Ice Cream Sunday
So after our carnitas last week, kick started by the 90 degree weather, my mind immediately shifted into make-my-own-ice-cream mode and we broke out the Cuisinart for the season. I had meant to post about this earlier than today, but there was a little voice in my head holding me back. Because, you see, the first ice cream flavor we made — while it was a great end to a meal of tacos and sangria and Mexican flavors — was something I found after a few days I just couldn’t really eat anymore. So I have two ice cream flavors for you today, one to make up for the slightly lackluster results of the first.
Let’s get right down to it: what was the first flavor that I was so excited about as a finish to our carnitas? Avocado.
It’s not that the flavors weren’t good together — avocado blended with sour cream, heavy cream, sugar and lime juice do taste great together — and I certainly did really like it the first day I ate it. But as the days went on, I just found it was just super, super rich, almost buttery (yes, Amy, that’s what 3 avocados + sour cream + heavy cream will do) and I could only eat a little tiny scoop at a time, then just got kind of sick of it. So, while I think it would be a fun flavor to make for something like a taco or Cinco de Mayo party, where everyone could try a small scoop, it’s probably just not a flavor you want to load up a big bowl with (warning: the amount in bowl in the above picture is too much. You can try it, but you might be sorry.)
like avocado ice cream icebergs
This left me feeling a little bit empty and unsatisfied inside. I needed an outstanding ice cream to balance out my ambivalence on the avocado attempt. As luck would have it, I was recently tweeting with Dave about homemade ice cream and he raved about Deb’s buttermilk ice cream…which I also happened to have at the top of my list to try! Buttermilk it was, and oh, let me tell you — you will NOT be sorry if you make this ice cream. This is, hands down, one of the very best homemade ice creams I’ve ever made. Italics fail to describe how wonderful it is.
Now, I’ve never been one to down a big glass of buttermilk like some people do, but I do love the tang it gives to baked goods. And for those of you who are worried this ice cream might be like a cold version of a straight glass of buttermilk, let me reassure you: it’s the perfect balance of super-high-quality vanilla bean ice cream with just a little subtle tang underneath…it’s outstanding. Almost tastes like a kissing cousin of cheesecake, and it would be fantastic as a stand-in for vanilla bean ice cream on fruit crisps and cobblers and pies this summer (in fact, I’m already planning to keep a quart of it in my freezer all summer for just this purpose.) Can I gush anymore about it? Oh, you can use anywhere from 6 to 12 egg yolks, which turn it a beautiful golden color (especially if you use eggs from pastured hens, where the yolks are vibrantly yellow-orange) and give it a smooth, custardy, rich flavor. It scoops beautifully (that’s all the eggs talking!)
Okay. Gushing done, let the pictures commence.
6 egg yolks, awaiting their delicious destiny
cook the custard until it coats the back of a spoon
stir the buttermilk into the custard mixture
churn, churn, churn
so, so tasty
Just to push it over the top, we had scoops of it nestled into profiteroles, served with blueberry sauce…delicious!!
a little something special
Avocado Ice Cream
From The Perfect Scoop
3 large avocados, pitted and flesh cut into chunks
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Big pinch of salt
Puree the avocado chunks, sour cream, heavy cream, sugar and lime juice in a blender until smooth. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
Makes about 1 quart.
Buttermilk Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 to 12 large egg yolks (I used 6)
2 cups buttermilk
pinch of salt
1/2 a vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
Bring the cream and 1 cup of the sugar to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat (if you’re using the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the cream while it heats as well.)
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
After the cream comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and dribble a small amount into the egg yolks, whisking them constantly, to temper. Continue slowly adding the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking all the while. Once everything is incorporated, return the mixture to the saucepan where you heated the cream.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl and mix in the 2 cups of buttermilk (and the vanilla extract if you are using that instead of the vanilla bean.) Cool this mixture completely, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Makes about 2 quarts.