Friday, June 26, 2009

Barefoot, Pregnant, in the Kitchen: Maternity Leave Day 5

Despite my mother's advice, I am not wearing sneakers today. Instead, I am deliciously barefoot and unshowered, standing in the kitchen observing my projects. I have decided, ambitiously, to make strawberry/peach sherbet, mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, and probably brownies today.

The neighbors have lent me an ice cream machine, which I have had chilling in the freezer since they delivered it last night. I waddled over to their garden and stole 3 cups of peppermint this morning, too, and bought the rest of the stuff (really just the strawberries and a pint of cream) on my way home from Crossfit this morning. I am ready to rumble, kitchen!

I plan to chronicle this adventure because I have never attempted to make anything frozen before. This is a new arena in food production for me. Phase one was the ice cream, because it needs to rest longer than the process of making the entire sherbet. Alton Brown (my go-to guy of late for cooking) suggests 8 egg yolks in his mint ice cream recipe. The instructions with the machine have no egg yolks. A woman I found via google suggested 6, so I went with her as a happy medium. This is going to work really well because the brownie recipe calls for 3 eggs, but if I just use whites I should double anyway. Voila! No waste.

Currently, I am infusing the stolen mint in the heavy cream. This will take one half hour, which gives me time for a game of Catan/Michael Jackson tribute.

My next step after setting the pre-ice cream to chill is to make sherbet. I have decided that it's too much hassle to wash the food processor, so I am mashing the fruit in a plastic bag with a meat tenderizer (best wedding gift ever!). I will combine this with lime juice and simple syrup and dump it into the frozen ice cream machine while the mint delight continues to set. I have opted out of using corn syrup as the recipe suggested. I substituted honey measure for measure. There was just something about the idea of corn syrup that went against my local food and anti-factory farm leanings.

Forty minutes into the churning of the sherbet, nothing has happened at all. It barely even got colder. I have dumped the splashy mess of it into a plastic container and shoved it in the fridge.

Currently, the ice cream is churning around in the bowl. Although there is certainly far less than one quart of ice cream in there. Either I missed two cups of something from the recipe or I have been had.

Halfway into Family Fued, the ice cream machine shut itself off. I took this to mean my dessert was creamy and ready to eat, but this would be a mistake. It's just as soupy as ever, slightly colder than last time I touched it, and sitting a fragrant, minty mess in the freezer while I try to decide what to do to salvage this day.
Luckily the brownies have turned out just fine. Worst case scenario, I have brownies with strawberry-flavored shaved ice for dessert. Now. What do I do with several cups' worth of minty cream that is not ice cream but no longer just cream?

Final assessment: the ice cream is softer than the softest soft serve, too sweet, but very minty and delicious. The sherbet would have been fine without the honey and is also too sweet, a weird consistency, and probably not a repeat experiment. Though I will consider making popsicles. The brownies are wonderful. Especially with the too-sweet "ice cream" on top. I might try the ice cream again just to prove I can make it.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Mmm. I used to work at a historic site, and my favorite part of summer was when the old fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers would appear. There is nothing better than that ice cream.