Nothing reminds me of the absolute bliss of the coming winter while still basking in the glow of a glorious summer more than good ice cream. It’s like a powder day in a dish. And I would argue that no one can touch the homemade stuff—not Ben, not Jerry, not Daryl, not his other brother Daryl. Here’s how I started and where I’m at:
Hardware: As much as I longed nostalgically for an old hand-cranked ice and rock salt mill, I went with the instant gratification of a Cuisinart. With its sleeve you place in a freezer and torquey electric motor, you can go from zero to voilá in less than an hour.
Raw materials: I started with the basic recipe for American-style ice cream rather than “French” or frozen custard style that requires eggs and cooking.
3/4 cup whole milk
5/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 or 2 vanilla beans
Heat the milk, add the sugar and use a mixer on low until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat. Add the warmed cream and the vanilla bean (slice it down the middle and scrape out the insides). Whisk together, chill, then toss in the ice cream maker for 20 minutes. Refreeze to desired consistency.
The mash up: From the simple—but fantastic—base, I’ve developed numerous flavors. Pictured are red wine (I reduced about a cup or big red in half), green chile pistachio (I’m from New Mexico, you had to figure chile was on tap, right?), and vanilla/cardamom (my current favorite, perfect after spicy food). —Dave Cox