Before I start writing, I need to confess: I am failing. It’s true. My goal of cooking an Alton application once every two weeks sounded like an easy feat… but it isn’t. I’m not complaining here, I’m simply stating why this is harder than it seems. One, I’ve found I have no money. I mean, I knew this before, but when you begin spending what little money you have on cooking supplies and food… well, you really have no money. Two, I just recently got engaged! James asked me to marry him November 1, and I’m still so excited and jittery like it just happened! I could create an entire blog based solely on how lucky I am to be the one to marry him… but let’s be honest with one another — If you’ve read my blogs, you should know by now James is man many can never compete against. Anyway, I apologize to you because my cooking… and blogging… have fallen behind. I was naive to think wedding planning was a cinch so now most of my free time is dedicated to that. I do, however, promise if by June 2, 2012 I have not completed Alton’s cookbook, rest assured — James and I will be making applications faster than the food can be purchased! *Deep breath* I’m glad I got that out. So, on that note, I admit this next application was made in the summer… yes, yes. The summer. I realize there is now snow on the ground outside my house, but we’re just going to have to pick up where we left off… Episode 6: “Churn, Baby, Churn.” Guessed what it is yet? I would offer clues, but I’m too excited — It’s ICE CREAM! Have I mentioned yet I *adore* ice cream? If I were stranded on a deserted island, and I could only have one thing with me… it would be a toss-up between chapstick… James… and ice cream. (Sorry James). I love ice cream, and I’ve never had a flavor I didn’t like. Heck, if they made oyster ice cream, I’ll admit, I’d probably enjoy it. But oysters aside, we’re talking “Very Serious Vanilla.” Yep. Plain. Simple. Vanilla. (And for those that don’t like vanilla, remember — Vanilla is a chameleon; if you have this flavor, you can have practically any flavor. How can you beat that?
Alton starts by saying, “When I first developed this recipe, more than a few folks thought the peach preserves were a crazy addition.” I have to say, I agreed. Who adds peach preserves to their vanilla ice cream!? I about passed out. I’m an old-time ice cream loving type of gal, and peach preserves just didn’t float my boat… but it is Alton. Who I trust… so I went ahead and added it because Alton says the preserves “smoothes out the texture… and elevates the subtler flavor of the vanilla.” Who can argue against that? Answer: Certainly not I. To start with, I stuck my candy thermometer on the side of my pot and waited until (what I thought) my preserves, sugar, vanilla bean (this includes the pod… which Alton didn’t say, but did write later “take the pod out of the pot”) and salt were melted.
But apparently I didn’t wait long enough. When I was pouring the liquid into my ice cream machine, there were large chunks of the preserves still at the bottom of the pot. Note for you: If you make this application, ensure you whisk the ingredients thoroughly. And when I say “thoroughly” I mean, thor-ough-ly. I whisked until my arm hurt, but it apparently wasn’t enough.
Side note: Making ice cream is not easy, mainly for someone like me who wants instant goodness. After you mix the ingredients in the pot, it has to to to the freezer for several hours. I knew this going into to it, but if you’re looking to eat ice cream right away, plan a day in advance.
The next day, I took my not-so-well-blended-liquid out of the freezer and put it to the test. The result: Beautiful ice cream. Alton recommends leaving your ice cream in the machine until it doubles in size… because the difference between ice cream and frozen liquid is simply air. By working air into the mixture, you get fluffy ice cream.
In the end, my ice cream was good — peach preserve chunks and all (which PS-were not noticeable in the finished product). I will note though this wasn’t my favorite application. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been raised on the store-bought ice cream, but I expected something much different. I think the peach preserves made the ice cream too sweet… and un-vanilla-like. You’re probably thinking, “Well of course peach preserves did!”, but do give it a chance because the ice cream in no way, shape, or form tasted anything peach… it just wasn’t fully vanilla. So the next time I fix this application, I’m going to test it without the preserves. I will add though while I liked my ice cream, my sister adored it… and she’s hard to please because she loves ice cream almost as much as I do. In fact, I had one bowl of it… and her and her boyfriend finished the rest of the quart! They even wanted to borrow my ice cream machine later to make it again! As I’m noticing, anyone can get compliments on their food. The true test is do they go back for seconds? Thirds? Fourths? I love it, and if I could have made six more quarts just for Trista and Nick, I would have.
PS-I think I explained in my last post, my camera died. That’s why I had to take these pictures with my cell phone so they’re a little grainy, cream and not bright. PPS-Next up, sorbet. Did you know ice cream is flavored *cream*… and sorbet is just flavored *water*? It’s true. And sherbet is flavored *milk*… while gelato is flavored *heavy cream.* Fascinating.