I'm not quite ready to let go of summer. I do love fall. I love the crisp morning air, the cozy sweaters, and the changing leaves. I also love apple crumbles and pumpkin pie. However, fall also means that winter is inevitably around the corner and that is a season I can do without. So I usually try to hang onto summer for as long as possible. Last time I checked, fall won't officially be here until September 21st so there is no reason to put my ice cream maker away quite yet, right?
Realizing that my days with my ice cream maker are now numbered, I decided to take it out again this weekend and did something that I often do when I feel too lazy to make "real" ice cream: I made American style vanilla ice cream and threw some candy in. This takes almost no time at all and it is delicious in a way that will delight your inner six-year-old.
Now, to be clear, this ice cream is not super soft in its consistency. It is creamy and easily scoopable, but it doesn't have the consistency of soft serve. Rather, I liken it to a blizzard because of its taste. Since the add-ins are inevitably very rich and very sweet, I try to keep the base lighter. Not only do I stick to American-style ice cream, which does away with the richness of eggs, but I also do away with the use of heavy whipping cream and milk in proportions that lead to a fat content of approximately 18%. Instead, I use three cups of half and half, keeping the fat at just 10%. I find that this keeps my dessert from being over-the-top and it allows the taste of the add-ins to shine, whether they be bits of english toffee, peanut butter cups, or oreos.
3 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped candy or cookie (oreos, peanut butter cups, heath bars, or whatever else strikes your fancy)
- In a bowl, whisk together half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla until the sugar has dissolved. Chill for an hour in the fridge.
- Stir mixture one more time, turn on your ice cream maker, and then pour the mixture into it. At this time, place your chopped add-ins in the freezer so that they will not warm up your ice cream when it is time to add them to the mixture. I also place a spatula, a spoon, and my ice cream container in the freezer. This way I don't risk melting my ice cream while I am transferring it from the ice cream maker bowl to the container.
- When your ice cream is done (i.e. it has a semi-stiff, scoopable, consistency and is riding over the mixing paddle), pour your add-ins and let the ice cream continue churning until all of your add-ins are fairly evenly distributed in the base. In my ice cream maker, I find that I have to churn my base for a minimum of 25 minutes (and usually closer to 30 minutes) before it has frozen, so I usually pour in my add-ins at that point and then let the ice cream churn a few more minutes. If you put your candy or cookies in earlier in the freezing process, the ice cream will still freeze, but softer add-ins such as oreos might be reduced to nothing more than crumbs as the mixing paddle breaks up larger chunks.
- When your ice cream is done churning, put it into the frozen container using your frozen spatula and spoon. Freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.