Don't be fooled. As sweet as the scoops above might look, the fact is that they are stuffed with sin. You see, dear readers, I have a confession to make. I have done something so, so, SO naughty.
I've made butter ice cream.
BUTTER ICE CREAM!
You may be wondering, "is this for real?". Well, the answer, my friends...
While you absorb the gravity and general amazing-ness of this statement, let me explain. Don't start panicking, because there is a homemade butter ice cream recipe at the end of the story.
I was writing about how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker for an upcoming post on Craftsy, when it hit me: what if I used butter instead of cream to make the ice cream? After all, isn't butter the condensed best part of cream, anyway? The more I thought about it, the better an idea I decided it was.
So using the same method I used for the Craftsy writeup, I whipped up a batch of vanilla ice cream. But instead of heavy cream, I substituted an equal amount of butter. From there, I basically followed the same steps.
So, now that you've had some time to digest the words "butter ice cream", you're probably wondering "was it gross? Or was it awesome?". Because let's be honest, when somebody says something like "butter ice cream" it's probably going to be one or the other: awful of awesome. Something like butter ice cream is never just "well, it was ok".
Listen. I need to tell you that there is a reason why this kind of ice cream is not sold in stores. It is absolutely made of sin. It tastes like the unholy love child of a rich buttercream frosting and frozen custard, which is to say, it tastes amazing.
Now, there were some differences between the butter ice cream and regular ice cream. For one, it was flakier in the pan once frozen; I had to let it sit at room temperature for about 2 minutes before it would scoop properly. It doesn't have the same exact texture as ice cream. Oddly, the texture is more like a coconut milk or vegan ice creams I've tried in the past. But the taste is nothing like those varieties.
Listen, I am not going to advocate eating buckets of the stuff, because quite frankly, you'd probably have a heart attack. But I am going to say that as a garnish for a treat, a thinly spread filling in an ice cream sandwich, or enjoyed in a single sinful scoop, this is a treat which ends up tasting way better than it has any right to.
OK. Maybe you're sold, maybe not. But if you are curious, here's the recipe.
BUTTER ice cream
Makes about 12 cookie scoop sized servings
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Cut the butter into small pieces. Place the first five ingredients (everything but the vanilla) in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir CONSTANTLY. I found that if I didn't, burned bits of butter would form very quickly. If they do, don't stop: we'll strain the mixture in a little bit.
- Continue to cook until the temperature has reached 145 F (a few degrees over is fine). Keep a close eye on this as the smoke point for butter is 150 degrees F. Remove from heat, and if needed, strain the mixture into a different bowl through a sieve to strain out burned bits. Stir in the vanilla and place the bowl or pan in an ice bath.
- While the mixture is cooling in the ice bath, place a stainless steel bowl (fairly shallow) or baking pan in the freezer to chill.
- Once the mixture has cooled, gently pour it into the cold pan. Take care that no drops of water from the bottom of the pan get in the mixture.
- Place the pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove the pan. Chances are, it feels a bit gluey. It's OK. Stir it as vigorously as you can, using a combo of rubber spatula (to loosen the mixture from the sides and bottom) and a whisk (to mix). Stir vigorously (but not so hard as to make the mixture go flying) for 1 minute or so. Return the mixture to the freezer.
- Repeat this process every 20 minutes or so for 6 cycles. The mixture will be slightly thicker every time. If at any point it is too thick, place the mixture in the refrigerator to soften slightly before stirring, then do the step and return to the freezer. Once the ice cream has completely frozen, your ice cream is ready.
Enjoy in moderation and good health.