Cornstarch Ice Cream

Recipe courtesy Mark Bittman
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 20 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive Prep: 2 hr
Cook: 15 min
 
YIELD: 1 generous pint
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups light cream, half-and-half or milk (whole or skim), or a combination
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
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Directions

Put 2 cups cream, half-and-half or milk, the sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. If using a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into liquid, then add pod. Cook until mixture begins to steam.

In a bowl, blend cornstarch and remaining cream, half-and-half or milk; there should be no lumps. Remove bean pod from pot and discard. Add cornstarch mixture to pot. Cook, stirring, until it starts to thicken and barely reaches a boil, about 5 minutes. Immediately reduce heat to very low and stir for 5 minutes or so until thick. Stir in vanilla extract, if using.

If mixture has lumps, strain it into a bowl. Chill until cool, a couple of hours (you can skip this step if you have a machine with a built-in freezer). When cool or if there are no lumps, pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Honey-Jam Variation: Substitute honey for half the sugar. Add 1/2 cup good jam to mixture before freezing.

Buttermilk or Yogurt: Substitute buttermilk or yogurt for half the cream or milk.

Cherry-Vanilla: Add 1 cup halved, pitted cherries just before freezing.

Strawberry, Blueberry or Peach: Add 1 cup hulled, sliced strawberries, blueberries, or peeled and chopped peaches before freezing.

Coffee: Substitute 1/2 cup very strong coffee for 1/2 cup cream or milk.

Coconut: Substitute 1 cup coconut milk for 1 cup cream or milk; add 1/2 cup toasted dried coconut if you like.

Mint Chocolate Chip: Add 1/2 cup minced mint and 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate just before freezing.
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