Create an ice cream shop in your own kitchen

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We all scream for ice cream, but do we really want to go through the hassle of making it from scratch? Artisan ice cream-maker Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of the popular Ohio-based Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, thinks so. Her beautiful new book — filled with the delicious, inventive recipes from her shops, along with colorful, sublime images of scoops, sundaes and pops — might just convince you to put down the cupcake mix and invest in an ice cream-maker.

 “First of all, with my recipes [you can get] that American scoop shop’s ice-cream texture. And then on top of that, you can make whatever flavor you want,” says Bauer, who nixed the traditional egg yoke from her ingredients and instead substituted cornstarch, corn syrup and a bit of cream cheese to get the creamy, scoopable texture.

To ensure the recipes in “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home” would translate from her professional parlors to your kitchen, she tested each of her flavors — including Gooey Butter Cake and her best-seller, Salted Caramel — in a popular Cuisinart home ice-cream maker.

But Bauer’s greatest selling point? The magic of creating your own flavors.  “If you go to Sri Lanka and bring back cinnamon, then you can make ice cream with that cinnamon and serve it at your dinner parties and tell that story,” she says. “Or if you grow mint in your backyard, and you have a summer picnic, then you make a backyard-mint ice cream.”

Your dreams of hostess superstardom just came to fruition.

Two recipes to make your own ice cream

1.Salty Caramel Ice Cream

It was at a French bakery where I worked throughout high school and college that I first heard of salted caramel, called “salty” caramel by a chef in his thick French accent. For years it has been the most popular flavor of ice cream in our stores, accounting for more than 20 percent of sales, and we still make it the way we always have, one batch at a time, the sugar hand-stirred in a pan over a hot burner. The reward: no better flavor in the world.

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pairs well with: Apple pie. Chocolate cake. Rhubarb Compote.

Danger! This is the dry-burn technique. I don’t add water to the sugar before putting it on the heat, as some chefs do. Caramelizing sugar dry means it goes faster, but you have to watch it more closely and be ready with your cream. Here is an overview of what you are going to do:

Stand over the pan of sugar with a heatproof spatula ready, but do not touch the sugar until there is a full layer of melted and browning liquid sugar on the bottom with a smaller layer of unmelted white sugar on the top. When the edges of the melted sugar begin to darken, use the spatula to bring them into the center to help melt the unmelted sugar. Continue stirring and pushing the sugar around until it is all melted and evenly amber in color—like an old penny. When little bubbles begin to explode with dark smoke, give the sugar another moment and then remove from the heat. Immediately but slowly pour about 14 cup of the cream and corn syrup mixture into the burning-hot sugar. Be careful! It will pop and spit! Stir until it is incorporated, then add a bit more cream and stir, then continue until it is all in.

Prep

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

- More -

Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Cook
Heat the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is melted and golden amber in color (see note above). Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will fizzle, pop, and spurt. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.

Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. If any caramel flecks remain, pour the mixture through a sieve.

Chill
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freeze
Pour into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.

Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Gravel Road Ice Cream
In the mood for Salty Caramel with nuts? Add smoked almonds and make Gravel Road.
Reduce the salt in the ice cream to 14 teaspoon, then make and freeze the ice cream. Pack it into the storage container, layering it with 1 cup coarsely chopped smoked almonds.

2. Lemon Frozen Yogurt

Tangy yogurt bursting with the electrifying scent of tart lemon.

This has been a best seller in our shops for years. It was one of my first flavors ever, reminiscent
of my favorite sherbets when I was a kid. When they are in season, we use Meyer lemons for a softer, sweet-tart flavor, and during the warm months, we make lemon and blueberry yogurt.

I have included a variation for a blueberry version, but the lemon yogurt will go with any of our fruit sauces.

Makes a generous 1 quart

Ingredients
Frozen Yogurt Base
1 quart plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Zest from 1 lemon (reserved from below)

Lemon syrup
2 to 3 lemons
3 tablespoons sugar

Pairs well with: Cherry pie. Dark chocolate.

Advanced prep

For the frozen yogurt base:
Fit a sieve over a bowl and line it with two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt into the sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours to drain. Discard the liquid, and measure out 11/4 cups of
the drained yogurt; set aside.

Prep
For the lemon syrup:
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest in large strips from 1 lemon; reserve for the frozen yogurt (leave the lemon zest in large strips so it’s easier to strain out later). Juice enough of the lemons to make 1/2 cup.

Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool.

For the frozen yogurt base:
Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth.

More

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Cook
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon zest in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.

Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Chill
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved 11/4 cups yogurt and the lemon syrup and whisk until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freeze
Remove the zest from the frozen yogurt base. Pour into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the frozen yogurt into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Variation:
Lemon & Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
Make Blueberry Sauce (see below) and chill completely. Make the Lemon Frozen Yogurt as directed. As you pack the frozen yogurt into the storage container, alternate it with layers of Blueberry Sauce. End with a spoonful of sauce; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Blueberry Sauce

Fabulous with citrus yogurts or in sundaes, this sauce is versatile, easy, and gorgeous.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

1 1/2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup sugar

Mix the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are tender and the sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, then refrigerate until cold before using.


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