Ice cream base

Ice cream base

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen

All of my creamy ice creams are based on a simple vanilla custard or crème anglaise, whether they be fruit, chocolate or caramel flavoured. Custard in itself is not difficult to make, but it does require a fair amount of vigilance and care.

The custard needs to be cooked over a very gentle heat and stirred continuously in a figure-of-eight movement, so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Patience is also required, to obtain the right consistency – you want to achieve a smooth velvety custard.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450ml double cream
150ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
6 organic free-range egg yolks
120g caster sugar

Method

  1. Pour the cream and milk into a heavy-based pan and place over a low heat. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add them to the creamy milk with the empty pod. Slowly bring to just below the boil, remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl with a whisk until the mixture becomes thicker and paler. Gently reheat the creamy milk and pour on to the egg yolk mixture, stirring with the whisk as you do so.
  3. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over the lowest possible heat. Stir gently and patiently until the custard thickens – this will take 6–8 minutes (don’t be tempted to increase the heat, or you’ll have scrambled eggs). It should be thick enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. Draw a finger along the back of the spoon – it should leave a clear trace.
  4. As soon as the custard thickens, remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and allow to cool. Don’t leave it in the saucepan, as the heat of the pan will continue to cook the custard. Once cooled, the custard is ready to use as the base for your ice cream.
Tags:
seasonal
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