Sunday, March 10, 2024

Ice Cream Recipe Review #4: Fany Gerson's Vanilla Ice Cream

 “Vanilla Ice Cream/Helado de Vainilla” on page 68 of Mexican Ice Cream by Fany Gerson.

  • The online recipe can be found here
  • My other vanilla ice cream reviews can be found here.

This ice cream recipe doesn't have a sweet syrup, so it's likely to freeze harder, but it does use a texture agent, which grabs free water molecules and helps prevent the ice cream from getting icy.  It also has more vanilla than most - it calls for two Mexican vanilla beans and 1/2 teaspoon of Mexican vanilla extract.  I like the more intense flavor, and the lack of eggs in the custard is barely noticeable.

Making the custard works a bit differently: you cook the sugar, vanilla and 3/4 of the milk until it reaches a simmer. Then you add in the reserved milk with the cornstarch (there's a LOT of cornstarch - 1.5 tbsp), and when it's thickened, you stir in the cream after the cooking is done.  The result is a much thinner, easier-to-pour custard, and it was a lot easier to get into the churn the next day.

I used both vanilla beans and Pure Vanilla Extract by Villa Vainilla. The extract is great (though the amber color is surprising - I'm accustomed to vanilla extract being the color of coffee). The beans, on the other hand, were a little small and more dried out than I'd like, but they still produced a good flavor.  I prefer vanilla beans from Vanilla Bean Kings which are by far my favorites, but they happened to be sold out of Mexican vanilla at the time I was purchasing ingredients for this recipe. 


Substitutions and Techniques:

  • Turbinado sugar instead of white sugar (always) as I prefer the flavor.
  • I used tapioca flour/starch in place of corn starch, 1:1 ratio.
  • The recipe directs you to pour the custard through a sieve before chilling. I ommitted that step, and let it chill overnight with the vanilla beans in place. I fished them out before pouring the chilled custard into the ice cream maker.

Results:

  • Same day: The soft-serve stage is silky smooth and the vanilla flavor is great.
  • Next day: The flavor is quite good, particularly given that it's an eggless custard. I definitely prefer the strong vanilla flavor that this recipe provides. However, while the texture is good, it's definitely not as smooth as other recipes I've tried, both with or without eggs.  
  • The recipe is small - it barely makes a quart.  

Uses:

  • I stirred in some candied pecans and layered in some leftover caramel sauce to make a ripple.

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