Sunday, July 27, 2014

iScream.... for Ice Cream!

WOW, it's been quite a while since I last posted. While there haven't been any updates in over a year, I can assure you I've been cooking up a storm as usual. In a nutshell: I expanded the garden (aka my Urban Micro Farm) to include herbs and cucumbers last year. The cukes did so well, I had to learn how to preserve them. I first tried my hand at lacto-fermenting pickles. It was easy and they were quite tasty. The only problem is that you have to store them in the fridge and they only last for about 3 months. So I took the plunge and learned to can! So very glad I did! Not only did I make great garlic dill pickles I also made apple sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, and canned peaches! I had enough to last me through the whole winter (and our winter was a DOOZY)!

But enough about the past. Today it's all about ICE CREAM! There is a local ice cream place called Fielder's Choice and they have a flavor called Ginger Snap. I've had it twice and I'm in love. As soon as I tasted it I KNEW I had to come up with a version of my own. This is my first experiment with that flavor. I started with a basic vanilla ice cream base. I don't use eggs in my ice cream, this is a straight up ice cream. I always consider the recipes with eggs to be a frozen custard (which is delicious by the way).

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream:
3/4 c whole milk
2/3 c sugar
pinch salt
1.5 c heavy cream
1-1.5 t pure vanilla extract

Before you do anything make sure your ice cream bowl is frozen (16-24 hrs., check the directions for your ice cream maker). Make sure all your cold ingredients are well chilled. Combine milk, sugar, salt and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add cream and vanilla. Mix well. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hrs. or in the freezer for 45 min.

Ginger Snap Ice Cream:

basic vanilla ice cream base (see recipe above)
1 T fresh minced ginger
10-12 crunchy ginger snap cookies, broken in to small chunks (or whatever size "bits" you like)
8-10 pieces of crystallized candied ginger (a small handful), cut into very small pieces. (this stuff is quite potent so you want to pieces to be very small).

Add minced ginger to the base mix at the same time you added the vanilla. When the mixture is chilled, pour it into your ice cream machine and turn mixer on. Add cookie and candy mix-ins at the very end of the mixing cycle (or you can fold them in by hand when you transfer it to your storage container).

The ice cream will be a soft serve consistency at first. Tuck it away in the freezer for a few hours to firm up (or course you'll want to "taste test" the soft serve). This came out AWESOME! The things I'll try to a bit differently are to cut the candied ginger into even smaller bits... and make a double batch! Would you like a cone or a dish?