I love homemade ice cream! It is so much better than store-bought that even though it can be a lot of work, it is usually worth the effort. As a result, I turned to Bobby Flay‘s Bar Americain Cookbook published by Random House of Canada for inspiration. I have made custard ice creams before so I felt confident I could make this treat.
I began by making the “crunch” part of the recipe, which sounded fascinating. In a food processor I combined 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats and 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of packed light brown sugar. I pulsed a few times and then added 4 tbsp of cold unsalted butter cut into pieces.
Well I am not sure exactly what happened here. I was supposed to pulse until combined but the more I pulsed, the more it turned to dust! And what does “combined” mean exactly? That it will hold together? Become a ball? I decided to move on with the recipe and not risk this becoming more dust-like by pulsing any farther.
You were supposed to pat the mixture evenly into a 4″ square on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. As you can see, that meant going quite three dimensional! Did that mean this was supposed to be more like a dough than a crumble? It just did not want to pile that high.
I did my best and then baked it in a preheated 350F oven. I was supposed to bake it for 15 minutes until it turned golden brown and crispy. Well at ten minutes it turned into a dark blob! So I took it out.
The Ice Cream
This recipe contains 8 egg yolks. Which seems like a lot! When I make my coffee ice cream with even more liquid it only takes 4. So yes, after making the crumble, I was nervous! But, I had to stay true to the recipe.
I combined 2 cups whole milk, 2 cups heavy cream and 2 cinnamon sticks in a medium sauce pan. If you have a vanilla bean, scrape it and throw it all in at this point. I put this pan over medium heat the way I was supposed to and it took forever to come to a simmer. A skin kept forming on the top.
Once it came to a simmer I removed it from the heat, added some vanilla bean paste and let steep for 30 minutes. I returned it to the heat and brought it to a simmer. Again, it took forever!
“Prepare an ice bath by placing a medium bowl inside a larger bowl filled half full with ice water.” I was looking at the bowls thinking, a medium bowl is going to be too small!!! Just following the recipe Suzie…
Combine the eight egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar.
Which together until the egg yolks turn pale yellow. My house gremlin stole my whisk attachment (and my giant wooden cutting board!) so I used egg beaters instead and as you can see, they worked great.
Slowly whisk in the warm milk mixture into the eggs yolks and sugar. Remove cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean (if using). Return mixture to the pan and cook stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back, 3 to 4 minutes.
When it was thick enough to do so I started to notice it looked like it was breaking up a bit so I quickly moved to the next step.
I had to strain the custard into the bowl set in the ice bath and I was right, the original one was not big enough. So I moved the ice bath to another vessel and choose a larger and deeper bowl to go inside it so the whole bowl would cool down. But it didn’t! I kept replacing the ice bath but the best I could get was a lukewarm custard. It would not “chill” like the cookbook said it would.
In fact, traditionally most people always put the custard in the fridge to chill completely before churning. I was shocked that at this point you were supposed to “pour the custard into an ice cream maker”!!!
I don’t get it. This is not kitchen stadium. I do no have only an hour to make five dishes. And if you watch Iron Chef, the ice cream gets them every time and why? Because it is not cold enough.
On the left you will see just how “soupy” the ice cream was after it finished churning. I knew that was not how it was supposed to look but folded in some of the “crumble” anyway.
This is how ice cream should look after the custard has been chilled and churned.
I put it in a large plastic container, put it in the freezer to chill overnight. My foodie hopes were not high.
Two days later, it was hard as a rock! I left it (accidentally) out for over an hour to “soften” and it was just barely scoop-able:
It does have that deep and rich complex flavour of a custard ice cream but it almost too-custardy for me. I think it is because of all those egg yolks. Reg said it was like having an apple crisp with ice cream and liked it, except for the texture, which was my fault because a lot of it was crystal-ly from being refrozen.
It is a very heavy ice cream and the “crunch” kind of got swept into the whole batch which impacted the texture. When it comes to flavour, I give the recipe three and a half out of five wooden spoons. I give the directions, a weak three out of five. I did not understand what “comes together” meant exactly and I know using an ice bath will not properly chill an ice cream.
What a bummer! I mean, it is a good ice cream but all those eggs and it ending up being frozen like a brick? Not exactly light as air for a cholesterol bomb of a dessert. We will finish the ice cream but I will not be making it again.