Here’s the scoop on how to make it at home

With summer just around the corner, there’s no greater fun than eating a scoop of ice cream on a hot day, and July is National Ice Cream Month. Regardless of your favorite flavor, from simple vanilla to more rocky Rocky Road, an ice cream cone is the perfect way to pamper yourself.

Here in San Antonio, we are fortunate to have some of the most delicious ice cream parlors you can find. But for me, the best ice cream is the kind you make at home. After all, with just a few simple ingredients, you can create any flavor your inner child can imagine or improve on nostalgic favorites with quality ingredients.

While there are many ways to make ice cream, the all-purpose custard base is a great starting point for any flavor combination. Custard ice cream is a quick-cooking mixture of milk or cream, eggs, and sugar that results in a smooth, creamy flavor base that you can customize to your liking.

The flavor of the custard can be as simple as adding extracts, such as vanilla or mint; However, as the custard begins to heat the milk, there is a chance that the fresh flavors will be infused directly into the liquid base. Before heating the milk, add vanilla bean, broken coffee beans, pulses, fresh herbs (real mint!), edible spices, florals, or other aromatic substances such as ginger or lemon.

With summer just around the corner, there’s no greater fun than eating a scoop of ice cream on a hot day, and July is National Ice Cream Month.

Mohan Kumar / 500px, Contributor / Getty Images / 500px

After the herbs have been heated and simmered for about 20 minutes, drain the milk and continue preparing the custard as per the recipe. Two popular flavor combinations are basil, lemon, coffee and cinnamon.

During the summer, there’s an abundance of fresh fruit — all of which will be right at home in your ice cream base. Add fruit puree to the base before stirring or add bite-sized pieces of fruit to ice cream that is still soft, fresh from the ice cream maker.

Pro tip: Most fruits have a high moisture content, and the extra moisture from the fruit can make ice cream ice cream instead of smooth and creamy. Once frozen, fruits may become undercooked and difficult to bite into because they are full of frozen water. Try one of these two ways to prevent freezing:

1. Soak the fruit by placing it in a colander with a few tablespoons of sugar. The sugar pulls the water out of the fruit, which will then pass into the strainer below. You can then mash the fruit to add to the base or toss it into an ice cream shake.

2. Cook the fruit before adding it to the ice cream. Combine the fruit in a pan with a few tablespoons of sugar and a drizzle of water, juice, or liqueur. Cook until the fruit is tender, and the liquid has mostly evaporated. You can then mash the fruit to add to the base or stir it in with whipped ice cream.

For chocolate ice cream, cook the ice cream base and immediately pour it over a bowl of finely chopped chocolate. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes to help melt the chocolate, then gently stir until smooth. You can use any kind of chocolate you like, milk or dark, and you can add it to already flavored ice cream for flavors like mocha or chocolate mint. Milk chocolate ice cream will be sweeter, and dark chocolate ice cream will be more advanced chocolate.

Add about 4 ounces of melted chocolate to start, and add more if you’d like a deeper flavor. For an ultra-advanced chocolate ice cream, whisk high-quality cocoa powder into the milk mixture before cooking.

Some ingredients are easy to melt in a warm ice cream base, such as peanut butter, tahini, honey, hazelnut chocolate or jam, but these spreads can also be stirred at room temperature into simple vanilla ice cream after you eat them. churning The best way to achieve the perfect swirl is to transfer about a third of the ice cream to a storage bowl. Add some of the swirl ingredient, then follow in layers until you’ve used all of the ice cream. Take a butter knife or other long tool, and move it around to distribute the flavors.

Experimenting is the fun part of homemade ice cream, so if your perfect flavor doesn’t improve the first time around, keep trying. Take notes so you remember what you tried, and before the summer ends, you might discover your new favorite. Here’s a great basic recipe to get you started.

Classic French Vanilla Ice Cream

Classic French Vanilla Ice Cream

AnnaPustynnikova, Contributor / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Classic French Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup full fat or low fat milk
  • 2 cups sugar, divided for use
  • 1 vanilla bean, divided lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks

instructions: Prepare an ice bath. Combine cream, milk, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla beans in a heavy non-reactive saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.

Beat egg yolks with remaining 1 cup sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, then add 1/3 of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the hardened mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard covers the back of the spoon (at about 180 degrees).

Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Place the bowl in the ice bath. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the custard. Stir the custard every few minutes until it cools.

Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or overnight before freezing it in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Put the ice cream into bowls and leave it in the freezer for 3-4 hours before serving.

Makes about 1 ¼ liters

April Jess is the managing director of the Central Intelligence Agency of San Antonio.

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