Saturday, November 11, 2023

Sweet Cream Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

When I moved to the country and bound myself to a 40-minute drive to the food store, I resolved that I would make all my own ice cream, and for eight years I have done just that. There are lots of great books about ice cream, but there are three I prize in my library and recommend to anyone who wants to go on this journey.

The first two books are Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home and Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, both by Jeni Britton Bauer

Jeni developed her technique for making ice cream using cream cheese as the stabilizer and generously wrote two books letting us in on her method, uniquely practical for the home cook. I use Jeni's method all the time, most often making the Sweet Cream Ice Cream in Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts. There is always a pint of this in my freezer.

You may be lucky enough to live in a place where Jeni has a Scoop Shop, or you may be able to get her delicious ice cream at your local store, or you can order it here. If you have any issues tolerating milk or have guests who don't eat dairy products coming over, I highly recommend her Lemon Bar, which is so delicious you will be eating spoonfuls out of the freezer whether you have an issue with lactose or not.

The third book I found, which includes a shout-out to Jeni, is Hello, My Name is Ice Cream by Dana Cree. No matter what books or recipes you decide to use for making ice cream, this book will be an excellent addition to your library. It explains the science of ice cream in basic understandable language. It is endlessly usable, thorough, and interesting. 

With these books you can make delicious ice cream and adapt any other recipes to Jeni's brilliant method.

There is another book I have recently acquired, LaGrotta: Ice Creams and Sorbets: a Cookbook by Kitty Travers. I am currently reading it all the way through like a novel. It's a beautiful book full of innovative ideas, which I plan to explore through the next four seasons. I am dreaming of going to her workshop in the UK. 

This ice cream is lovely and delicate with only the taste of milk and cream - what Italians call flor di latte - the flavor of milk - and can be applied to mozzarella or, as in this case, gelato. It is definitely NOT vanilla and is splendid in its simplicity. I once spent a week in Italy eating only this flavor every day to compare them gelateria to gelateria. The best one was in Florence, which turned out to be the city of my dreams (which does not change London as the city I would most like to live in if I had to choose a city other than my own). 

David at the Accademia Gallery in Florence
Sweet Cream Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

600g whole milk
336g heavy cream
150g granulated sugar (I use Domino Golden Sugar)
3 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup (what I use) or corn syrup 
14g Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour (what I use) or cornstarch
56g cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

First steps  

Weigh the tapioca flour or cornstarch into a tiny bowl - the kind you use when prepping and doing a mise en place

Weigh out the 56 grams of cream cheese onto a small flat plate and add the 1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt and press it into the cream cheese with the times of a fork. You are going to add some hot mixture to this in a while, so for now put it into a container you will later be able to add heated milk to. If you have an immersion blender, it will work well here. I have a container that came with my immersion blender so that's what I put it in.

Measure the Lyle's Golden Syrup into a small glass - I use a 5-ounce measuring glass. If you like, you can heat this a little in the microwave (for about 30 seconds) so it's easier to pour. 

Next steps

Into the pan you are using on the stove, put the milk, then take a small amount of that milk and put it into the little prep bowl holding the tapioca starch or cornstarch and mix it well, eliminating any lumps. Set this aside. 

Add the heavy cream to the pan with the milk, then add the sugar and the Lyle's, stir, and bring to a low boil. Boil this mixture for 4 minutes, stirring the whole time. Turn off the heat,  and stir the mixture in the pan well, then stir the tapioca/milk mixture (or cornstarch/milk mixture) you have set aside to make sure it's still smooth, and add it to the pan on the stove. Stirring constantly, bring it back to a boil, and boil for ONE minute, no more. Push the pan off the heat. 

You now want to mix a little of the hot mixture in the pan with the cream cheese you have already put in a container. An immersion blender does this well. Otherwise, stir it to combine well. Add this back into the pan and stir. Strain this through a sieve. I strain it into an 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup, which easily holds it and is easy to pour from. Now pour the strained mixture into a tallish container with a lid (what I do) or a Zip Lock bag making sure it is completely and well sealed (not what I do) and chill in an ice bath. For the ice bath I use a large stainless steel bowl. Put the container with the mixture in it into the bowl, add enough cold water to the bowl to cover the mixture (without letting it get into the mixture), and either use ice cubes or reusable ice packs (much easier) to chill it. Once it has cooled down enough, put it in the refrigerator, and keep it there long enough for it to get very cold. I usually leave it overnight to cure it.

When it is cold, spin the mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. I pack it into two pint cardboard ice cream containers and place in the freezer. (I cut a small circle of parchment to sit on top before I put the top of the container on. I keep 6-inch parchment circles on hand to use for this.) 

It's best if it sits in the freezer for 8 hours before eating so leaving it in the refrigerator overnight to and spinning it in the morning is great.


After successfully using a Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker for years, at a friend's suggestion I upgraded to the Lello 4080 Musso Lusino 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Maker and like it very much. David Lebovitz recently wrote about getting the Breville compressor ice cream maker, and he said he likes it very much.

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