After the recent Pinkberry scandal, where should fans turn for a froyo that’s truly au natural? Look no further than our upcoming June issue, which features extraordinary frozen yogurt recipes (as well as ice creams and sorbets) from the ice cream maverick, Jeni Britton of Jeni Britton’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio.
When we asked Jeni to give us recipes for her incredibly creamy, cult-worthy ice creams, she started from scratch. Apparently, ice creams made in professional machines and kept frozen at sub-Arctic temperatures don’t translate easily to equipment available to the home cook.
Jeni’s food science professor friend at Ohio State University told her that a great homemade ice cream with a shelf life beyond a few hours was impossible--he said they all inevitably become icy. Jeni, however, ignored him and set about revolutionizing homemade ice cream with nothing more than a $250 Cuisinart ICE-50BC machine (in our test kitchen--the simpler $50 model worked equally well), Organic Valley dairy and a lot of gumption.
To develop her vanilla ice cream recipe, she slung her adorable then two-month-old daughter on her back and over a solid month, tested 75 batches before feeling satisfied. She started with recipes from cookbooks, most which call for egg yolks, all which ended up with ice crystals. Since she doesn’t use eggs at her shops, she ideally wanted an eggless home recipe.
In the end, she developed several tricks to make perfect homemade vanilla ice cream:
- Using sugar and corn syrup, which help “tie up” the loose water molecules that cause iciness.
- Boiling the cream and milk with the sugar helps thoroughly incorporate the sugar and evaporate some of the excess water.
- Adding cornstarch to thicken the cream and absorb water.
- Whisking in cream cheese to help improve the final body of the ice cream.
The result: the best homemade ice creams to ever hit your spoon. And if the DIY approach to ice cream isn't your thing, Jeni's does offer mail order.