I spent Fourth of July weekend at my sister-in-law’s house celebrating. After 6 months of brutal, horrible, terrible, nearly-satanic chemo, she had a 100% spotless, sparkling clean cat scan.
That is why on July 4th, throughout the entire country, there were fireworks in the sky. Thank you for joining our celebration.
We also celebrated with food, of course. During her treatment, Lorraine couldn’t bear anything cold, but she missed her beloved ice cream. Every time she had a treatment and felt her worst, Ebo told her that as soon as this was all over, he would bring her his Outa Control Vanilla Ice Cream With a Whisper of Cinnamon. This ice cream is the reason people buy ice cream makers instead of just heading to Ben and Jerry’s. It defines the difference between store-bought and homemade.
Lorraine thought it was pretty darn spectacular. For so many reasons.
Outa Control Vanilla Ice Cream with a Whisper of Cinnamon
The cinnamon should be subtle; this ice cream is all about its’ knock-’em sock-’em vanilla flavor; the cinnamon adds a little depth.
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup cold heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon double strength vanilla extract (or 1 1/2 teaspoons regular vanilla extract)
1. Combine half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt in a medium saucepan; heat over medium, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When mixture is hot to the touch, add the cinnamon stick, remove from heat and allow to stand 1 hour.
2. Remove cinnamon stick; warm over medium heat.
3. Whisk yolks in a bowl until smooth. In a slow stream, whisk in about 1/2 cup of the warm milk to the eggs until thoroughly combined. Repeat until all the milk has been added. (This is called “tempering”; the goal is to add the warm mixture to the eggs without causing them to cook). Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 – 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and pour in the cold cream. Pour the resulting mixture through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the vanilla extract. Set over a larger bowl filled halfway with ice water (an “ice bath”) and stir until cooled. Chill for 2-3 hours. Follow directions for your ice cream maker to freeze.
Makes about 1 quart
Since I am less of an ice cream fanatic* than Ebo and Lorraine, I felt it was important to tuck a little something underneath the ice cream: here is my Mixed Fruit Crisp.
Also, while I generally try to include nutritional analysis on recipes, I decided to be kind and omit it from the ice cream. If you really want to know (if you are a glutton for punishment), tell me so in a comment below and I will run the numbers for you.
One last (preachy) note. I don’t know anyone whose life has not been affected by cancer. But most cancers, with enough money for research, can be managed or cured. Please consider doing your bit– whether giving money or time to a fundraising effort– to a cancer organization. Here’s one that is near and dear to my heart: Cookies for Kids Cancer . Have a bake sale or buy cookies to help cure pediatric cancers. I love you, Liam
* People often look at me like I am an alien when I say this, but I am not particularly fond of ice cream. It’s often so cold that I just taste sugar; my tongue is too numbed to get flavor nuances. I do love homemade ice cream, though, which we eat half soft before it’s really ready. And I’ve been known to lick at my kids’ melting cones, when they let me.