I guess we could say I'm in a bit of a funk. It's not so bad, really!
OK, maybe not.
I have a confession.
I have been watching the Vampire Diaries for 3 days straight. I don't leave my house unless I absolutely must.
I'm hiding from the world.
I'm hiding because I feel like everything that I have tried to do over the last few years has gone wrong. Everything. I'd like just one thing to go right? Just one thing.
I guess I am experiencing a bit of embarrassment that I haven't gotten my act together yet. It's my own fault, really, isn't it? I chose to walk away from my profession, and I chose to go to culinary school, and then I chose to become a young entrepreneur. Unfortunately, at this stage I still have nothing to show for my efforts. Or at least right now I can't see it. So stepping out into the world and facing people is really hard sometimes. Because the million dollar question on most people's minds is "what's Jan doing now?" It's a great question, but I can't answer it.
So sometimes, I hide. I need to process, and I need to figure things out, and I need to make ice cream.
This ice cream. Oh, this ice cream. I pulled my mom's Krups ice cream maker out of retirement for this ice cream. And I stole the last of my brother's fancy bourbon for this ice cream. And I made the custard base twice because the first time, I ended up with a scrambled mixture due to a mise en place fail. It's okay. This ice cream is worth all that effort and more. And I turned the scrambled custard into more ice cream because it still tasted amazing. Plus, I'm hibernating, so I need all the ice cream I can get.
This recipe is adapted from the August 2013 issue of Bon Appétit. Since I had two batches of ice cream base to work with, I tried adding the cherries to the ice cream as it churned, and I also tried swirling the cherries into the soft ice cream after it was churned. Either method works, and depends entirely on if you want a pretty swirl of boozy cherries, or a more uniform dispersion. You could even just top the vanilla ice cream with the boozy cherries. Up to you!
Cherry bourbon ice creamPublished: August 5th, 2013, Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes ~4 cups
Ice cream base
- 200 mL heavy cream
- 425 mL whole milk
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 pinch salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 50 gramsgranulated sugar
- 280 grams halved/pitted fresh cherries
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp bourbon (I used Baker's)
- Freeze the ice cream maker drum in the fridge at least 24 hours prior to churning your ice cream.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk and 50 grams of sugar, and a pinch of salt, along with the vanilla bean (split, seeds scraped into the pan of milk). Heat it on medium til it comes to a simmer, then take it off the heat and let it steep for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with 50 grams of sugar til they have lightened in color. Prepare a bowl with a strainer and set it next to the stove.
- Bring the milk mixture back up to a simmer, then temper the eggs with half the milk mixture, and pour it all back into the pan.
- Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon on medium heat til it coats the back of a spoon (à la nappe). You will know the custard is done cooking when you give the mixture a stir, and it stops moving right away (unlike fluid milk that would keep swirling around the pan). Immediately take the pan off the heat and strain the custard into the bowl you set aside. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then transfer the bowl to the fridge to chill overnight.
- To prepare the boozy cherries, heat the halved cherries with the sugar and water on medium heat for about 10–15 minutes, til the juices have thickened. Take it off the heat, add the bourbon, and transfer to a container to chill in the fridge over night.
- When your ice cream drum, custard, and cherries have all chilled overnight, churn the ice cream (according to your machine's instruction booklet). I let mine churn for at least 15 minutes til it's really thick. You can add the cherries towards the end, or swirl it on top of the ice cream, directly in the container you will be storing your ice cream in. When the ice cream is made, immediately transfer it to a container and get it into the freezer.
- Homemade ice creams set very hard. Take it out of the freezer for about 10 minutes or so before serving.