This week I wanted to make at least one recipe from Cornerstone Cooking just to give you a taste of what’s in the book.
The final chapter in the book is on ice cream which may not seem like a cornerstone dish at first glance, but it actually works really well. The chapter starts with a killer vanilla ice cream recipe, but of course you could use store-bought ice cream for any of the follow-up recipes in the chapter.
While I love vanilla ice cream, some people see it as kind of bland so I also include four fun variations for ice cream in the chapter. Three of these four variations are impossible to find in stores (at least to my knowledge).
This recipe is one of those variations and it’s just amazing on a hot day (right around the corner).
1) Combine milk, honey, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan and heat until it is almost simmering over medium heat. Stir frequently so honey dissolves.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together yolks and sugar until the mixture is a light yellow color.
3) Slowly whisk 1 cup of warm milk mixture into yolk mixture so it warms slowly, tempering it.
4) Whisk warm yolk mixture back into saucepan with milk.
5) Return pan to heat and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon or spatula, about 5 minutes.
6) In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk and vanilla. Strain warm custard mixture into coconut milk and whisk to combine.
7) Chill mixture until it's chilled completely. If you don't want to wait, then set the bowl in an ice bath and stir for 10-15 minutes and it will completely chill the custard mixture.
8) Churn the ice cream according to your machine instructions.
9) Store ice cream in a freezer-safe dish until it's frozen solid. I recommend removing it from the freezer and stirring vigorously every hour as it freezes to break up the ice crystals. It will result in a smoother finished product.
The base for most ice cream recipes is a milk and sugar mixture. This one is similar but I just substituted honey instead of sugar which gives the ice cream an amazingly rich flavor. If you can, try to get good honey for this. The flavor really shines. Add the pinch of salt to this mixture also.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add your egg yolks and sugar. A little bit of sugar is actually important because it helps the eggs fluff up a bit as they are being whisked. Don’t substitute this sugar with more honey.
Whisk these together until they form a nice, light yellow mixture.
Most ice creams involve some sort of custard mixture and this one is no different. Heat your milk and honey mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it’s almost simmering. Then slowly pour about a cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.
Whisk like crazy while you do this. The goal is to gently warm the yolks so they don’t curdle.
Once the yolk mixture is tempered, you can slowly whisk it BACK into the hot milk mixture.
This might be a bit stressful the first time you do it, but if you do it once or twice, you’ll be an expert.
Add this custard mixture back to the heat (medium-low) and stir continuously as it thickens. In about five minutes it’ll start to get really thick so it easily coats a spoon or spatula. That means you can draw a line through it with your finger and it’ll stay separated for a few seconds.
Notice all the little specks on my spatula? That’s because I didn’t do a great job of tempering my eggs.
Finishing the Mixture
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and vanilla and then strain the custard mixture into the coconut mixture.
It’s not essential that you strain it, but you will probably have some egg curdles and you won’t end up with a totally smooth product unless you strain them out.
It’s an easy step. You just need a strainer.
Once your ice cream mixture is all together you have two options.
1) You could chill it in the fridge for about eight hours.
2) If you are impatient like me, you can set the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water and stir the mixture for about 15 minutes. That will chill it down really quickly and you’ll be ready to go.
Then just add the mixture to your ice cream machine and churn it according to the machine instructions.
Mine takes about 20 minutes to get to a nice soft-serve consistency.
Storing the Ice Cream
Once the ice cream is a soft-serve consistency, scoop it into a freezer-safe dish and freeze it solid. I recommend taking it out and stirring it every 60-90 minutes as it freezes to break up the ice crystals. It’ll result in a smoother ice cream.
A Secondary Recipe
Ice cream is really versatile. Obviously you can make milkshakes all day with it, but below is one of the more fun recipes I came up with for left over ice cream. I used a chocolate ice cream in the pictures but you could use any ice cream.
Basically you just line a muffin tin with plastic wrap and then scoop in your ice cream.
Top each little tin with a mixture of graham crackers and melted butter and then freeze them solid.
When they are frozen just pop them out of the muffin tin and peel off the plastic. Frost them with some whipped cream and you’ll have these cute little individual ice cream cakes!
This is the kind of stuff you’ll find in Cornerstone Cooking. A delicious base recipe and then other recipes to use with the leftovers.
If you haven’t bought a copy yet, this is the last day you can do so and be entered to win some fun prizes!