A place at this table.
A huge network of love and support.
Food glorious food.
My amazing, incredible, beautiful little family.
What are you thankful for?
It’s supposed to be 80 degrees today, so it seems like a good time for the first ice cream post of the season! I discovered home-made ice cream when I first got my KitchenAid mixer, and every time I make it I struggle to remember why I don’t do it more often (other than the fact that it’s a 24-hour gratification process, which might really be enough of a reason).
I actually made this cinnamon ice cream for Thanksgiving last fall, to go with mom’s apple pie, and it was amazing. My favorite part of making my own ice cream is that the flavor is entirely up to me – if I want more or less of something, I don’t have to whine about Breyer’s choices – I just have to change the recipe! I have big plans for the ice cream season this year – chocolate, black raspberry, ginger… I also want to experiment with some sorbets and frozen yogert. We’ll see what I actually get around to.
Like the cardamom rose ice cream, this was a custard base, which I’m pretty sure just means you cook it. It’s a little time consuming because you have to watch and stir it constantly, but not terribly so, and the results are much creamier than an uncooked base.
Once the custard base is cooked, it has to be strained to make sure you didn’t get any clotted milk clumps (because that’s what milk and cream do when you cook them). This part involves too many hands, but it’s actually sort of fun. And ice baths look neat.
Once it’s strained and cooled a little, it has to be refrigerated overnight to completely chill it. Before you do that, you usually add most of the spices and flavorings (if they weren’t already in the custard). I use the same air-tight plastic containers for chilling that I do for freezing the completed ice cream, because I have tons of them.
I didn’t end up taking any pictures of the churning this time, for some reason, but it worked a lot like the cardamom rose or the peach ice cream I made ages ago – pour the chilled custard in the frozen mixer bowl (They have a separate bowl for this that also has to be frozen, so don’t let that throw you off if you’re making ice cream yourself. It needs at least 18 hours frozen, so I just keep mine in our chest freezer at the ready for “spontaneous” ice cream making.) and churn until it’s done, following the instructions in the ice cream maker manual. And every now and then sneak a taste of what’s splashed up the sides. (They always leave that part out of the directions, for some reason…)
Cinnamon ice cream was perfect with apple pie. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago – I’m pretty sure it’s going to become an annual occurrence. (Ha. I like to predict things, but I’m not so big on going back to see if I ever follow through. Don’t hold me to that.) But it’s also a really easy mix, since it’s just flavorings and no extra ingredients. Highly recommended!
Mmm, now I may need to sneak out for ice cream after my lunch.
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Sweat Pea’s Kitchen
Makes 1 quart
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 inch piece vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and seeds removed, pod reserved OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium sized bowl and set the bowl over a large container of ice water.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, cream, 1/2 cup sugar and the vanilla seeds and pod, stirring occasionally to break up the vanilla seeds, until steam appears and the liquid is hot (175 degrees) about 5 minutes.
- When the milk mixture is cooking, in a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar together until smooth.
- Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks to temper them.
- Then slowly whisk the tempered yolk mixture back into the remaining hot milk mixture.
- Continue to cook the custard mixture over medium heat until it is very hot but not simmering (180-185 degrees).
- Pour the custard mixture into the strainer bowl set in the ice bath and let cool, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the custard mixture from the ice bath and add cinnamon.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold (40 degrees), about 3 hours.
- Remove and discard the vanilla pod from the custard (or add the vanilla extract, if using) and stir well.
- Pour the custard into the ice cream machine canister and churn, following the manufacturer’s instructions, until the mixture resembles soft-serve ice cream, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, press plastic wrap flush against the surface, cover the container, and freeze the ice cream until firm, at least 2 hours.
Recipe Note: Two teaspoons of vanilla extract may be substituted for the vanilla bean. Stir it into the chilled custard just before churning. (I don’t like vanilla specks in my vanilla, so I went with extract. Also, beans are much more difficult than just pouring things out of a bottle.)
This year for Thanksgiving (yes, I’m finally getting around to the Thanksgiving posts), we initially decided we would be making “green bean casserole that doesn’t suck”. Two years in a row we have made green bean casserole that does suck, and for some strange reason for the third year we decided maybe we should do something different. Who knows – maybe we’re just tired of not wanting to eat our greens?
I looked around for alternative recipes and actually found a few that looked promising, but then I found this recipe in my new Joy of Cooking cookbook (there’s a story behind that – I promise I’ll tell you later) and thought maybe the solution to green bean casserole that doesn’t suck was to skip the green beans! We all love broccoli (and anyone who doesn’t should learn – it’s the vegetable of champions), and we definitely all love cheese, so really how could we go wrong?
Well, we made it. I feel a bit as if I’ve just emerged from a food-coma-induced cloud, only to discover that someone filled my fridge with delicious leftovers.
Since this is my third annual Biggest Little Thanksgiving, I thought I had this down. I thought that making a ton of food was making a ton of food; because it is, isn’t it? I failed to take into account two important factors: 1) the size/quantity of the bird(s), and 2) people, and therefore time.
A closer look at mom’s apple pie:
And a brief look at our delicious ham rolls:
This cranberry sauce stole the show. I picked the recipe, but Caitlin babied it through the whole process, beginning with all the crazy ingredients, and ending with things not working the way they were supposed to.
After all the effort, though, it was the best cranberry sauce I have ever had. I would make it again in a heartbeat. (If I had an extra hour or two to spend hunched over a stove…) (Also, I say that fully aware that it was not me hunched over the stove this time.)
Not a whole lot to say about this one. This is as close as you get to the “traditional” southern green bean casserole, and we made it last year, and we accidentally made the same recipe this year, and it’s just not very impressive.
On the up side, it’s very, very easy to make. Chopping the green beans is the hardest part. The rest comes from cans. (more…)