Oh my goodness, I’m a genius. You are going to love me.
Well, if you live in Nigeria or some other place where ice cream is outrageously expensive (though, honestly, it’s probably better that way. My thighs certainly appreciate the high cost. You can get some locally made stuff for about $3-4 for a little-ish container, but we’ve seen Blue Bunny ice cream for about $21. That’s like half of my grocery budget!) and often frostbitten or, like me, it never occurred to me that you could make your own, you will love me. If you live in a place where rich, creamy ice cream abounds – and often is on sale at the air conditioned, well stocked grocery store – or you have been making your own ice cream for years, you will probably wonder what the big deal is.
But nonetheless, I present to you… slightly mediocre ice cream that tastes amazing in the right situation. (Note: Yes, Nigeria is the right situation. So might making it with kids who will get a cool (Ha! Pun not intended but left in after realizing it because a good pun is clearly another mark of genius and I probably need all the evidence I can put forth.) sense of satisfaction from having made ice cream themselves. Other appropriate ice cream making situations might include: You are related to me and feel obligated to try anything I suggest; you think I have a refined taste bud and feel an urgency to taste anything I suggest; you are mildly curious about what ice cream with no cream will taste like; or you are very curious about why I am making such a big deal about this.)
So our ice cream journey began when we were having people over a couple weeks ago and I decided it would be fun to have an ice cream bar with Oreo cookies and other toppings. Chris misunderstood what I was suggesting and said, “Oh, you mean like an ice cream sandwich with Oreos?”
Um, no, not even close to what I meant but genius in its own right. Probably one of the only times my frustration with being misunderstood suddenly seemed insignificant as visions of sugar(plums) danced in my head.
So Chris went to the store to pick up some ice cream, and we made “ice cream sandwiches.” Never before had miscommunication tasted so sweet. Sure, they were a melty mess and needed some work, but an idea had been born.
The next weekend we were having people over again (I know, we’re entertaining fools!), and my steps were alive with a new purpose in life: To perfect this ice cream sandwich. This new mission, though, could cause us to redirect Judah and Jovelle’s college fund to an ice cream fund, so we knew we had to find a different source for our frozen dairy needs….
Thus began the quest to find a yummy ice cream recipe.
My qualifications: no whipping cream (I know, I know – that’s where the creaminess comes from. It is so expensive here, though, that I just can’t bring myself to buy it. I realize that “food snob” and “cheap” are rather oxymoronic, but I accept full responsibility for the walking paradox that I am.), no ice cream maker or other fancy equipment, no rock salt (Though the idea of shaking a Ziploc bag and having it transform to ice cream before our very eyes sounds quite fun, I haven’t found any here) and, well, good. Oh, and no eggs because that’s just weird. And Chris and I have high-ish cholesterol and I would rather save my egg portion for a breakfast or lazy dinner than eat it for dessert.
The ice cream recipe submissions from others poured in (Okay, fine, I got like five.), and among them we found one that looked especially promising.
It uses ingredients that most missionaries in Nigeria have on their shelves – well, missionaries and Chris’s family, whose grandfather was a milk powder salesman (No, I’m being serious. You can’t make up stuff as fun as that.), thus it’s ingrained in their very blood to drink powdered milk (Hey, you gotta respect a guy for that…. Opting for powder when there are cold, liquid options available.). Most Americans probably wouldn’t have it on hand, but I actually might be willing to stock it even in the States to make this. Yup, in the course of writing this post I have changed my mind about the desirability of this ice cream (And I might have also had a bite or two of the leftovers as a litmus test. I would hate to compromise my integrity by offering false information and misguiding you.).
Powdered Milk Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield 8 cups
- 2½ cups milk powder and water to make 4 cups*
- ¾ – 1 C sugar** (I used a little less than ¾ cup, and we found it sweet enough that we would probably reduce it a little more next time. Of course that could be because we smothered it in hot fudge sauce.)
- 1 T vanilla
- Dash of salt (I did not use.)
Cover and freeze in metal bowl until almost solid. Beat well. Freeze again. Beat again, if desired.
*Other substitutions – which I’ve never tried – include any or a combination of the following, which should measure 4 cups: half and half, evaporated milk or cream.
