires!

First off, the frozen disc, the essential element of using an ice cream maker, didn't seem terribly solidly frozen when I took it out of the freezer, which is itself very solidly frozen, desperately in need of defrosting and sorting out (so much rhubarb!). Not a good sign. But I was all ready to go by then, mixture put together, and couldn't leave it for longer.

The mixture was churned, the crunchy, salty, buttery pecans added, and all poured into the containers. It was still far too runny. I would have to employ the old-fashioned freeze-and-scratch-with-a-fork technique. A dipped finger tasting pronounced it very flavoursome, maybe good warmed through and used as a sauce, should all else fail. Scooter pushed the lid of the cream container all round the kitchen floor for ten minutes.

I turned up the settings on the freezer in a devil-may-care fashion, and went off to cosset James and knit a few rows of the lumpy scarf*. And immediately, I forgot all about my Frankenstein ice cream.

This morning, I noticed the super-freeze light still on, and with the guilty start that is becoming all too commonplace now that we are carbon-footprint aware, had a look at the hybrid mix. It looked terrible, all the pecans having floated to the top**, but it was solid. I expected a nasty texture with ice crystals. I scooped a little bit, and to my relief found that it was absolutely delicious, with a buttery, face-cream smoothness and a wonderful contrast between the salt and sweetness. I'm not sure it's ice cream, but I'm sure we'll eat it. Maybe with a warm cake of some sort.... Our waistlines have been warned.

* Still lumpy, but almost finished!
**Proper ice cream makers are welcome to tell me what I did wrong, apart from the complete forgetting, of course.

6 comments:

Fran Hill said...

I swear I felt my waistline expanding just reading this. Oh yummy, yum, yum.

Shelagh said...

Sign me up! Sounds to me as if you've invented a new receipe. Or at the very least, improved on the old one.I have come to expect no less:-)

Isabelle said...

Goodness, I've never even considered making ice cream. Still, as you say, with those ingredients it's got to be good.

A whole post without kitty pics?

rachel said...

I didn't even like ice cream much till I tried some wonderful stuff in Suffolk last year. And home made is as different from mass-produced as home baked bread is from cotton-woolly yeast-free sliced white.

No cat pictures because new cat is hiding, perhaps permanently, and I am trying hard to stay positive about him, and the others are upstairs on hunger strike...

pennygj said...

I have never used an icecream maker so can't give any advice but that sounds completely yummy!

Dartford Warbler said...

Ooh, that does sound good!

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