Plug your ears, because everyone is about to scream for ice cream.
Something happened last week. I baked a batch of botched gingersnap cookies, which I promptly turned into crumbs with the help of a plastic bag and a heavy pan. I then made those crumbs into a pie crust (which also resulted in a major baking fail). And then, after all of that, I decided to make ice cream. Without dairy. Without an ice cream maker. Without having ever done it before.
Now before I go on to tell you about this ice cream, let me tell you a little bit about bravery.
Beyond a well-outfitted spice rack, a good collection of oils and vinegars, and of course a fridge full of interesting ingredients, bravery will be one of your most important tools when cooking low-sodium food. Bravery will lead you to try and smoke your own fish. Bravery will inspire you to buy a mandoline (not the instrument, but the slicing device, although you might end up with the instrument as well). Bravery will move you to make your own pasta with your own two hands. And then to feed it to someone else. Bravery will give you the courage to travel, to ask chefs to make you something special, or to create your own signature dish. Bravery will make you a better cook, a happier person, and a much more exciting dinner party host.
And bravery (plus some Google searches) will always result in coconut cinnamon ice cream.
Bravery will also help you overcome the fact that you don’t own an ice cream maker.
Thanks to a quick tutorial from theKitchn.com, it turns out that making your own ice cream with custard, a bowl of salted ice, and a whisk is not that difficult at all. It takes a little planning as the custard must cool and freeze. But other than that, you can do it all by hand, no sweat and no tears. And with a little patience and bravery, you’ll have something pretty awesome to show for it.
And while my ice cream was flavored with cinnamon and gingerbread-mistake-crumbles, you can flavor it with whatever you wish. Mix in some mint and chocolate chips. Or really push the ice cream boundaries and add in some saffron, cardamom, and a pinch of curry for a sweet and savory treat. Wherever your brave leads you, just follow.
So this week, jump in. Make a recipe that makes you nervous. The confidence and skills you build will only mean more enjoyable meals in the future. And ice cream. And maybe a new instrument.
COCONUT MILK CINNAMON ICE CREAM
adapted from theKitchn.com
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
Beat the coconut milk and eggs together in a large saucepan. Add sugar and cook over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until slightly thickened and registering 170° F on a thermometer. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours.
Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. To finish, put mixture into a lidded container, cover and allow to harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.
Fill a large mixing bowl halfway with crushed ice. Stir in 3/4 cup rock salt. The only time you’ll see salt in this blog.
Then nestle a smaller, 1-quart bowl in the ice, so it’s almost completely surrounded. Fill the smaller bowl halfway with the cooled coconut ice cream custard.
Then use a whisk to beat the custard for 10 minutes. The mix will get cold but it will not turn into ice cream. Cover the two nested bowls with a towel and place it into the freezer for 10 minutes. Take the bowls out and whisk again for another 10 minutes, incorporating as much of the icy custard into the creamy parts of the custard as possible. Cover the nested bowls with a towel again and chill in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Then remove the bowls and use a fork or spoon to incorporate the frozen custard parts (mostly on the sides of the bowl) into the creamier parts of the custard. Add your mix-ins (like mistake-ginger-bread crumbles or 1/4 tsp of cinnamon). Then mix again for another 5 minutes. At this point, the custard will start to resemble soft serve.
Take the small bowl from the large bowl and cover the ice cream with plastic wrap. Freeze for another 2 hours or overnight before serving. And by serving I mean eating with a spoon while watching The Good Wife.