Friday, February 28, 2014

Vanilla Pineapple Ice Cream

My eldest son is just starting to get interested in cooking. He loves to tie on his apron and get his hands dirty. He is my right hand man for spicing and stirring...sometimes far too vigorously, but with excited energy nonetheless! His enthusiasm is adorable, and it's been a great way to get him to at least take a taste of the dishes we're making.

I've been waiting for the day when he would make a recipe request. I figured it would be along the lines of waffles or cupcakes ("happy-cakes", as he calls them). It was even better than that... This is a kid after my own heart... He requested one of our mutual favorite foods....Ice cream!

This is no ordinary ice cream- sweet cream with a custardy base, this is a vanilla ice cream to die for! And then it gets better.... Sweet ripe pineapple is thrown into the mix for a little tropical interlude! This Vanilla Pineapple Ice Cream is a perfect treat for winter or summer! Add in a little Macadamia Nut Caramel for kicks... hmmm. The Little Man is full of all sorts of bright ideas!

Vanilla Pineapple Ice Cream
modified from the original recipe by Alton Brown
makes 8-10 servings

3 cups half & half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh pineapple juice, optional

Mix the half & half plus cream in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a low simmer while stirring occasionally. Once heated, remove from the stove.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they become a light yellow color. Slowly add in the sugar while whisking to combine.

Next, temper the cream base by adding small amounts of the cream mix to the beaten egg/sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Continue to add a bit at a time, while whisking, until about 1/3 of the cream is incorporated into the egg/sugar mix. Pour the rest of the cream in, whisk, and then return to the saucepan.

Place the pan over low heat and mix often until slightly thickened (should be able to coat the back of a spoon) or reaches between 170-175F. The mix will thicken just a bit, so don't be alarmed!

Once to temperature, pour the mixture into a large bowl or container, and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and and let cool completely. Place the ice cream mix into the fridge for 4-8 hours (I did 4 hours) or until cooled to 40F.

Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions, about 25-35 minutes. 

As the ice cream is churning, prepare your pineapple by trimming, coring, and dicing about 1/2 cup. Place the pineapple in a sieve over a small bowl and allow to drain some of the juice.

5 minutes before the finish of the churning, add the pineapple and 1 tablespoon of the reserved juice. Continue to churn as directed, plus another 10 minutes.

You can dish it up as soft serve immediately or place into an airtight container to freeze 3-4 hours to firm up. This ice cream is amazing with this Macadamia Nut Caramel Sauce.

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