I’ve finally put my ice cream maker to use. I bought it two years ago (or was it three?) off of a friend that was moving apartments and looking to clean house. My hoarding tendencies being what they are when it comes to anything food related, of course I was going to take it off of her hands. I came home, threw the bowl in the freezer, and there it sat . . . for months.
The next thing you know, I pulled the bowl out to make room in the freezer for something else, put it away on top of my kitchen cabinets, and there it sat, never to be heard from again.
That is until I decided it was time to put an ice cream recipe on the blog. So before summer comes to an official end, I am here to share with you my recipe for mascarpone ice cream. The mascarpone cheese has a rich, creaminess to it that makes the ice cream to die for. I add in some lemon zest while the custard is cooling, which adds a brightness that will make you not want to put it down.
Now before you ask: yes, making ice cream requires a little bit of precision. The first step is to make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is nice and cold; I recommend placing it in the freezer the night before. (Making ice cream from scratch requires some planning and forethought.) Second in line is to be sure not to make scrambled eggs as you cook your custard. You can help prevent this by keeping a close eye (you actually shouldn’t leave the stovetop as it cooks) and having an ice bath ready with a strainer set inside of a bowl. Next is to make sure that your custard is cool (not just room temperature) before putting it into the ice cream machine. The last step (which I admittedly failed) is to not over-churn the ice cream. The result was that the texture turned out to be a little grainy, but it was still delicious and I’m going to eat the last of it as a reward after finishing this post.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- ⅔ cup mascarpone cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- Prepare an ice bath by placing some ice and water in a large bowl and setting another large container inside. Find your fine mesh strainer. Set both aside.
- Heat the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a bowl; slowly whisk half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks. (This is called "tempering" the eggs. You want to slowly add the hot mixture to gradually raise the temperature of the egg yolks and not end up with sugary scrambled eggs.)
- Return the egg-cream mixture to the rest of the cream in the saucepan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the custard has thickened enough so that it coats the back of a spoon and holds a line drawn with your finger, about 5 minutes. (The texture of the custard is called "nappant" when it reaches this stage.) Immediately pour through the fine mesh strainer into the contained set inside the prepared ice bath; add the mascarpone cheese (the warm custard should melt the cheese) and lemon zest to the cooked custard and let cool, stirring frequently, for at least 30 minutes. (Alternatively, if you don't want to stir the custard in the ice bath, you can place plastic wrap on the surface of the custard so a skin doesn't form and place it in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.)
- Once the custard is cool, transfer the ice cream base to your ice cream machine and churn per the manufacturer's instructions. (You should stop once it's approximately the texture of soft serve. I let it go for about 30 minutes, which was apparently too long.) Transfer the ice cream to another container and freeze until solid, a couple of hours more.
I’d give myself a solid B+ (maybe an A- if I’m lenient) on my first ice cream making attempt. The flavor was great, but now I just have to keep a closer eye as it churns. I’ll definitely be making use of my ice cream machine more in the future.