Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TWD: Vanilla Ice Cream


I've definitely been enjoying my ice cream maker this summer, so I was excited to see that Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu picked vanilla ice cream for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. Excited, that is, until I saw that this was one of those egg/custard kinds of ice cream. Some people learn to deal with their weaknesses by facing them head on until they conquer them; I prefer to deal with my weaknesses by avoiding them. And since there are wonderfully delicious Philadelphia-style (non-custard based) vanillas out there, it has been gloriously easy for me to avoid dealing with eggs in my ice creams. But I wanted to be a good sport and give the custard thing one more try. And this time, I was armed with some incredibly helpful comments and suggestions left by my fellow bloggers after my last custard failure. So I went into this one feeling really optimistic.

The main thing I took away from the honey-peach debacle is to ditch the thermometer. The thermometer's great if you want to figure out the interior temperature of your challah, or whether your steak is medium rare, but it can really mess with your head when you are trying to make custard. I do have my eye on a more custard-friendly thermometer that I might ask for my birthday or Christmas (along with some equally sentimental gift like a biscuit cutter) but until then, I decided to trust the spoon test and (shudder) my own common sense. And it worked like a charm! It only took the base 2 or 3 minutes to pass the spoon test. Now that I know what the custard is supposed to look like, I am very grateful that my family survived my honey peach ice cream, given how appallingly overcooked the custard for that actually was (I probably cooked that one for 30 minutes trying in vain to get it to reach temperature). I feel lucky that we all got away that time with nothing worse than "grainy mouth feel."


But there was no grainy mouth feel this time - this vanilla was delicious, and smooth as silk. It kept its wonderful texture even after a couple of days in the freezer, which might be the main benefit to using eggs in the ice cream. In terms of flavor, it's almost impossible for me to choose whether I like this one or David Lebovitz's Philadelphia-style vanilla better without an actual side-by-side taste test. They are both fabulous. I'm probably more likely to stick with the Philadelphia-style, simply because it has one less step for me to potentially mess up. But I loved Dorie's vanilla, and am glad to have finally conquered custard.

Thanks for this great pick, Lynne!

40 comments:

Leslie said...

Woo hoo! You did it! I knew you could, it was just letting go of those custard demons. It looks absolutely perfect!

juju73 said...

Your ice cream looks delicious! Your custard issue sounds alot like the one I have with yeast. I'm glad that you gave it another try...this recipe was really great!

I LOVE the ruffle-y blue bowl!!!

Debinhawaii said...

Congrats on conquering custard! It looks wonderful. Both kinds of ice cream are great but I usually go for the easy way out and pick the non-custard kind. ;-)

Audrey said...

It's vanilla perfection! I think a person could apply your "ditch" rule to a lot of things in cooking and baking - for me, getting the dough to form a ball around the paddle attachment will be the first to go. Never happens, probably never will. (Oh, and having the sponge collapse. That one too.) I'm glad you faced custard and won...but now that you know how, you don't really HAVE to to ever make it again. :)

Cakelaw said...

Looks great Cath! I messed up the custard when I made the peach icecream, but this time it went off without a hitch - and I lovd this too.

Barbara Bakes said...

I'm so glad your ice cream turned out perfect this time! It looks so beautiful in your pretty blue bowl.

myfamousrecipe said...

Great idea to ditch the thermometer. I did the same thing. I always tried to reach the magic number, and eventually realized the spoon test works best. Your ice cream looks great!

Mary Ann said...

I love your pretty dish and glad to know the spoon test made it so easy this time. It looks absolutely perfect. I made this so long ago that I don't remember which one I actually think tastes better.

Anne said...

Great job conquering the custard! Your ice cream looks perfect. I'll have to try David's version (I haven't had a bad recipe from him yet, kind of like wonderful Dorie!)

Madam Chow said...

I love it when something finally works for me, so congratulations! The ice cream looks perfect!

Teanna said...

You have defeated the evil custard! Congrats! It looks delicious!

chocolatechic said...

