Hi y’all. I am alive and so terribly sorry it has been so long since I shared some ice cream happiness! Allow me to share with you what I have been up to these past weeks. I went camping in Lake George with my family. It was a great time with lovely weather and warm campfires. Then I went to my other happy place; the beach. The water was just perfect and as usual, it was almost impossible for me to leave. All of a sudden, it was time for school. I know this is hard to believe but I have begun my senior year of college!
Somehow I became even more of an old lady. I was shocked by how young the freshman looked. And how cute and lost they all looked. Aw. I can remember when I was a youngster like that. Anyway, I am back now. And back for good! So hang on, lets see if I remember how to do this ice cream thing.
I am not ready for summer to be over yet. The leaves are already turning colors in the trees and the sun is setting earlier. But I am going to hold off for a little longer. Today I wanted to make a quintessential summery ice cream. Key lime pie! What is better than a cool refreshing key lime pie on a summer evening? I wanted this ice cream to be tart and sweet, with a creamy texture like that of the pie. And to give a little crunch, I would crumble a graham cracker crust into the ice cream too. Pie of My Eye was all set to be a dreamboat of a flavor.
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure
First I combined cream and sweetened condensed milk. This added some creaminess and is usually found in the real cream pie. Next I added some key lime juice, normal lime juice and the zest of a lime. This was extremely difficult to do without a zester or microplane of any kind. I used the end of a grapefruit spoon as a zesting device. It surprisingly worked! And the dairy did not curdle. It had enough sugar to protect the dairy molecules from forming a clump. Woo! Thanks science!
A quick whisk and it was off to the churner! In the meantime, I buttered up some crushed grahams and let them cook. Some of them got a little burnt, but I didn’t mind. A snack for me! I left the mix churning for a while, but each time I went to check on it, there wasn’t any difference in texture. After 45 minutes with no progress, I realized the bowl wasn’t frozen any longer and it was useless. I was left with no choice but to put it into a container, fold the graham crackers into it and stick the liquid mix in the freezer.
Why is this a problem? Well because air that gets incorporated during churning helps the emulsion of ice cream. Also, when liquid mix is put right into the freezer, the ice crystals that form are huge. Big enough to taste and interrupt the blissful ice cream moment. Any person could tell if the ice crystals are too big or not. If the first thing they notice is the off-texture, then the darn crystals are to blame. If they notice the flavor, then chances are the ice crystals aren’t perceptible to the normal taste bud.
So, knowing what I just told you, what do you think happened when I stuck the ice cream in the freezer?
That is right, the ice crystals were too big. The texture was gritty and sandy from the quiescently frozen ice cream. The flavor of the key lime was perfect however. It had the proper amount of zing to it with the perfect blend of creaminess to round it out. The graham cracker crust lost quite a bit of its crunch in the freezing and I would do it differently next time. I heard about soaking the graham crackers in something that would help them keep their snap even when frozen. I might try that next time. The end product of this ice cream doesn’t show the true potential this flavor had. Pie of My Eye II will be coming to this blog someday soon.
In conclusion, the texture of this ice cream made it a flop. But it is not gone forever. I can clearly pinpoint my mistakes and fix them for a do-over that will result in a wonderfully summery key lime pie ice cream.
I’ve got all of my ice cream making supplies back here at school with me. This year I am off campus, so I hope my neighbors are prepared to hear lots of churning! There are plenty of flavor ideas in my mind that I’ve jotted down, but if you have one that you think would be the world’s best flavor, please comment below and tell me!
My fun fact this week is that I am in the process of applying to graduate school. For my master’s degree in food science. Who would’ve thought that a girl who has wanted to be done with school for 8 years now would be signing herself up for another round? Not me! Wish me luck on my graduate entrance exam!
Well my devoted scoopers, I must get back to the books already. The syllabi were covered in the first 15 minutes, so there is no fun first week here! I’ll be back next week for another fun flavor, and perhaps a new fuzzy friend for you to meet! Scoop ya later!