I love ice cream! For my family, ice cream was as a regular treat while at the same time it was special. Everyone looked forward to ice cream. My dad loved his black walnut and my mom liked her chocolate or coffee, the kids - we loved banana split flavor or Neapolitan. I grew up with 1/2 gallons of ice cream in the freezer, trips to Thrifty's or when we moved back east, Carvel's soft serve twists on a sugar cone became a staple. What a better way to cool off in the summer than eating a vanilla or chocolate twist dipped in chocolate or sprinkles. I always went for the vanilla with colored sprinkles. Sometimes we headed to Farrell's or Swenson's or Friendly's for something even fancier. My grandfather took me for ice cream and treated me to a Jim Dandy sundae for no reason except that he asked me to go - I really felt special as there were a lot of cousins and getting time alone was rare and special. We all looked forward to ice cream. A favorite story from my mom's childhood is how my grandmother would treat my mom and her siblings by taking the waxed cardboard rectangular 1/2 gallon of ice cream container and cutting it four big slices for each, cutting right through the paper. I don't remember ever making homemade ice cream, maybe once at my aunt's house the same year they made homemade root beer.
I was initiated into the allure of hand cranked ice cream by my husband's family. They have special memories of hand cranking a churn and producing the delicious treat. When they reminisce about it, ice cream making was an event - they remember cranking the churn, whisking raw eggs into the mixture, trying to churn without rock salt (it never froze), and all the son's taking their turn at the crank. With my ice cream history, I gladly accepted their enthusiasm for homemade ice cream. My first ice cream churn was electric and it was a big loud maker that required a steady flow of ice cubes and rock salt, and had to be churned outside as it was messy or in the sink. Then, I received my current churn with an insert that you freeze, pour the ingredients in while the paddle is moving and within 30 minutes a soft ice cream is ready. I love this maker!
This is my standby recipe. It is easy to make and tastes delicious. The difference between Philadelphia style and other styles is that eggs are not used versus a custard style vanilla ice cream. This ice cream is sweet and just rich enough to compliment many pairings. I pair with cakes, pies, fruit and brownies. It works well with a rich hot fudge, easy chocolate sauce, or decadent caramel sauce, marshmallow sauce or, my personal favorite, strawberry sauce.
Vanilla Ice Cream Philadelphia Style
Makes about 1 quart
2 cups (473 ml) of half and half
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
2/3 (128 grams) cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla
Mix all ingredients together with a hand whisk or use an emulsifier hand blender.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. The colder the base is the better.
Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.