Thursday, July 13, 2017

Homemade Frozen Custard... Rich and Delicious!

You guys all know that I have a love affair with Abbott's Frozen Custard, a local franchise that had one flagship store when I was growing up, a custard stand that still stands where Lake Ave. meets Beach Ave. at Charlotte Beach in Rochester. I learned to love Abbott's on the shores of a Great Lake, and it's a love affair that's continued to this day.

But I can't always go to Abbott's and I love playing in the kitchen, so Logan, Morgan and I made custard the other day.

It was delicious.

It was marvelous.  I pulled out the cool ice cream maker that Seth and Lacey gave me for Christmas a few years ago... and my asparagus scale was a little suspicious and had to come forward and check things out. She hadn't seen the flashy red appliance in quite some time and at her age, Betsy the Scale has grown somewhat protective... but in the end, all was okay.

It is GONE which is a testament to the custardy goodness because the freezer is filled with all kinds of ice cream novelties. But the Gladware tub of homemade custard disappeared real quick!

I got the recipe from Serious   I tweaked it a little, but I'll tweak it more the next time.

Basically you cook the custard mixture until it "sheets" a spoon. That means it doesn't quite run off the spoon, it's like making clotted cream for the queen. :)

So here's the recipe we used:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light (clear) corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
I did the original recipe as posted, except we doubled it (big family), and used 1/3 cup sugar and the corn syrup.

I should have left it at 1/4 cup sugar per batch because that would have been plenty... and when we make it this week, I'm cutting the egg yolks in half, so 2 egg yolks/batch. I used a pure vanilla extract, and that gave the flavor a perfect depth. In cookies I'll use imitation vanilla, but in creams and ices, I want the real thing.

Here's what it looks like first:

And then it darkens and thickens a little.... over medium heat, whisking all the while (it only takes a few minutes) 

And this is when it's ready to take off the stove and plunge the pan into an ice water bath to cool quickly:

We used the Cuisinart ice cream and yogurt maker, and I love this machine. It takes "simple" to the max. You freeze the cylinder, and when the mixture is done, you fill the cylinder and flip the switch. The machine does all the work.

And of course I had to test it as it churned!

The creamy texture was perfect. It was a touch sweet, my bad for increasing the sugar because I know that real cream needs little sweetening!

I can't wait to try it with fewer eggs and doing a chocolate version... silky chocolate custard is so amazingly delicious!

Thank you, Serious Eats for a chance to try this one... and for the inspiration to keep playing because when you love frozen custard... it's a match made in heaven!

Multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne writes beautiful inspirational fiction... and has fun in the kitchen and on the farm, all of which eventually shows up in a book! You can find Ruthy here on Thursdays... or visit her website or friend her on facebook at Ruth Logan Herne. She loves to chat and thoroughly enjoys meeting new people!


  1. Okay, I'm dying to try this, Ruthy. I love making homemade ice cream. I remember my grandma making hers when I was a kid. It was also a custard, but she added some flour and cornstarch for thickening. And the one thing I remember is that the cooking and cooling part seemed to take FOREVER. At least in my young, hurry-up-and-bring-on-the-ice-cream mind. Oh, and hers had more eggs. Six of them, as I recall, but that was for a gallon.

    I'm chuckling now as those old memories surface. My grandparents lived in a little cottage by a lake in northern Michigan. I used to love spending my summers there. At any rate, grandma and grandpa were going to make ice cream so they sent me to the little store up the road for the milk. I guess I was around ten or so. But they told me to make sure I got pasteurized milk. I even wrote it down. Well, I searched and searched that tiny story and could not find any milk that said pasteurized. I finally asked the clerk who informed me that all the milk they had was pasteurized. It wasn't until later I realized my grandparents insistence was a carryover from long ago when not all milk was pasteurized.

    Ah, yes...summers at the lake, roaming through the woods, picking wild blueberries, swimming and eating homemade ice cream. Those are some good memories.

    1. I'm getting nostalgic for your grandparents cottage just reading that -- and I've never been! LOL

    2. I love this!!! How cute to think of you there, hunting for the milk... and I've used raw milk in some recipes (back when we milked a cow) but there are some where the enzymes just don't cut it!

      I'm going to try this recipe today or tomorrow again... and do a chocolate version. The kids get such a kick out of seeing how to do things for themselves!

  2. This looks so good, Ruthy. I have one of those ice cream makers and need to use it! I've only used it once or twice. It may be time again! (Must locate it and put the cylinder in the freezer!)

    1. Missy, I didn't use it all last year, shame on me. We were so busy watering because of the drought, and time slipped away. And then everyone was back in school!!! My bad.

      It's just fun to experiment, isn't it?

  3. This goes with Mindy's post from Tuesday about things that seem to difficult until you actually try them. We used to have an ice cream maker, but you had to crank it by hand and it never seemed to freeze just right.

    This looks delicious though!

    Speaking of ice cream, I had blueberry chocolate chip ice cream last night. I didn't think I'd ever say chocolate didn't go well with something, but this was a clear case of each tasting better in isolation.

    1. I'm not a fan of chocolate and blueberries, either. I like chocolate and cherries and strawberries and orange... but not blueberries. We have that in common, my NY friend! :)

      I must come to the city soon. I've been missing it! We can do coffee and pastries, Cate!

  4. I've never had frozen least I don't think so. Though I do remember getting a scrumptious ice cream at a little place in Toronto close to High Park....Cherry Custard it was called...hmmmm....I've never tasted anything as delicious since.

    There's a company in town that makes frozen custard but they sell it from a van they drive all around town to different festivals and events so it's hard for me to make it out to where they are but I'm determined. I don't have an ice cream maker or I'd give this recipe a whirl instead.

    1. Kav, I'd looked up the difference between custard and ice cream. Two things: egg yolk to cream balance. Custard is required to have a certain percentage. But most ice creams have that percentage, too, so that's kind of a wash...

      But the big thing is the smoothness of custard. To not whip/churn too much air into it. And that's what I love about it, the silky smoothness.... Oh mylanta, cherry custard... was it with sweet cherries, I wonder? I would love that, or sweet cherries chopped into chocolate custard... Mmm.... My aunt Isabelle loved Parkerhouse Cherry ice cream. I get some, every now and again, just to remember her kindnesses to me.

      I've used her as a base for several characters, a tough, self-made woman who took no nonsense but had such a good heart within her....

      Isn't it funny what little memories can do?