In my quest to use as many eggs as possible (the hens are laying like crazy!!!), I decided that despite the snow and the cold, we were going to make a DOUBLE batch of homemade ice cream! Oh yeah baby! There are a lot of eggs in this family recipe. I have been asked several times, “why do you put eggs in your ice cream?” in which I reply, “cuz”! Listen, I just do what my dad tells me and he makes darn good ice cream! BUT, I am about to commit the worst crime in Vincent ice cream-making history. That’s right, I’m going to FLAVOR THE HOMEMADE ICE CREAM! GASP!
Now, because I am going to get “the look” from my dad when he finds out I ruined what he would say is “perfectly good ice cream”, I am going to share my basic family recipe first. I am then going to show you how I make lavender/ginger, but this is where you go crazy with creativity! Put in absolutely anything! Split up the batches and try different things! This ice cream is totally farm-chic because we are going to use free-range eggs from our hens, and we are going to use snow (another trick from dad). Oh, I need to stop by our neighbors at Darby Springs soon to try it with their fresh, raw cow’s milk and see how that turns out! Just had a vision of dad giving me “the look” again…maybe I will just keep that experiment to myself.
LET’S GIVE IT A GO!
Farm-chic Lavender Ginger Ice Cream
Basic homemade ice cream recipe first (makes six quarts):
3 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
6 cups half & half
6 cups whole milk (I have used 2% many times, whatever I have in the fridge)
3 tbs vanilla (dad doubles this and so do I…we loooooooove vanilla!)
Lavender and Ginger part:
1/4 cup chunks of fresh ginger
1/4 cup dried culinary lavender–remember not all lavender is the same, you must have culinary
Turn on the music. I would suggest a little Elton John or Billy Joel for this recipe. You will have some hand-stirring to do and there nothing better than singing and stirring!
*NOTE: Here is where I put in my naughty flavors! Muahahahaha! I took the lavender and ginger and put it in a huge bowl with the half & half and milk. Cover the bowl and let sit in the fridge for a couple hours. You can do this with pretty much anything. Let your nose guide you or take a little taste…the longer you let it steep the stronger the flavors. Let the flavors steep into the milk, then strain the chunks out….yummy. Shhhhhh…don’t tell my dad!
Mix sugar, salt, half & half and milk (in our case it is our flavored and strained milk mixture) in a bowl…by hand. I told you I am a huge fan of elbow grease and now is when you give it the old fashioned hand stir. Nothing crazy, just keep it moving. Stir and sing until the sugar has dissolved into the milk. I usually can’t wait that long. I get too excited so I will admit that I could stir longer and get it dissolved better. My cooking is pretty loosey goosey.
Mix the eggs in a bowl and then add them to the milk mixture and make sure they are mixed in well. A whisk works great!
Then pour into an ice cream maker or a metal container if you are doing it the freezer way. If you go straight to the freezer just be sure you scrape the sides and mix it up every 30 minutes or so. I just have a old cheapie ice cream maker I got on craigslist and I am perfectly content with it.
Now when it is about 3/4 frozen I will add in stuff if I feel like it. You could put some lavender flowers/buds in there, maybe some candied ginger chunks, just whatever you want! I made just straight ginger ice cream once and put in pieces of candied ginger when it was almost done and let me tell you…that was probably one of the best batches I have ever made. Oh boy was it good. Creamy and chewy. Mmmmmmm.
Here in Nebraska, we have had quite a bit of snow, so this last storm I decided to use the snow instead of ice (thanks pops) in the ice cream maker. It was messy and fun and I saved a lot of good ice.
Sorry, I was so excited about the ice cream that I didn’t even get a photo of it. By the time I remembered, it was gone. Like, in peoples’ bellies, gone. Oops!!!