In honor of June being Dairy Month, I decided to kick things off with summer’s first batch of ice cream from scratch.  I sacrificed a waffle maker in the process.  While I was standing on a chair above my pantry this morning, I moved our behemoth bread machine to the side and inadvertently knocked my thousand year old waffle maker to its (timely?) death on the kitchen floor.  It was quite a scene, let me tell you.  All in the name of homemade vanilla bean.  Oh well … what’s that phrase?  If you wanna make an omelet, you gotta break a few waffle makers.

Anyway, this lightened up ice cream is outstandingly good.  It’s smooth and rich and I promise you won’t miss the full fat version one teeny little lick.  In fact, just do yourself a favor and buy double of all the ingredients.  If your family gobbles it up the way mine did, you’ll probably want to make the whole sh’bang more than once over the course of two days.

Now, for the small matter of vanilla beans.  They aren’t frugal, but they are key to the recipe.  I looked at my three options in the baking aisle and went with the one in the little glass test tube-type packaging.  I also chose the lower priced Shurfine Brand evaporated milk, half and half, and light corn syrup and these all worked just fine.  Better than fine, they worked great.

The strawberries are so gorgeous right now, I departed from my usual chocolate fudge standby and opted for a simple berry sauce.  Berries and dairy – they go hand in hand. : )  If you have any left over, spoon it over waffles (although, no waffles at my house for a while), pancakes, angel food or pound cake — or swirl it in to vanilla yogurt with whole berries on the side.  I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to this recipe all summer long.

Have a great week.

SOURCE:  Fry, Sidney.  “A Lighter Churn”.  Cooking Light  Magazine, June 2013: p.36-39.

1 c. half and half
1/2 c. sugar, divided
2 T. light corn syrup
pinch salt
1 (12 – ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 large egg yolks

Combine half and half, 1/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, salt, and evaporated milk in a medium heavy saucepan.  Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to milk mixture.  Heat milk mixture to 180 degrees or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil).  Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand 10 minutes.  Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Return milk mixture to pan.  Cook over medium heat until a thermometer registers 160 degrees, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 20 minutes or until egg mixture is cool, stirring occasionally (alternately, allow pan to cool briefly.  When mixture is cooled, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the milk mixture to prevent a skin from forming; chill mixture overnight in the fridge).  Pour milk mixture through a fine sieve into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; discard solids.  Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions (for me this was about 25 minutes).  Spoon ice cream into freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 3 hours or until firm.

YIELDS: about 2 cups

1 16-ounce basket strawberries, hulled and sliced (strawberries are on sale)
1/2 c. sugar (I cut this to 1/4 cup and it was plenty sweet)
1 t. fresh lemon juice

Stir strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until liquid is released from the strawberries and the berries begin to break down, for me this was about 12 minutes.  Transfer strawberry sauce to a bowl (if you prefer a smooth sauce, transfer sauce from saucepan to a blender container and carefully blend until sauce reaches the desired consistency).  Chill until cold, about 2 hours.  Cover and keep chilled until serving.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | June 4th, 2013