Now that it is July, it is finally starting to feel like summer! This spring has seemed to drag on forever. To celebrate this new season I wanted to make something truly summer-y this week. What is more summer-y than ice cream? This particular ice cream recipe is really more of a frozen custard. If you have never had frozen custard before, I highly recommend it. It is much richer and creamier than standard ice cream, and overall very tasty.
This particular recipe is out of The Old-Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream Cookbook by Joyce and Christopher W. Dueker, which was first published in 1974. I searched the authors online to find out a bit about them, and I learned that most of their other books are on scuba diving safety. This did not give me a great deal of confidence in their ice cream-making abilities, but I dived into the ice cream making anyway. The recipe I used was originally called “Lemon Pie Ice Cream,” but I ended up adapting the recipe add lime.
I started out by adding 1 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water water to a small sauce pan and boiling it. The recipe said to do this for about 5 minutes. However, after 5 minutes, it had not thickened at all. I ended up boiling it for around 7-8 minutes before it started to show any signs of thickening. I then removed it from the heat. I believe this increased boiling time to be due to the fact that I used only 1 1/2 cup of sugar. The recipe called for 1 1/2-2 cups, and I decided to go on the low end. I am glad I did, it would have been far too sweet with all that sugar. However, this is something to keep in mind if you try it at home. The less sugar you have, the longer it will take to thicken.
After boiling the syrup, I added the citrus juice. When I went to squeeze the lemons, I found that I only had one, which would definitely not give 3/4 cup of juice. Luckily, I also had some limes, so I used about 3-4 limes to get to the full 3/4 cup of juice.
After adding the lemon-lime juice, the syrup was, once agin, very liquid-y. Again, this is due to the lack of sugar (can we really call 1 1/2 cup a lack of sugar though). Due to how liquid-y it was I returned the mixture to the stove to boil for another 2-3 minutes, just until it had thickened up a bit.
I then poured it into a glass container, and let it cool on the counter for a bit before putting it in the fridge.
Once the citrus syrup was completed, I started on the custard. Once again, this process involved cooking eggs on the stove. This is a very common process in vintage recipes, and is unfortunately often my downfall. Despite this, I continued on into custard-making.
I whipped the eggs and milk together really well with a whisk to make sure that there were no little bits of eggs to turn into scrambled eggs. I then heated it over medium heat and waited patiently for it to thicken. The recipe specifically said not to let it boil. They were very clear on this point. It got dangerously close at one point, and I think that is why it was a bit lumpy at the end. I also used a whisk when I should have been using a spoon. I think that I whipped the eggs to the point that the got a bit of lift, which they should not have. This is not a meringue! Despite that, it did eventually thicken, and the lumps came out when it was eventually churned.
Once all of my components were done, I chilled them in the fridge until they were completely cool.
When I was read to make my ice cream, I combined the custard and syrup with another cup of half and half. I then added about half of the mixture into my ice cream maker. The recipe makes about a quart, and my ice cream maker only holds a pint, so I ended up doing it in two batches.
Then it was time for the fun bit. I do not have a conventional ice cream maker. Instead of being churned with hand crank, or by electricity, my ice cream maker is powered by kicking it around in the yard. It is a ball that makes ice cream by rolling around to keep the ice cream moving and churning. If you are not familiar with how ice cream makers, of all kinds, work, there are usually two chambers. One chamber holds ice and rock salt, and the other holds the ice cream mix. The ice cools the ice cream, and the constant movement keeps it from freezing solid.
So, out to the yard I went and kicked it around to keep it moving for about 10 minutes. I then dumped out the excess water from the ice chamber and added more ice and salt. I also stirred the cream mixture so that it froze evenly. I then kicked it around for another 10 minutes, repeated the draining and stirring process, then kicked it for another 10 minutes.
When this process was over, it was finally time for ice cream! This custard will be slightly less hard than conventional ice cream, but no less delectable. I served mine with homemade ice cream cones that I had made earlier in the day, but it also tastes great with all different types of berries.
I think that this went very well, and the recipe was easier to follow than usual. There were lots of instructions that said what to do in every step. However, the recipe writers did not account for decreasing the sugar, so I did have to guess with some parts of it. I also managed to heat an egg mixture without scrambling the egg, so I am very happy about that. The un-chilled custard was a bit lumpy, but as I said before those lumps came out when it was churned.
If you are looking for a delicious summer treat I highly recommend this recipe. I have put the recipe, with the lemon and lime juice, on my recipe page. In the notes I also talk about how to make it if you do not have an ice cream maker of any kind. So, if this post made you hungry for ice cream, go check it out!