Ice Cream 3: Mean Mr. Custard

So the next ice cream step is egg yolk as an emulsifier and stabilizer. And there are two options for eggs: raw, or heated in a custard. Everything I’ve read tells me that regular raw eggs are OK for everyone except the elderly, pregnant ladies, and immune-suppressed people. I’m not elderly yet (although I plan on being a most cantankerous old broad), and I’ll never be a pregnant lady, but the meds I take for my Crohn’s disease are indeed immunosuppressants, so raw is out. I’ve heard that pasteurized in-shell eggs can be had, but I can’t find them at any of my local supermarkets. So I decided to make a custard.

Making the custard, part 1.

Here are my ingredients:

3 egg yolks
1/2 cup Splenda
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In one bowl, I whisked the egg yolks with the Splenda. On the stove, I tossed the cream, half-and-half, vanilla and salt into a saucepan and brought it up to 150 degrees. Then I added a bit of milk at a time to the egg mixture, whisking heartily. After four ladles of milk went into the eggs, I poured it all back into the saucepan and brought it to 160 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can cook it until the custard cleanly breaks on the back of a spoon — after wiping away a stripe, the stripe stays with sharp edges.

Custard breaking on the back of the spoon.

Since you want cold ingredients going into the ice cream maker, I put the custard in the fridge overnight. Be sure to push a piece of plastic wrap down on top of the custard, or else it’ll grow a skin.

Next morning, into the machine it went. After a half-hour, it went into a plastic container and then into the freezer to firm up.

The verdict: this is the best of the ice cream experiments so far. It scooped better than the others, although it’s still a little bit hard and a little bit icy. But the ice crystals are smaller than in previous batches. I think we’re always going to be plagued with the hardness (huh huh) because we’re using Splenda instead of regular table sugar.

Vanilla ice cream with custard base.

Nutrition facts: (full batch [8 servings] / per serving)
1672 calories / 209 calories
157 g fat / 20 g fat
40 g carb / 5 g carb
27 g protein / 3.5 g protein

Since we’re near maintenance levels of carbs, 5 isn’t that bad. And most of it is from the milk half of the half-and-half. I wonder what kind of texture I’d get if I did 2 cups of cream and only one of half-and-half. Hmmm. Also, next time we’ll do something more adventurous than vanilla. Perhaps chai, or maple.

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