I think it has rarely been hotter in Manila. Broadcast is a high of 35°C (95°F) and a low of 25°C (77°F), but my last measurement in the kitchen was 30°C (86°F, please stop using the Fahrenheit scale). Watching the snowstorms in London I couldn't help but wonder (wow, hello Carrie Bradshaw) if I longed for the sweet, sweet misery of Jack Frost biting my ass instead of being dehydrated. As even further proof of my kitchen addiction, I worried more about whether my new ice cream maker would still work. So, I made certain that I covered all the bases: I froze the canister for at least 24 hours, I chilled the base before churning, and I churned in an air-conditioned room: a comfortably cool 23°C (73.4°F)-- considered "warm" by many a pastry cookbook I own! As the custard base spun around loosely, my fears were beginning to build until: gradually, wonderfully-- magic! And I'm talking actual magic, not David Blaine magic.
Beautiful soft-serve ice cream, ready for ripening. Not bad for a $50 ice cream maker from Costco (Cuisinart CIM-60PC, identical to the Cuisinart ICE-30BC). I couldn't stop fingering (uh... spooning?) the delightfully frosty peaks, stealing a bite here and there.
This recipe is from David Leibovitz's The Perfect Scoop, which has been garnering praise all over the blogosphere, because it is just that awesome a book. I chose blackberry swirl ice cream because I chanced upon frozen blackberries at the supermarket (I think they import it when they feel like it) and I wasn't familiar with their taste-- I wanted to make flavors that could not be commonly found in freezers here (otherwise, what's the point?). It is quite simply one of the silkiest, most delicious ice creams I've ever had, and rivals Häagen-Dazs for a fraction of the cost. I knew it was really that good when my grandmother, who disappointingly describes my desserts in varying degrees of "it's sweet" said, "MMMM! (high pitched) It's SWEET!" Har har. (It's not excessively sweet, it is just perfect.)
Mr. Liebovitz has a great online presence and I didn't (and can't, because it's my first attempt at ice cream) adapt the recipe as of yet. So instead I'm giving you a short list of ingredients and a link to his blog, where you just follow his basic procedure for making ice cream. Also, buy the book if you ever plan on making great, memorable ice cream.
(Note: The Cuisinart ICE-50BC does not need prefreezing and can churn batch after batch because it has its own compressor. However, churning takes 60 minutes compared to the 30-BC's 30.)
Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream
The ingredients are: 250g milk, 130g sugar, a pinch of salt, 375g cream, 5 large egg yolks, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Follow the procedure here on how to make the ice cream base, then churn it as directed. To make the swirl, mash together 160g blackberries, 45g sugar, 1 tablespoon vodka, and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice until a chunky soup remains. Give this a chill. As you pack the freshly churned ice cream into a freezer container, layer in the swirl. Ripen in the freezer a few hours.