Friday, May 22, 2009
It's a great feeling to have people over and be able to offer them homemade everything. You watch as your guests' jaws drop open when they request something like ketchup and you can say, "No problem, I just whipped up a batch last night."
My mom is the perfect example of this. Her pantry and fridge are chock full of homemade goodness. It's practically an obsession. If she needs a loaf of bread, she makes the absurd decision to start a loaf right then because that's less work than running to the store. Since when is homemade bread less work than, well, pretty much anything?
If my mom needs mayonnaise, she makes her own, again, to avoid going to the grocery store. Ok, and also because she's scared of storebought mayo for health reasons. She makes her own jam, too, and usually from fruits in her backyard. During fig season last year, she had quite the field day of canning. Doing all this at home is certainly not the faster, more convenient method, but to my mom, it's a no-brainer.
If my mom needs vanilla ice cream for hot fudge sundaes (and that need arises frequently!), she might just take a David Lebovitz recipe and do it herself. It's not that hard to do and it tastes a million times better than anything you can buy at the market. And it goes without saying, the hot fudge will be homemade, too. In fact, the only things that aren't homemade in that sundae are the sprinkles, although I wouldn't put it past her to figure out how to make sprinkles next.
I'm not a homemade-ist to the same extreme as my mom, but I get where she's coming from, and I feel that same need every once in awhile to opt out of the grocery store and do it the old-fashioned way. And when it comes to hot fudge sundaes, sprinkles really are the only forgivable storebought item.
This vanilla ice cream recipe is ridiculously easy because it's Philadelphia-style, meaning it does not contain eggs like the more challenging and time-intensive custard or French method. If you can master this vanilla recipe, and I promise you you can, then you pretty much have a base for a million other flavors. Add chocolate chips in the last few minutes of churning and you have chocolate chip ice cream. Swirl fudge in and drop pieces of brownie in the last few minutes of churning and yep, you've got vanilla fudge brownie ice cream. You get the idea; the sky's the limit. But first thing's first: master this recipe. You'll never buy vanilla ice cream again.
Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia-Style
Recipe by David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop
3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream (or the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk) and the vanilla extract.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Makes about 1 quart (1 liter).