A few weeks ago, it was cold. Well, cold for Southern California, meaning it was somewhere in the 70s. But I still got the insane idea to make ice cream. Now, it’s been well over a year since I’d used my ice cream maker, so I’m not quite sure why the idea to use it popped into my head.
Well, maybe it’s because I was a bit caught up in making custard and I know custard can be used to make ice cream. When my husband and I were traveling across the county almost a decade ago, we stayed for a bit of time in the Midwest with one of my aunts. She introduced us to something called concrete, or super thick ice cream also called custard. I must be honest and say I was really confused about that for a few years. Until I started watching Chopped on the Food Network and realized a lot of them were making a custard to turn it into ice cream.
So, custard or ice cream? I now look at the custard I’ve made and wonder if I might like it better as ice cream.
Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. If it’s chocolate custard, my daughter will demand, well, most of it. I might get a spoonful in. Honestly, using 3 eggs does not produce a whole lot of custard. But I’m afraid of using up all of our eggs for the week on a massive amount of custard. Or just a somewhat larger amount so I can enjoy it, too. Oh, and the ice cream maker I have needs to be put into the freezer for about half a day. So, I have to plan to make ice cream.
I do enjoy custard, especially when I make it a bit thicker. When it isn’t quite so thick, I’ve found it’s really great with berries. But it’s the thick custards I really like. Then I don’t feel so much like I’m drinking my dessert.
But I also love knowing I’m making my own ice cream. Though I should remember to strain it as the ice cream I made had bits of egg! Yes, I got a little carried away and didn’t want to do another step. But it wasn’t bad; just had a bit of eggy texture. Great if you enjoy scrambled eggs. In ice cream.
Anyways, back to a few weeks ago when I had the brilliant idea of making ice cream while it was cold outside. Now, I can’t really eat ice cream, especially when it’s cold, because it makes me cough, but my kids adore ice cream. They could probably be in the middle of a blizzard and still want ice cream. I thought I might be able to save us a trip by making my own. So, I popped my ice cream maker into the freezer.
My kids had no interest in making ice cream with me. My daughter, at 2.5 years old, only wanted to stir the custard while it was cooking on the stove. Since we have a gas stove, I spent most of the time trying to explain to her why it wasn’t safe for her to do so. Not only was there an open flame, but the pot and mixing bowl get hot. My son kept yelling that no, he did not want to help every time I asked. Junior chef he will likely not be.
I wasn’t quite sure how thick to make the custard since I hadn’t actually done much reading on how to make ice cream. And it had been probably about 2 years since I’d actually followed a recipe to make any ice cream. Needless to say, I was doing a fair bit of guesswork.
Once the custard was decently thick, after about 15-20 minutes of cooking, I took out my ice cream mixer, set it up, and then poured the hot custard straight into it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done that, but it still mixed up and froze well. My kids just complained that it was noisy. One thing I did know was that I needed to wait until the end to add in any mix-ins. We had a box of Oreos no one was eating, so I decided cookies and cream would be a great first ice cream of the year.
Well, the ice cream wasn’t perfect. My kids didn’t like the artificial vanilla taste, but real vanilla extract, much less vanilla beans, is pricey. And, seriously, I go through so much of it that I’d rather stick with the cheap stuff that does the job just well enough. Or not well enough in this case. The ice cream was also, as I wrote about above, full of pieces of scrambled eggs, so it was a bit awkward to eat. Still, it wasn’t bad, and makes me wonder:
Custard or ice cream?