Monday, May 12, 2008

Do-it-Yourself Jeni's Ice Cream!

No joke. Last week I discovered from my favourite blog that Jeni's Ice Cream was featured in this month's Food & Wine magazine, along with a handful of do-it-yourself recipes for the home kitchen! If you have ever had Jeni's, you would know that her ice creams are amazing. It is one of the best things about Columbus. Find the article here.

I have had my ice cream maker since, 2002 (?!) and have only used it a handful of times because of the fussiness of homemade ice cream. No matter which recipe I used, how much fat content was in the cream or milk, the finished product maintained the right consistency for only a short period of time - immediately after churning. As soon as it went into the freezer it became an impossible-to-scoop ice rock, and defrosting just resulted in crystally creamy chips that couldn't be characterized as scoopable. Are you ready for this? Jeni's recipe overcomes all of these problems. Really.

I made the vanilla ice cream, which turned out wonderfully - smooth texture, free of ice crystals, perfectly creamy and scoopable even after several hours of freezing. We are definitely being let in on some trade secrets here! It was really easy to make too -no egg yolks to worry about cooking.

The top photo could have potentially looked tastier if it had been taken a little earlier in the afternoon when there was more natural light. Unfortunately I had to rush off to work (two more days left!) and didn't have a have any ice cream until after dinner. Also missing was a proper ice cream scoop, which is funny because we have so many kitchen utensils we probably use far less. With a soup spoon, I scooped a long, curved strip that doubled back on itself, then took a little scoop to pat over the hollow middle. This was the fake-out technique I learned back in highschool when I had a part time job scooping ice cream at the local Baskin Robbins - the goal was to make a 4 oz scoop look as big as possible - my mother was always appalled at this trickery. Admittedly, I think it was pretty clever.

For my next batch, I'm going to follow Restaurant Widow's suggestion of adding espresso powder...mmm.

On a final note, I chatted with the bakery owner this morning and told him how much I enjoyed working in the kitchen. I received a rather glowing review of my performance on Sunday, which was that although I started off slow, I picked up the pace and held my own. And apparently I was competent enough that the pastry chef said, "she knows her stuff". I did a little happy dance at that.


Devonshire said...

Time to break out the ice cream maker...That looks delicious. Congrats on the glowing review at the bakery.

Lisa the Waitress said...

Yay! I am so happy that you tried the ice cream! It's so addictive!! Also, Weiland's has espresso power, if you're having trouble finding it here in Cbus (although, and don't tell anyone, but when I worked as a baker I would use Nescafe in a pinch and I thought it tasted pretty decent for about 1/4th the price)

And your Mother's Day prep at the bakery sounded really fun! I hope you get to do more of what you love.