For me, nothing says summer more than ice cream. I’m not a fan of cold food during winter months but once summer rolls around, good ice cream is a must. It is always a favorite vacation treat but I love making it myself to enjoy at home. Whether it is eaten from a cone, dish, or yes, even the container itself, the cool creaminess of a good ice cream is sure to make everything better. Some people will only eat a certain flavor while others insist that ice cream must be smooth with no chunky add-ins. Personally, as long as it is rich, creamy, and tasty I’ll eat it. Sometimes I prefer chocolate or a good vanilla, other times I want fruit or nuts. My all time favorite flavor, however, is coffee. And much to my surprise, in a country that loves their coffee, coffee ice cream is extremely difficult to find so I’ve taken to making my own.
Ice cream is surprisingly easy to make and with the recent acquisition of a new Cuisinart ice cream maker, it is even easier than ever. I keep the bowl of my ice cream maker in the freezer so it is alway ready when the urge to whip up a batch of creamy coolness strikes. I have yet to find good fresh cream here in Albania but using fresh organic whole milk, which came with a healthy cream cap on top, produced tasty results. (Please do not use the ultra-pasturized milk that is so common in European grocery stores; the results just won’t be as good). It isn’t really necessary, but if you want creamier results, you can substitute cream for half of the milk.
COFFEE ICE CREAM
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup light corn syrup
7 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons espresso powder
pinch of salt
- Add the milk and corn syrup to a medium-sized saucepan placed over medium heat. Stir occasionally, heat until the milk steams.
- In a heat proof bowl, whisk the sugar, espresso powder, salt, and egg yolks until smooth.
- Stirring constantly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir to combine.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and it coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard into a large bowl and place in an ice bath. Stir regularly until the custard has cooled to room temperature. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and cool until very cold.
- Following the directions for your ice cream maker, churn the ice cream until it is smooth. I usually churn my ice cream for 20 minutes before it reaches a soft serve consistency. Eat as is or place in a freezer proof container and continue to freezer for an additional 1-2 hours until hard.
Yields: 1 quart