Nothing says "thank you so much" like a from-the-heart gift. Let's top that...a from-the-heart-edible gift. Even better? A from-the-heart-edible gift in the form of freshly made ice cream. Yeah, that should do it...nothing tops that.
At least in my opinion.
During my husband's recovery, we had a lot of help from his mom. A lot. There were days I just couldn't have done it without her. It's for those very days, that we needed to give her a little something to show our immense gratitude.
One of her favorite things is, peppermint ice cream. I'm not the biggest fan...but she sure is. Actually...there isn't a single dessert I wouldn't eat...I'll be honest. I'd totally eat peppermint ice cream if it was around for the eating. Would I go out and buy some? Probably not, but it's not the worst thing. But back to the mother-in-law... Being a seasonal treat, she only gets to indulge during the holiday months. Which, if you ask me is kind of lame-skis. So I figured, I got this.
It came out AMAZING. Like...seriously...Yum to the O! Sweet and creamy, with hints of warmth from the vanilla. Then a nice little pop of cold peppermint at the end. MmmMmm!
I didn't want to fix what was already working for her, nor did I want to take away from the very thing she loves about this type of ice cream- so I left it simple. Vanilla and Peppermint. The end.
Ice cream is actually one of the simplest desserts you can make (as long as you have an ice cream maker) and proves to be one of the most satisfying ones as well! If you have never tried home made vanilla bean (or any other flavor) ice cream...oh heavens you're missing out! Make some, find some, or have a friend make some stat!
Plus it uses like 5 basic base ingredients. Come on. It's so versatile- after those first 5, you can add whatever your heart desires.
Here's how we made our very own Peppermint Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Thank You...
Peppermint Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Makes one quart
- 12 ounces whole milk
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 5 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 a vanilla bean
- 12 drops peppermint oil
1. In a small saucepot add milk and vanilla beans (scraped out and insides added as well). Bring to a gentle simmer and then remove from heat. Let sit and steep for about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, weigh out your sugar and add to your yolks. Whisk together until pale and fluffy. This is called the "ribbon stage". When your yolks have gone from a sunshine golden yellow to thick and creamy and a very pale yellow you know you're there.
3. Next, make a large ice bath and add a fine mesh sieve so that when your mixture is ready, so are you! There's nothing worse than having your hot mixture ready to go and then having to prepare the ice bath- you'll risk curdling and cooking your eggs! I would really encourage you to make sure your bowl that is IN the ice bath is either glass or stainless steel. This way you'll conduct the cold a lot faster. Plastic really isn't best- but feel free to use it as your bottom bowl- the one that holds the ice and water.
4. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl with your whipped eggs and sugar. This is called "tempering" and is a very important step. Slowly add a little at a time until all is mixed in. Then pour the whole entire mixture BACK into your saucepot and place over a medium (or even medium low) flame.
5. With a wooden spoon stir the mixture around. DO NOT stop stirring. This step can go very fast and again, you don't want to risk cooking your eggs. You'll know you're getting close when the tiny bubbles on the surface start to disappear and the mixture begins to thicken up. This stage is called the nappe` stage.
6. Once you've reached the nappe` stage, quickly pour mixture through your sieve into your bowl which is in an ice bath. The sieve will catch any cooked egg that might have been created as well as your vanilla bean pod. Save that pod! Wash, dry and add to sugar to make your own vanilla bean sugar!!
7. Slowly and gently stir the mixture in the ice bath until your anglaise has reached about 40*F. This way when you pour your mix into your ice cream maker, you're allowing the maker to really do it's job (versus the maker trying to cool it and then make it into ice cream) AND you're also quickly cooling the mixture down to...you guessed it....not risk cooking the egg yolks.
8. Next, add your cream and your 12 drops of peppermint oil. If you want it stronger, add more...less strong- add less. This was a perfect amount for us. Fully mix to incorporate. At this stage you can chill your mixture over night to let "ripen"- so that the flavors incorporate fully. If you can't wait that long add to your ice cream maker.
9. When your mixture is cooled, turn maker on BEFORE adding mixture. Then slowly add mixture! Here's where you need to follow your ice cream maker's instructions. For my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, this took about 15 minutes. You're almost done when the mixture has lightened in color and has also increased in volume (this is because we're incorporating air while freezing). You'll know you're there when you've reached a sort of soft-serve consistency.
I'm going to try something new here...add VIDEOS!!! WOOHOOOOO for VIDEOS!!!
You'll see here I have just added mixture and began churning. Everything is darker in color, with little chunks beginning to form. The mixture is still in it's liquid form and very viscous.
After 15 minutes, this is what I have. The mixture has increased in volume dramatically and has lightened in color quite a bit! It's churning a bit slower and when I scrape a spoon in the top, a nice soft-serve consistency ice cream comes out! I'd say this is dun-zo.
Finally, add your ice cream to a freezer-proof air tight container and freeze overnight. Or just scoop and ENJOY!!
Happy Monday friends!!