29 August 2007
Day 18: (Lower Fat) Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
When I first started making ice cream, I quickly realized that any attempt to reduce the fat content of the mixture would be very unsuccessful. Using lower fat dairy products instead of the recommended milk and cream will result in a concoction more like a pejorative ice milk than ice cream, not to mention the sacrifices in taste and texture. I accepted this fact and I’ve enjoyed many delicious homemade ice creams, albeit in tiny scoops.
However, the more ice creams I made, the more I thought that surely there could be a good lower-fat ice cream out there, in part because I was alarmed with the amount of cream I’ve been purchasing lately, and in part because I like a challenge. And while you won’t get a low-fat version like the commercially produced ones made with fancy equiptment and funky sounding stabilizers, you’ll have a homemade treat that’s sure to satisfy. The basic recipe I’ve had the most success with uses condensed milk, a product I’m not very familiar with, and generally avoid due to it’s frightening processed sweetness. However, I will give it credit because it works well here to add both sweetness and smoothness to the ice cream.
If I was going to be making an ice cream using sweetened condensed milk, I figured why not make a flavor that normally uses that ingredient. Two things immediately popped to mind: key lime pie and Thai iced coffee. I went with the key lime version (using regular limes, which worked fine), and let me tell you, this one’s a winner folks. It’s soft and creamy almost to the point of richness, and I love the burst of lime flavor and those pretty little flecks of green. Oh and the graham crackers, please do not forget the graham crackers. I love hunks of things in my ice cream, bits of cookies, crunchy coffee beans, and in this case, graham crackers. I sandwiched the key lime ice cream between two digestive biscuits, and that worked marvelously as well.
I’ll still be making full fat ice creams, but it’s good to have this basic recipe in your back pocket, and I’m looking forward to trying the Thai tea version as well.
Basic Lower-Fat Ice Cream
2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
2 whole eggs
1 (14 oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Beat together the eggs in a small bowl. Place the milk, sweetened condensed milk, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly add a small amount of the milk mixture to the eggs in a stream, stirring to combine. Pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan with the milk. Return the saucepan to moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (do not boil or it will curdle). Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and add the vanilla. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (you can expedite this by placing the bowl in an ice bath and stirring to cool, then chilling in the fridge).
2. Churn the chilled custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Store in the freezer.
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream: After making the custard, stir in 1/2 cup key lime (or regular lime) juice and 1 tsp of lime zest. Fold in crumbled graham crackers after churning, if desired.
Thai Tea Ice Cream: Heat the milk with 1 tbl of Thai tea leaves and set aside to infuse for several minutes. Strain out the tea leaves and proceed with the recipe as directed.