lychee ice cream, kitchenaid version

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I adapted the KitchenAid ice cream maker base for French Vanilla ice cream and added lychee fruit to it. Here’s what I learned: the ice cream maker freeze bowl needs to be very frozen–at least 24 hours. Also, the ice cream base needs to be cooked on low heat to a temperature of 160˚F. Any hotter and the eggs will cook. I saved it by straining the base. Here’s how it turned out: creamy, lightly sweet, and fresh–just as I remembered home-made ice cream should taste. It uses a lot of egg yolks, that’s the drawback, so it looks like I will have to make a pavlova with the egg whites! That’s not such a terrible thing to do, actually…

French Vanilla Ice Cream (adapted from KitchenAid)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 8-12 hours
Freezing time: 10-15 minutes

600 ml (2 1/2 cups) half and half (50% cream 50% milk)
8 egg yolks
230 g (1 cup) superfine sugar
600 ml (2 1/2 cups) whipping cream
4 teaspoons vanilla
a pinch of salt
1 tin of lychee fruit, chilled, drained and chopped. Discard syrup

In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat half-and-half to 160˚F, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and very gradually add the hot half-and-half; mix until blended and sugar has dissolved.

Return half-and-half egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat until it reaches a temperature of 160˚F. Transfer mixture back to the mixer bowl and add the whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly for at least 8 hours.

Assemble the ice cream attachment and turn on to Speed 1. Using a large measuring cup with a spout, slowly pour the ice cream base into the freeze bowl while the machine is turning. Continue on Speed 1 until the ice cream reaches the desired consistency in 10-15 minutes. About 3-5 minutes before freeze time, add the chopped fruit. It’s okay to turn off the machine for this step. Spoon the fruit evenly about the dasher. Continue churning until the fruit is blended into the ice cream.

Using a plastic spoon or spatula, spoon out the ice cream into dishes to eat right away, or spoon it into a shallow plastic tub and cover it. Let ice cream harden in the freezer 2-4 hours before serving.

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lychee ice cream

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For this blogpost, I thought I’d revisit a childhood memory, my Dad’s ice cream. My Dad’s ice cream is creamy, sweet, and redolent of condensed milk. My Dad flavors his ice cream with tinned lychee or longan with the syrup thrown into the ice cream for good measure. Lychee and longan  both have a woody shell that is peeled open to reveal the fleshy fruit inside around a shiny black stone. When fresh they have a chewy texture; while longan is delicately sweet, the fresh lychee is tart. Both of them make wonderful additions to ice cream.

This Songkran (Thai New Year), I longed for Dad’s ice cream. I remember when Dad used to make the ice cream in Jamaica in an old fashioned bucket with a crank, then later with an electric ice cream maker. The ice cream makers of my childhood depended on lots of ice and rock salt to make a brine cold enough to freeze the ice cream. So for this project, Andy bought me the ice cream maker attachment for Gracie, my KitchenAid mixer. No ice or salt needed.

Lychee Ice Cream
Prep time: 20 minutes
Base Chilling time: 2-12 hours
Ice Cream Freezing time: 20-30 minutes (KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker)

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar, optional
1 egg, well beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 can condensed milk (can reduce to 1/4 can)
1 can lychees, drained, and chopped. Reserve syrup

Place cream, sugar, if using, and egg in a saucepan. On low heat, heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the liquid reaches a temperature of 160˚F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, condensed milk, and reserved syrup. Stir to mix well. Pour ice cream base into a covered bowl and chill thoroughly 2-12 hours.

Pour chilled ice cream mixture into the ice cream canister, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately or scrape into an airtight canister and put into the freezer to harden.