I have posted about how great Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home is and let me say again, it is splendid. There are two things that make Jeni’s unique. First off, NO EGG! (We’ll get to that in a minute.) Amazing flavor is the other thing and she has one amazing flavor after another!
When I got her cookbook it was because I was looking for something interesting in the world of ice cream and she hits it out of the park. Starting with no egg. Why is this a big deal? Well, most ice creams want you to make a hot milk mixture and then temper your eggs. This is a difficult thing to master and can be VERY stressful. So when I saw she doesn’t use egg I was intrigued. Instead she uses a very carefully formulated balance of whole milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch. It’s all timed and well documented in the book so as long as you follow the steps it’s all good.
Now let’s talk flavor. I am not going to go into detail about all the flavors on this post because I am sure I’ll be posting as more flavors are made but this one immediately caught my attention. Wild Berry Lavender Ice Cream. I looked at the recipe and it started off innocent enough. Make a plain base and add a blueberry compote to it. Let it chill overnight and then put it in your ice cream maker. The next step is where I was like, what?! Use lavender and orange blossom essential oils by putting a couple drops of each while the ice cream is turning.
I did this and boy was it amazing! The color is completely from the blueberries and it’s such a beautiful natural color! Then the combination of lavender and blueberry was unexpected and the orange just balanced it all out.
Now the problem I had been having is that if I made the ice cream in the morning and put it in the freezer by lunch it was the perfect consistency. If it stayed in longer (because, yes, I was trying not to eat a quart of ice cream in one sitting) it would get very hard and I would have to set it out for up to an hour to get it back to a texture I was happy with.
That was until I made another of her recipes the Bourbon Ice Cream and the Cocoa Zin Ice Cream. Both have alcohol in them. The major discovery was that if there was just enough alcohol in it it would keep it from getting to hard and I could scoop it any time straight out of the freezer.
So now back to my Wild Berry Lavender Ice Cream. Remember how I told you she said to use orange blossom essential oils as well as the lavender? Well the orange didn’t come through as much as I would have liked and all the together got me thinking. What if I added the same amount of cointreau to it as the bourbon in the other recipe. Cointreau is a orange liquor and should work… Let me tell you, it did and then some! This totally solved both issues. It’s scoopable right out of the freezer and add just enough orange to come through and work with the other flavors.
This is ultimately what I wanted in a ice cream book. Teach me the basics and then encourage me to experiment and she does just that.