We’ve had a weird spring-into-summer around here. It’s easier to appreciate freakishly cool days now that we’re nearing the end of July, but it was tough going for a couple of months, when the sun kept to itself and seasonal cooking seemed like a faintly-remembered dream. The dreary weather even convinced me that this drink would be a perfectly refreshing and appropriate summer quaff, but when corn debuted at the farmers’ market two weeks ago, warmer weather did too, and any desire to sip on a hot beverage went right out the window.
Despite the thermometer’s reluctance to get with the game, I’ve been experimenting with different ice creams this “summer,” and mostly successfully. (We won’t discuss last weekend’s vegan debacle — it never happened, you hear me?) My latest version was an attempt to 1) rejigger the sweet corn and milk drink into a frozen dessert, and 2) use ingredients already in my house (goat’s milk yogurt) instead of going to the store (for the standard stuff). By combining recipes, I ended up with a frozen yogurt I’ll quite happily nom on all week. The best part is that it’s so well-balanced — not too sweet, not too goaty, not too corny — that each ingredient complements the others without overpowering them.
* * * * * * * * * *
My earlier attempts at ice cream-making actually involved ice cream, not frozen yogurt. Imagine!
My favorite ice cream since I was a little girl has been my godmother’s cherry vanilla (though her banana version was a very close second). K&B had excellent cherry vanilla as well, but they’re gone, pecan, so I kept it in the family and asked my dad to get my aunt’s recipe the next time he saw her. After making both cherry vanilla and banana versions, I’m really happy to say it wasn’t just an exalted memory, but that this ice cream really is that good … so good that peach probably isn’t too far away. I just need to make sure the weather holds up.
Better get to it before an early autumn arrives.
recipes after the jump
As I mentioned, I used goat’s milk yogurt and loved it, but if it’s not your thing, regular yogurt would be delicious here, too.
4 ears sweet corn, shucked and cleaned
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope gelatin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unflavored goat’s milk yogurt
1/4 cup corn syrup
Cut the kernels from the ears of corn, scraping the cobs to release milk. In a blender, combine the corn kernels and 1/2 cup of milk and blend at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy.
Combine the corn mixture, remaining milk, sugar, gelatin, and salt in a medium saucepan. Let stand 2 minutes, or until no dry sections remain in the gelatin. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until the gelatin dissolves. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any remaining corn solids if you want a smoother frozen yogurt. Press down on solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. (I didn’t have much in the way of solids after so much blending, so I might skip this step next time.)
Cool to room temperature, then stir in the vanilla extract, yogurt, and corn syrup. Pour into a bowl; cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Aunt Chris’s Ice Cream
I also tried this with real vanilla beans steeped in milk instead of the extract. It was better than the original, but tempering eggs usually ends in disaster for me, so I’ll probably stick with the version below.
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 or 6 eggs, depending on size
1 quart + 1 pint milk
3 small cans evaporated milk
Combine all ingredients except evaporated milk in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer until thick and creamy, stirring often. Remove pot from burner and add evaporated milk. Pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Stir in fresh fruit to taste, pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.