‘Tis the season for custard and not just of the liquid on pudding variety. My ice cream machine has had a reasonably easy few winter months but now that summer is here it is time for it to get a proper cranking.
This ice cream was originally meant to be plain vanilla for us to use in our affogato for a supper club we held but in the process of making it I thought that subbing half the white sugar for muscovado was a good idea, boy and was it ever. The resultant product was a delightfully subtle caramel custard flavour, a somewhat jazzier number in comparison to its humdrum vanilla cousin.
Making the custard for ice cream always takes me back to my third year of uni where my food science friends and I made ice cream as part of a project. We were all huddled over the stoves with our digital thermometers trying to repasterurise the custards before we chilled them. The best part of that lab was the compressor ice cream churner that the department had. No need to prefreeze a bowl when you’ve got that hard core machine. The only downside was that those things cost multiple thousands for a decent sized one. I have a watermelon pink Cuisinart churner and it works just a treat for a fraction of the cost.
To make this ice cream you will need an ice cream maker of some description, an electric cake mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand beater and ideally a food grade thermometer that goes up to at least 100 degrees Celsius.
There is nothing quite like making your own ice cream. Once you get the hang of making a simple custard base the possibilities are endless. This summer treat yo’self and drop a cheeky hundy on a small ice cream maker. It is worth it I promise.
This recipe came about as I was making some plain old vanilla for an affogato I was planning on serving at one of our Supper Clubs. My love of muscovado sugar once again got the better of me and I started substituting it in for white sugar. The results are wonderfully flavourful with that caramelised dark sugar making this really quite something.
Like with any sort of egg custard you want to be really careful about not boiling it. I would recommend having a candy thermometer on hand to make sure you don’t get above 80 degrees celsius. You want to heat the custard so that the eggs are pasteurised rather than the goal of getting it nice and thick. Making ice cream is a bit of a labour of love and requires quite a bit of waiting. It is worth it though I promise.
Brown Sugar Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks
1 whole large egg
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup muscavado or equivalent style
2 cups full fat milk (3.3% fat)
2 cups cream (35% fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Start by whisking together the eggs, sugars and the vanilla either with a stand mixer or an electric beater.
While this is going on heat the milk and cream in a large sauce pan until it is almost too hot to dip your finger in.
With the mixer still slowly mixing the egg and sugar, gently and gradually start pouring in the milk and cream. Keeping the mixer running whilst you pour the milk into the egg helps to distribute the heat and prevent the egg from scrambling.
Once all the milk has been mixed into the egg and sugar and it is a nice homogenous liquid return the custard to the large saucepan. Heat the custard over a gentle heat, stirring with a rubber spatula until it either thickens slightly or reaches not a degree over 80 Celsius. If your custard starts to simmer the egg will curdle and you'll have to start again so be really gentle in your heating.
Once at the right temperature remove the custard from the heat and leave it to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge overnight. Don't forget to pop your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer at this time too.
The next day assemble your ice cream maker. Pour in the cold custard and switch the churner on. I often put a plate over the top of mine to stop the hot air get in especially if it is a hot day. Churn for about 20 minutes or until a stiff soft serve forms. Transfer to a pre chilled container and whack in the freezer as soon as possible. Leave to harden for at least six hours before devouring.
Best served with fresh, sweet new season strawberries.