Last month I had the immense pleasure of meeting thee famous Jeni Britton Bauer, the NY Times best selling author of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and proprietor of several “Jeni’s” ice cream stores. If you haven’t had Jeni’s ice cream and don’t live in Ohio or Tennessee, then fear not, you can make it at home! I swear!! Jeni was gracious enough to sign a cookbook for me, (To More Pleasures! -Jeni) and this recipe post is my 2nd ice cream attempt. Let’s face it, ice cream is fat, fat, sugar, and more fat, and that’s why it tastes so good! So if you are feeling ambitious and want to try this at home, do not freak out at the fat content of the ingredients and try to buy the good organic stuff when possible. Everything in moderation, right? Just try not to eat a whole bowlful… This recipe is slightly modified from Jeni’s Goat Cheese Ice cream.
So I read Jeni’s cookbook from beginning to end and then discussed it with my published cookbook author friend, Min. Min seemed almost offended when I told her Jeni’s ice cream recipes had no egg yolks in them. She started shouting something about “French Ways” and “egg yolks” and how she had serious doubts this ice cream would be creamy without the yolks… and that’s no yolk! Ha. So I set off and started with vanilla bean ice cream. Good god was it ever good, but I had a hard time getting the lumps from the cream cheese (yes cream cheese) smooth. So every bite had little lumps of cream cheese, which wasn’t altogether unpleasant, but also wasn’t completely smooth. Enter the KitchenAid mixer. Jeni doesn’t say to use it, and you don’t have to use one, but if you have one? USE IT. I tried again last night, and beating the hell out of the cream cheese and goat cheese together with the whisk attachment on the KitchenAid totally solved the lump problem. End result? The smoothest, creamiest, most decadent ice cream I’ve ever tasted. With the exception of little pops of vanilla bean and a slight bite of cherry, I’d say Jeni (and I) nailed smooth, creamy ice cream, sans yolks.
Ingredients: (will make over 1 quart of ice cream)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 4 oz fresh goat cheese with cherries (I used Bonnie Blue Goat Cheese)
- 1 1/2 oz (or 3 tablespoons) of softened cream cheese (Jeni likes Organic Valley brand)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cups of sugar (I used turbinado sugar, but I think any granulated sugar will do)
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup, organic, if possible (I found this at Whole Foods)
- 1 vanilla bean
- This is an investment! Jeni’s sells her pints at $10.99 a pop, so I figured if you make 6 pints of ice cream then your $60 ice cream maker will have paid for itself. That was, until, The Hubs so gently reminded me that one vanilla bean from whole foods cost $7… ANYWAY, I bought a Cuisinart 1 1/2 quart sized maker – which works perfectly for this recipe. Chill your canister for 24 hours before using.
- 1 small, medium, and large bowl (you can forgo the medium bowl if you are using the KitchenAid mixer).
- 1 four quart saucepan (I have a 3 quart which also works but watch it closely to be sure it doesn’t boil over…)
- 1 ziplock heavy duty gallon-sized freezer bag
- whisk and spatula
1. Mix 2 tablespoons from your measured milk with 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Plunk the 3 tablespoons of cream cheese, 4 oz of cherry goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into your KitchenAid mixer bowl and wizz it on high until no lumps are present.
2. Pour the remaining milk (minus the 2 tablespoons you already used) into your saucepan, along with the 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream, 2/3 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of the light corn syrup, and the seeds from your vanilla bean. Cut that sucker down the middle, but not all the way through, and scrape the seeds out with the blade of a knife. Toss the bean in the pot too. Bring to a rolling boil over med-high heat, whisking as you go, and then set your timer for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes are up, remove the pot from the heat and gradually whisk in your cornstarch slurry you made in step 1. Bring the mixture back up to a boil, and boil for 1 minute longer. When it’s thickened slightly, it’s time to remove it from the heat.
3. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
4. In 4 separate pours, using the whisk attachment (or an actual whisk and your arm) blend the hot milk mixture into your cream cheese/goat cheese bowl. Whisk on low (I think I went up to a 3 without being splashed) until smooth. Pour mixture into a ziploc bag, seal it, and submerge it in the ice bath you made in the previous step. Let this sit and chill for 30 minutes.
5. Ice cream maker time! How exciting, if you’ve made it this far, the rest is cake… or ice cream. Take the frozen canister out of the freezer where it’s (hopefully) already been chilling for 24 hours. Pour your ziplocked ice cream mix into the canister and turn on your machine. Let it go for 20 minutes. The ice cream is done when it starts to pull away from the sides of the canister. Scoop it into a container with an air tight lid. Put it in the freezer for at least 4 hours so the flavors can meld together. We served a single scoop of ours atop fresh cut watermelon, which I’m told is a very Persian dessert. Yummmmm!
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