In my opinion, there are broadly two categories of ice cream eaters. Those who eat ice creams wearing jackets, sweaters and caps even in winter too. Some people who pass by the ice cream store - shivering - just watching this sight! These are folks for who eating ice cream is warm weather fun. I belong to the former category, sans the winter gear. I love eating ice creams when it is cold and oh, even more when the sun is scorching away. When it is raining and when it is not raining. Generally, any time of the day, any season. I can't resist ice creams or anything sweet for that matter. Are you with me?
The cool, creamy, finger and spoon licking delights come in a myriad of flavors with at least half a dozen outlets on every street and avenue. Isn't it then simpler and easier to just walk or drive down for one (or ask to be driven down, but I am sure you are not a hopeless driver like me)? Why bother to make your own ice cream? This was my amused sister's question to me, she had to roll her eyes of course. I guess, there are three reasons - First, you are obsessed with making all the chow stuff that you fancy. Second, you can have fun making it in your own flavors, and third and most important - you are crazy. I raise my hand for all the three reasons, both hands for the last reason. Are you still with me?
And for all this madness and questions from saner folks around, I don't even own an ice-cream maker, yet! Not that I have made lots and lots of ice creams by now, but the few frozen delights I have whipped up, have made me put an ice cream maker on my top priority list. For example, can you buy Low Fat Pistachio Kulfi or get uber delicious, creamy Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream anywhere? Or get half the sense of satisfaction or fun when you eat store bought stuff? Rhetorical question of course (picture me looking very SMUG!). Did I mention, the satisfaction factor
Assuming, you are still, still with me, allow me to tell you about the Coconut and Saffron Ice cream I had recently made. The ice cream has just a few ingredients - coconut milk, sugar, saffron and cream. Takes just a few minutes to mix all of these together, a few more minutes to simmer, then cool and freeze. Blend every half an hour to break the ice crystals. As you do so, doesn't make you tear your hair thinking how many more times you would need to do blend to get it smooth. Not all that bad to not have an ice cream maker when you come across a recipe like this...
Adapted from here .Original recipe from Delicious Days.
Ingredients:Cream - 2/3 cup /160 ml ( I used 25% fat, Amul)
Coconut milk - 1 cup / 250 ml (I used packaged coconut milk)
Sugar - 1/4 cup ( add another tablespoon if you want sweeter)
Saffron strands - Scant 1/2 teaspoon (or lesser, read note)
Procedure ad verbatim from Monsier Lebovitz's blog : In a medium-sized saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and chill the mixture thoroughly. Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once churned, be sure to scrape any saffron threads clinging to the dasher back in to the ice cream.
Refer this link to read his tips about making ice cream without an ice cream maker
I have cooled the mixture, then used a freezer safe box to put the ice cream mixture in. Used my hand mixer to break the ice crystals at intervals, blended in the same box. The mixture was too little and I did not want to share some of it with my blender jar every time I blended. I have blended about 4-5 times and then froze it overnight.
Note: The ice cream turned out just about sweet, with a very smooth, creamy texture. The ice cream had a hint of coconut, probably the saffron over-powered it. I guess I ignored the 'scant' part while measuring the saffron. I will next time add lesser saffron as I would prefer a more intense coconut flavor. Or replace it with cardamom. And some chopped tender coconut after the ice cream is blended for the last time doesn't sound amiss...And very definitely double the quantity ...
Thanks to Monsieur Lebovitz, this will be made again!
Do you use an ice cream maker? A set of features to look out for? Recommend a favorite brand ? Would love to hear from you...