Sous Vide Ice Cream–A Smoother Base?

7 Jun

I used to wonder whether I could put my ice cream bases into my Sous Vide Supreme to make sure i didn’t overcook them on the stove.  How the hell, oh stack of pastry books, was I supposed to know when the creme anglaise was exactly 176 degrees F?  The other night, I was watching the new Cooking Channel when I saw some show about foodies into molecular gastronomy and finding new ways to present and cook food to yield the best results.  They were cooking their ice cream base in an immersion circulator!  I was intrigued to see my hypothesis being tested.  It worked well, according to the TV foodies.

So I tried it, too.  I mixed together the ingredients for a classic creme angalaise, but since I wanted to make my ice cream s’mores flavored, I blended in some graham crackers.  I then strained the mixture and sealed it in a cryovack bag.  Once my Sous Vide Supreme was set at 176 degreess F, I placed the bag in the water and let it sit for about half an hour, at which time I felt the base was probably uniform in temperature.

I froze the base in our home ice cream machine (a standard, kid-friendly type contraption), and when it was almost done, I threw in some chopped up chocolate and toasted marshmallows.  I thought the base was smooth and delicious when it came right out of the machine, but it is just as hard as any other ice cream after being in the freezer for a day. Nonetheless, the ice cream is delicious, and I will try to compare future ice creams I make on the stove to those I make in the Sous Vide Supreme.

s'mores ice cream!

The Recipe: S’mores Ice Cream

2.5 c half and half

2 or 3 graham crackers

6 egg yolks

2/3 c sugar

10 marshmallows, toasted

1 c chopped dark chocolate

Heat the half and half in a saucepan until warm but not boiling; add the graham crackers and let soak.

Whisk the yolks with the sugar until light yellow and a little thickened.

Blend the graham cracker mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a blender until homogenous.

Strain into a bowl; transfer to a cryovac bag.

Seal the bag.

Place in a 176 F sous vide machine or immersion circulator.

After 1/2 hour, place the bag in an ice bath until cool.

Empty the contents into your ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Mix in the marshmallows and chocolate before the ice cream is completely frozen; transfer to a freezer-safe container and place in freezer.  Enjoy.

2 Responses to “Sous Vide Ice Cream–A Smoother Base?”

  1. David December 9, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    176F seems quite high. I think according to David Lebovitz, I think you should stop cooking at 170-172F? I need to check; the book is at home. But anyway, despite this, I think using a waterbath is a great idea. I am going to give it a try next time.


  1. My 2010 in review, as reported by Wordpress « Getinmebelly - January 2, 2011

    […] Sous Vide Ice Cream–A Smoother Base? June 2010 1 comment […]

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