Last weekend we had our practical in school. I did well. Granted, I practiced a great deal ahead of time and failed once or twice as well. Our practical included a written test; we also had to create a flourless chocolate soufflé as well as creme anglaise, which is the base for french ice cream.
I gotta admit to something. Up until this exercise, I never, ever would have opted to eat an egg-based ice cream. But this is damn great stuff. For those unfamiliar (as I was), you can’t taste the eggs at all. I guess I ignorantly thought you’d be able to! It’s just ice cream, rich, creamy ice cream. It’s wonderful.
Today, I’d like to share that recipe with you.
What you will need
- Medium-sized saucepan
- 2 Bowls
- Ice Water
- 1 pint half and half (or 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup milk)
- 1/4 of a vanilla bean
- 4 ounces of sugar
- 6 egg yolkes
Mom It Down!
Separate out your yolks. Whisk them together. (I saved my whites to use for egg white omelets and/or egg-white based desserts like meringue.)
Combine half and half, sugar and scraped out vanilla bean in a saucepan.
Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat. (Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the next few steps because it all happens so fast that I didn’t have time to stop with the camera. Next time, I’ll get Toby Joe to take them so that every step is featured.)
Combine 1/3 of the hot mixture into the yolks whisking the entire time. (You want to temper the eggs but not scramble them, hence the constant whisking.) Add that mixture back into saucepan.
Continue to heat that mixture over medium heat for 30 to 60 seconds stirring the entire time. You do not want the mixture to boil. YOU DO NOT WANT TO OVERCOOK IT. You do not want the eggs to cook. (It’s easy to do!) The mixture will thicken a bit. Once that happens and it’s coating the sides of the pan or you’re able to run your finger over the back of a metal spoon without the liquid coming back together again, you are done! Strain it immediately into a bowl over ice. The strainer will collect some pieces of cooked egg. This is normal. Let that cool and then refrigerate overnight.
You’re ready to make your ice cream! And damn is it awesome.
Feed to kid.
The key is to not overcook the base. So keep an eye on it. It really should be thick and ready to go in a minute. If you remove it from the heat and it doesn’t seem thick enough, then just go ahead and put it back on. It’s better to undercook and then reheat it right away than to overcook it. Because once it’s overcooked, there’s no saving it.
Creme anglaise is super easy to do, once you get the hang of how it’s done. And the whole process (including the egg separating and prep of ingredients) takes about 15 minutes tops—less if you’re good at separating eggs. :]
Flavor the ice cream however you want! Simply omit the vanilla and add whatever flavor you might want. You can also add chips or nuts, but do that by hand after the ice cream is made and ready to serve.