Monday, February 25, 2008

i scream, you scream

bryan and i have officially started a crusade against store bought ice cream. as an alternative, we decided to make homemade ice cream once a week. our debut flavor: butter pecan.

now, many of you might be familiar with an old adage of mine: “learning curves are for sissies.” and i made no exceptions in the ice cream making business. but here’s the truth, people, making good butter pecan ice cream is hard (there, i said it), and truly, it was no place for novices like ourselves to begin.

in our first attempt, we added melted butter to cold cream. can any of our chemical engineering gurus out there guess what happened? right you are: the cold cream immediately solidified the liquid butter, and we ended up with rather large chunks of butter throughout our concoction. salty butter ice cream. yuck.



nevertheless, my hopes were not dashed yet (because truthfully, the butter fiasco was bryan’s mistake). i found a new recipe, new resolve, and set to work again. this time, i chose a very complicated recipe, as complicated recipes produce the best results, right? wrong. this was one of those (many) times when i think i know what to do while reading the recipe, and then i get started and realize i am way out of my league:

  • “cook the butter until it has a nutty flavor” (what the? that butter could even have such a flavor ‘twas news to me)
  • “melt the brown sugar on low heat” (this takes FOR-flipping-EVER; several times i even questioned whether it could be done)
  • “slowly add the cream, or else the sugar will crystallize” (slowly is an understatement, more like imperceptibly)
  • “stir over low heat, 5-10 minutes, until the mixture can coat the back of a spoon” (uh, it’s 30 minutes later and it STILL doesn’t coat my spoon)
there were so many things that could have gone wrong here, i’m not sure which is was, but the ice cream tasted nasty and somehow like coffee. dregs. for this second mess, i have to take the blame: bryan was at work and summer was sleeping.


third time’s the charm: exit butter pecan, enter chocolate chip cookie dough (and a special thanks to ben & jerry for its invention). success! ah, it feels good to be queen.


note to butter pecan: you may have won the battle, but i shall win the war.


The 'Chard said...

Glad that it eventually turned out. When saw the first picture, I thought it was tuna salad!

Susanne said...


I made ice cream for the first time this weekend too! I started off with Chocolate con Chile, which called for reconstituting dried peppers, and whizzing them in the food processor with brown sugar. But the peppers got too wet and didn't break up enough, which lead to little bits of pepper skin in chocolate ice cream.

I also didn't churn it properly. Apparently you're supposed to start the dasher of the KitchenAid turning and THEN add the batter, not pour in the batter and start turning. The latter caused it to seize, resulting in no churning. I gave up and put it all in the freezer, where it froze nicely but there wasn't much creaminess. The recipe was from the Cuisuenart site and was really poorly written.

Second up was cinnamon, which turned out better. I eyeballed the amt of nutmeg and kinda overdid it, but it wasn't bad.

Finallly, I made Blueberry-Banana Sorbet last night and it turned out very well. I got the book Perfect Scoop for Christmas and am just dying to make pretty much everything that's in it.