Sheared Bliss

I Scream, You Scream
April 1, 2010, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Food, History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , , ,

As promised – ice cream!

Different cultures have been making a variety of chilled and frozen desserts for hundreds of years.  Everyone from the Chinese to the Romans to the Persians have been credited with inventing ice cream, but their concoctions were not the same as modern ice cream.  No one has pinpointed when true ice cream came about, but the first documented advertisement for ice cream appeared in 1744 and a recipe that would result in something very similar to modern ice cream was printed in 1751.    Several of America’s founding fathers including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were ice cream fanatics.

Ice cream aficionados rejoiced in the 1840s when Nancy Johnson patented the first mechanical ice cream churn.  Prior to her invention, ice cream was made by placing the ingredients in a small bowl, placing the small bowl in a larger bowl full of ice and salt, and stirring the ingredients by hand until they froze.  Johnson’s freezer still required a fair amount of elbow grease, but it did simplify the process.

To make ice cream you’ll need an ice cream base.  There are lots of recipes out there and you can use whichever one you like, but they all consist of some combination of dairy (milk, cream, and/or half and half), sugar, and flavoring (we made both lemon and vanilla ice cream at Dairy Day).  None of them contain eggs.  If you put eggs in your base, you’re making frozen custard not ice cream, just so we’re clear.

You will also need an ice cream churn (or two bowls, one slightly smaller than the other, and a big spoon, if you’re feeling brave), ice, and rock salt.  Oh yeah, and three pioneers.  Why three?

NurseK, PioneerV, and me making ice cream.

One to churn, one to sit on the churn, and one to sit on the one sitting on the churn.  Obviously.

Put your ice cream base in the canister of the churn, pack the churn with ice and rock salt, and turn the crank.  Churn constantly but slowly or you’ll make whipped cream or even butter instead of ice cream.  Yes, this really can happen, we got butter chunks in several of our batches of ice cream from too-enthusiastic churning.  Do not stop churning or it will freeze solid and you’ll have made a giant milk ice cube instead of ice cream.  As the ice cream begins to freeze, it will become harder and harder to turn the crank.  Add one pioneer to the top of the churn and keep cranking.  It will get even harder to crank.  Add the second pioneer on top of the first pioneer and keep cranking.  Eventually the churn will go from very difficult to crank to very easy.  This indicates that the ice cream has solidified around the dasher in the center of the canister and pulled away from the sides of the canister.  Open the churn.

If the ice cream is as hard as you want it, serve it up.  If you would like it more solidly frozen, you can either keep churning it while it hardens further or transfer it to another container, cover it, and put it in the freezer until it reaches your desired consistency.

Mmmm . . . ice cream . . .


1 Comment so far
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Have you ever made kick the can ice cream? Keeps the kidlets busy for certain.

Comment by Leslie

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