I think I can safely say that we started off our Sunday Slow Scoopers with a winner. Jerry picked this delicious Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream, and I was fortunate enough to get to eat it twice - two different ways. Last night I was at a get together of Slow Travelers and Shannon made us her version with macadamia nuts. And then tonight I made my batch with the pecans. It worked beautifully both ways.
But I was a little apprehensive when I started making my batch. First of all I got a late start. We had a long drive back from San Diego, made even longer by a stop at Ikea. The place was packed, absolutely crawling with people. Is it the back to school college crowd? Or is it just the most entertaining thing people can think of to do on Sunday afternoon? I'm not sure. Somehow we managed to get our "PAX" wardrobe out of there and into our car, and after that the drive was pretty uneventful.
Luckily I had planned ahead and had all the ingredients waiting for me at home. I started getting everything ready and then realized that there was one thing I didn't have—Scotch. I'm not a Scotch drinker, but I thought for sure that there would be a dusty bottle in the back of the cabinet that someone had given us long ago. But there was no sign of it. So I decided to substitute cognac, and I never looked back.
I also had a tiny bit of apprehension about the custard technique. I generally make sorbets and Philadelphia style ice creams where you don't have to make a custard base. It just seems easier to me. But this recipe calls for six egg yolks to be cooked in a milk and cream mixture until thickened. For some reason I always think custards are fussy. I think that I won't cook it long enough or that it will have lumps in it. But this recipe goes exactly as it says it should, it thickens ups quickly and David recommends that you pour it through a strainer before mixing in the last cup of cream. Sure enough, that did the trick and I noticed that there were, in fact, a couple of tiny lumps that the strainer got rid of for me.
I think my favorite tip of David's was his solution for a little problem I had been having with my ice cream maker. It wasn't anything terrible, but I noticed that sometimes I would get a frozen layer stuck to the inside of the cannister that the scraper couldn't seem to get to. His tip was so simple: just turn on the motor before you pour the mixture into the machine. The scraper will be moving and keep the liquid from freezing to the side walls. It worked perfectly!
So, between the helpful tips and the fact that this ice cream just tastes amazing, I'm off to a great start and am looking forward to next week.