Best Ice Cream Ever
It was summer, I had more chickens than egg customers, and I was looking for delicious ways to eat more eggs. What’s more delicious than ice cream? Ice cream using nine—or more—pastured egg yolks, that’s what.
For months I became a bit obsessed with making this frozen dessert and tried a bunch of recipes, such as these from Kelly the Kitchen Kop, and I learned the tricks to making truly wonderful, and nutritious, ice cream. The main requirement, hands down, is top-quality ingredients. Second, it helps to have a powerful ice cream maker, like my David’s wonderful Italian ice cream freezer. A Cuisinart will do in a pinch, but it’s really nice not having to stick your ice cream maker in the the freezer.
Thanks to the rich, classic recipe in Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, I learned that I could use 9 or more egg yolks in a batch of ice cream. I was game to try it. I have wonderful egg yolks, thanks to my chickens, and I use them liberally.
I use much less sugar than Ruhlman’s recipe, and no white sugar at all. Instead I use a combination of maple syrup and stevia for all flavors. I’ve tried a number of recipes for chocolate, maple nut, and coffee ice cream from a number of books and blogs. (Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s strawberry ice cream was an unexpected hit—we didn’t know we’d like strawberry so much! And I intend to try this coffee ice cream recipe soon.)
I haven’t settled on all my recipes yet, but my maple nut is pretty much there. I didn’t even bother to look up a recipe this time, I just winged it from memory. Here’s what I did:
Maple Nut Ice Cream
Yolks from 9 pastured eggs (don’t faint, you can always use more, but a minimum of 6)
3/4 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B (darker and more flavorful) and organic (I’ve used as little as 1/2 cup with more stevia)
3 1/2 cups heavy cream, organic, raw if possible (I used pasteurized, but never ultra-pasteurized)
Dropper full of liquid stevia, if desired/needed for more sweetness (more or less depending on your brand and preference)
Pinch of sea salt (up to 1/4 tsp)
Maple flavoring, optional, 1-2 tsp
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped crispy walnuts (raw nuts soaked overnight in salted water, dehydrated at low temp until crispy), added when mixture is almost done churning.
In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks together until blended, then whisk in maple syrup and flavoring, stevia, and cream. Once blended, you can chill mixture in refrigerator before freezing in an ice cream freezer, or just go for it. It may take a little longer, depending on your ice cream maker.
Add chopped walnuts 5 or 10 minutes before ice cream is done (that’s with a typical 30-35 minute churning/freezing time in our ice cream maker)
When ice cream is done (ours is on a timer), you’ll probably want to scoop it into a freezer container and let it harden a bit more in the freezer.
For vanilla ice cream, substitute 1 Tbsp vanilla, and lose the nuts.
This low sugar, moderate protein and high fat delight is pretty darned nutritious, a wonderful source of healthful saturated fat, cholesterol, choline, Vitamins A and D, and it’s very, very satisfying.
Check out this post from Chris Kresser on why you should eat more cholesterol, not less.