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Years ago I got an ice cream maker, and my first attempt to make anything with it was poor. I tried to make chocolate chocolate chip ice cream by following a chocolate recipe included in the instruction manual. The flavor was all right, but the texture was all wrong--it came out flaky and full of ice crystals, like ice milk, and frankly wasn't quite chocolaty enough.

I don't remember the recipe now, but I know of three mistakes I made then: I should have substituted in heavy cream in place of half the milk, I should have let the mixture chill more before churning, and I should have mixed in the chips during the last minute of churning. Some of this was the fault of the recipe, in that using only milk was not a good idea, and I don't think the chocolate flavor really came through properly.

After watching too many episodes of Good Eats lately and learning a few good tips from Alton Brown, I resolved to try my hand at orange ice cream. This past weekend I went ahead and did just that, using a recipe I found here. My results were mixed.

This time I took the Internet's word for it, and per the other reviewers I subbed in heavy cream for half the milk. I also let the mixture chill a good long while--which ended up being 8 hours. Texture-wise, the final result was perfect. It also has a pleasing light yellowish-orange color.

The only problem I had with the final result is that there's a definite "cooked" flavor which has to have come from the oranges. I believe the problem is in the initial phase of the recipe, boiling the zest along with the milk and letting it steep (like tea). Apparently oranges can take on a cooked flavor with little prodding, so I consider this a flaw in the recipe. When I make this the next time, I think I'll just about double the zest and just add it in the final phase before chilling, letting the flavors mix then.

Observations from this process: 2 decent-sized navel oranges (I wouldn't call either one "large") produced exactly ½ cup of juice and about exactly 2 tablespoons of zest, after accounting for my failure to get proper zest at first with a tool that wasn't up to the job. (I bought a small Farberware fine grater with a measuring cup underneath that was supposed to catch the zest, but the zest either stayed on top or oozed through the holes without falling in. This grater will probably be better for nutmeg. I switched to a box grater for the rest.) I'll have to use more oranges next time to get more zest.

Since I have a fondness for berries I'll eventually try making blueberry ice cream, but I have an even better idea to try once I get better at this process. My mother makes a fresh blueberry pie, which she learned how to make while visiting Canada--where they sell a glaze that's just perfect for this. A fresh blueberry pie is just blueberries in the blueberry glaze, on a graham cracker or cookie crust, and served with whipped cream. It's tart, sweet, and increibly tasty. I think just maybe I can do that with ice cream, by starting with an unflavored base (much like what I'll try next time for the orange) and adding chopped fresh blueberries before chilling, which should hopefully let the berries absorb some cream so they won't freeze solid during churning or hardening. Then at the end of churning, in go the crushed pieces of graham crackers.

Chances are next weekend or the week after that I'll go for orange ice cream version 2.0, maybe this time adding some mini chocolate chips. I may even be bold enough to try making it tangerine ice cream instead, though that's gonna take a lot more juicing.
Hah, you're making me hungry. I should really practice culinary skills, it'd be a good thing.
I'm trying to gradually improve my cooking repertoire. I can do a lot of breakfast foods but I'd really like to branch out more.

For instance the next time I do steak, if the weather ever improves again, I'm thinking of using finely chopped garlic instead of garlic powder which is just too fine. This weekend my dad did some steaks on his grill and he used a coarser garlic for the seasoning, along with a tinderbox with hickory wood chips to add nice flavor. The leftovers were still superbly flavorful, much more so than is common I'd say. My little grill won't support a tinderbox but I can at least use a better grade of garlic.

The only pain about ice cream really is the amount of prep work that goes into it, particularly separating the egg yolks and beating them with sugar with a whisk (I don't have have a electric mixer), to say nothing of the zesting and juicing in this recipe. One other tip I learned from Alton Brown by the way is that when combining the egg yolk mixture and the milk mixture (which is warm), the milk mixture should be added only gradually to bring the temperature of the eggs up slowly.
Dangit, LJR. That sounds so yummy. I so uberfail with homemade ice cream -- do tell if OIC v2.0 is as good as it sounds.
Try coming to australia for different kind of meats. You get Kangaroo and Crocidile here! Also the steaks here are fanastic! Anyway, here's a tip for vanilla ice cream. Use the black stuff inside the vanilla pods rather than the pod themselves. The pod doesn't have all the flavour but the vanilla seeds does. *touches my nose*
Pity Kangaroo meat is awful.

A few restaurants here make the ice cream they serve to customers themselves, so I imagine that's probably true for the rest of the world.

If you know of a restaurant that sells ice cream, query if they make it themselves, and if you can get a recipe or two.
My Mum makes Chocolate, Passion Fruit and occasionally Crème de mentheice cream. She also made Vanilla once, which was awesome but way more expensive than the stuff you buy from a store to be it worth making. I could write/scan out the recipes from her book if you want.

Tiberath wrote:
Pity Kangaroo meat is awful.

When I had it I just thought it was pretty much like normal steak. One day I want to try crocodile, but I'm yet to see it in stores while there's money in my wallet.
I've tried kangaroo but it was in a spiedie sauce at the Fair, which masked over the meat's flavor. I also thought it was a bit overdone. Other than that though it seemed good. I've been told kangaroo is actually better than steak, but I'm not sure I believe that.