This weekend I continued my quest to make the best vanilla ice cream. This time I followed David Lebovitz’s recipe almost exactly (I say “almost” because I’m sure I did something differently or wrong), instead of using a blend of the Cusinart recipe and his recipe, like I did last time. So the major difference between the first batch and the second? Egg yolks.
I used to think that ice cream with egg yolks is automatically custard, but I’ve since found that’s not true. A lot of premium ice creams have egg yolks in them. For it to be custard, it must have 10% milkfat and 1.4% egg yolk solid. I’m not exactly sure how to measure that, so I’m not sure if I made custard or ice cream. I’m thinking since David calls it ice cream, it must be ice cream.
…Although I used six egg yolks instead of five. Ha! See, I told you I probably did something differently. It just took me a little bit to figure out what exactly. So maybe I made custard. Who knows.
My hope was that the addition of the eggs would give some more body to the ice cream so it would be less airy than the first attempt. I know that my ice creams will always be more airy than gelato, for example, because ice cream makers, by the sheer nature of how they work, incorporate more air into the substance during churning. Ice cream can contain almost 50% air (think McDonald’s soft serve), versus gelato that has more like 25%. Gelato makers churn at a lower speed.
What I made today is not gelato because (besides the whole air thing that I don’t have much control over) it has 2 cups of heavy cream and one cup of milk, just like my first recipe. Gelato usually has the reverse — 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 cups of milk.
Okay, enough talking– here’s my second attempt:
I was surprised that the mix wasn’t more yellow; but I guess when you add two cups of heavy cream, it dilutes the egg mixture enough!
Notice there are more “black dots” this time — I did a better job scraping out the vanilla bean, I think.
Verdict: This recipe definitely has more body than the first, although not to the extent I hoped. It is richer than the first, but isn’t custard-tasting. I’m contemplating adding more vanilla extract in the future, too — both batches have been delicious, but haven’t hit me over the head with their vanilla taste. Maybe that’s a good thing, but that’s what I need to figure out.
Future plans also include using a gelato recipe (more whole milk, less heavy cream) and also tracking down some Mexican vanilla and seeing what difference that makes. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Just purchased some Mexican vanilla! The quest continues…