My custard broke, but I made ice cream anyway.

It was just so good.

Megan said...

Break out the champagne and do the happy dance! You did it!

Di said...

Yay, Cathy! Glad to see you conquered your custard demons. =) And I love your blue bowl.

Pamela said...

Congratulations on another success! That vanilla looks picture perfect and absolutely lovely in that blue bowl.

pinkstripes said...

Yay! Your ice cream looks great. Congrats on the custard success.

dharmagirl said...

we're two of a kind--i was dreading the custard making, but reading the tweets about the consistency really helped me.

jillbert said...

Good going with the custard! The end result looks great. I should have passed on the thermometer too - I would have had better results.

SUGAR B said...

Yay! Love your warrior princess spirit! Glad you liked it because I did, too!

Your ice cream looks smooth and delicious!

Maria said...

Looks super duper delicious! Nothing beats homemade ice cream!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I really wanted to do a taste test with the two types of vanilla ice cream, but seeing as we were already testing four different brownies, it would have been a bit much. But my husband has a definite preference: Philadelphia style tastes better to him. Congrats on mastering custard!!

LyB said...

I'm glad I tried this one too, it was the creamiest I've ever had. I like non-custard ice creams too but I think custards tend to be creamier. In any case, that bowl of ice cream you've got there is making me crave ice cream for breakfast! :)

ostwestwind said...

Glad you made it. I made a non-custard version today, and my sons prefered Dorie's one

hUlrike @ Küchenlatein

Kayte said...

I feel like we have witnessed a miracle: you and custard creating a successful relationship! I always figure my grandmothers were great cooks, no one ever go ill from eating their food, and I never once saw either one of them with a thermometer for anything other than taking the temperature of ill children. Your ice cream looks particularly delightful in that beautiful bowl!

Bridgett said...

Good for you for conquering your fears! I absolutely love the flavor of homemade vanilla ice cream. It reminds me of the 4th of July when my grandfather would stand there and crank his ice cream maker all afternoon for us kids!

Melissa said...

I'm glad your ice cream came out silky and smooth! I know how you feel - this time around I was starting to think, I'm getting the hang of this!! I love that feeling!

TeaLady said...

It was good ice cream wasn't it. Rich, creamy, easy. Definitely a keeper.

Yours looks perfect.

Engineer Baker said...

Yay for custard success! Fabulous job, and I see custard - based ice creams (lots of them) in your future!

Tracey said...

Congratulations on a successful experience with custard!! The world is your oyster now when it comes to custard ice creams. The ice cream looks terrific and I adore your little blue bowl!

applecrumbles said...

What a perfect dish for the hot weather we've been having. It looks great.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Looks like heaven. I just love homeamde ice cream so much better than store brands.

bakingwiththeboys said...

My thermometer broke before I made this and I thought the spoon test was easy to follow. I just made a great cheesecake phildelphia style (much easier) ice cream last week. If I get my act together, I will post it.

Natashya said...

So glad it worked out for you!
It looks great - let me know when you are doing the side by side taste test and I will be right over with spoon in hand!

Katrina said...

Your ice cream looks fab. Way to face those eggy fears!
I've been enjoying my ice cream maker a lot (read-too) much this summer, also!

spike. said...

Nothing better than using common sense and having it actually work out! here's to custard success

lasinthekitchen said...

Your Vanilla Ice Cream looks beautiful and creamy! I love the blue serving dish too!
You inspire me - I'll try the custard based ice cream one more time, in hopes that the 3rd time will be the charm! But I think I'll try the Philadelphia style first - to give my ice cream making ego a boost! =)

Clivia said...

Hurray for success! With its wonderful flavour and texure, this ice cream needs only to be enjoyed. I think you need to do many taste tests. ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm screaming for that ice cream!

The Food Librarian said...

Yeah! I'm glad the custard thingy worked! This looks delicious!

Jess said...

Here's to conquering custard! I have to say, once I ditched the thermometer while making ice cream custard, I was a much happier woman. Yum!

 
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