DIY Ice Cream with Pastry Chef Rachel Miller
Rachel Miller Finished ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt is eaten directly from the containers, with a side of poundcake.
As the monsoon storms roll in to smother the dry heat, Phoenix inhabitants have begun to hibernate in the chill of their air-conditioned homes. Transporting frosty treats is near impossible, as they melt into puddles before we can puzzle-piece them into our already packed freezers.
I'm a custard freak. During custards class in culinary school, I gained five pounds from those eggy-sugary chilled concoctions. While working my first kitchen job, I always volunteered to be the one to spin the ice cream, just so I could taste-test each flavor that the ice cream machines churned out.
In lieu of venturing outside, it's time to get creative with the ingredients we already have, and break out the ice cream maker that has been gathering dust in the pantry. Follow our ice cream tips, and get ready to enjoy a cold treat, from the comfort of your air-conditioned home.
Rachel Miller Spinning lemon yogurt.
Ice cream base is very simple to make; all it takes is a little patience and vigilance at the stove. I use a simple $60 ice cream machine from Cuisinart that requires you to freeze the bowl before use. It is nothing fancy, and after five years of using it, it runs like a champ, making perfect ice cream every time. I have even used it to test small batches of ice cream recipes in restaurants.
- Always make sure your ice cream maker bowl is completely frozen. I have attempted to spin ice cream in a bowl that is slushy-sounding inside, and the results are soupy. If you know you want to make ice cream flavors back-to-back, I suggest investing in a second bowl.
- Standing at the hot stove stirring a custard in this weather is not ideal, but I promise the rewards are worth it. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up on the custard to get it to thicken faster. You will end up with a broken custard if you get overly harsh with your heat.
- Thus leading to this tip: for a broken custard, immediately take an immersion blender to your custard and it should pull the custard back together. Your ice cream may taste a little egg-ier, but it will still be delicious.
Rachel Miller Eggs waiting to become a delicious custard.
- Chill your bases completely before putting them in your ice cream maker and spinning.
- When using booze in an ice cream, be cautious about how much you add. As you know from storing vodka in the freezer, alcohol doesn't freeze. Find that balance of how much you can add where your ice cream will still freeze.
- Since it is currently very hot, I like to pop my spun ice cream into the freezer for a couple of hours, to let it firm up a bit more before serving. Definitely do this if you are intending to douse your ice cream with hot fudge or hot caramel sauce.
- Please adapt these recipes and make flavors or combinations that you love. Part of experimenting in your own kitchen is the fun of getting to play mad chef!
- Read the ice cream recipe from start to finish, and prep all your tools ahead of time. It will make the whole process a lot easier.