**You can replace sugar with 1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk, then reduce milk to 3 cups.
-From Wycliffe International Cookbook
Some notes/ tips from us and our friend who passed on the recipe:
- I used a metal bread pan to make ours in then threw a Tupperware lid over it, and one recipe just filled it.
- Scrape the sides of the pan periodically throughout the freezing process. Scrap all sides well to stir, but don’t stir until there is something to scrape.
- Before it gets too solid, blend it in a blender or food processor or use a mixer. Just don’t wait too long, lest your blender have to work way too hard, causing you to wonder if the engine is going to spontaneously combust or ignite in flames. Not that I did this.
- If you forget to stir, scrape or blend it, the ice cream will be quite icy. Not that I did this, either. (I know, imagine! Me, forgetting about my ice cream!) If I HAD done this, though, we would still eat it, but if you don’t like the iciness, blend it up and start over or use it to make milkshakes or something.
- We didn’t beat it twice, but I imagine that would make it creamier, as well as be a great way to vent some stress.
Pretty simple, right?
I know what you’re thinking: Too simple. I was skeptical myself – I mean, really, powdered milk and water?? It was surprisingly good, though. Chris and I kept sneaking bites of it and saying, “Mmm. Tastier than we thought.” As I said before, though, it’s definitely not as creamy as, say, Breyer’s ice cream at home (But then, maybe you wouldn’t be making this if you had Breyer’s ice cream at home.) and can have a slightly icy texture to it, even after blending, but it’s not without its own merits. Like the fact that you could make a case that, minus the sugar, it’s not terribly unhealthy. (Of course I could also make said case for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so don’t listen to the mad ramblings of my justifications.)
The flavor possibilities are endless. We made one vanilla and then mixed in some homemade Oreo cookies, and we made one mint chocolate chip (Added 1 teaspoon mint extract. I also added green food coloring to give it a completely unnatural color, but that was only so I could distinguish it from the vanilla ice cream.). Oh my. I’m seeing a version of my favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor in our future, too: cinnamon ice cream with chunks of oatmeal cookie dough and chocolate. Chris is keen to chop up some Snickers bars to put in it. Mmmm.
Of course if you know me at all, you know that a mere recipe for ice cream using powdered milk hardly qualifies for genius. The next steps, though, will take it over the top and are what, quite frankly, elevate me to Pure Genius status.
First, make this Oreo recipe, which I first mentioned in our Thanksgiving post from last year, and use it as a pie base for an ice cream cake-y sort of thing. You can load it up really thick like Chris did, not realizing that it would rise quite a bit, and then you have an excuse to scrape some of the cooked goodness off with a knife, all in the name of a more balanced ice cream to crust ratio. But then you might have to eat it. (Twist my arm.)
When it cools, slather the ice cream on top (either let the ice cream soften enough to do it or do it right after blending it). One ice cream recipe made enough to fill an 8×8 baking dish (minus a couple – okay, fine, several – taste tests in between – with just enough left over to satisfy a little boy who was going to bed early and was going to miss dessert). Freeze again.
And then, because it’s just not rich enough, top with hot fudge sauce before serving. (I will post the recipe we use for hot fudge sauce next week – not because I’m keen on making you wait but because by this point I’m sure you are wondering how anyone can go on about ice cream for this long and just want to go clean the bathroom or something more exciting than reading my ramblings. I will also add some of the recipes for ice cream that people sent me, as a couple people requested them.)
…And then enjoy! I must warn, however, that even I can no longer make a case for any morsel of healthiness once the last steps are done.
In retrospect, I realize that this is akin to Mississippi mud pie or something in the States, but to be a stater of the obvious, we’re not in the States right now, and I was so proud of myself for throwing this concoction together. Even without the help of Pinterest. (Honestly, I am not entirely sure I have had an original idea since discovering Pinterest and believe that Pinterest might be solely responsible for the demise of my creativity. Maybe I should go eat some ice cream to celebrate its one night cameo.)
The whole ice cream pie concoction, by the way, kept in the freezer quite well for much better and much longer than we thought – and it was even good in a melted mass after we lost power for almost 3 days. The crust held up well and was arguably even better. The ice cream was a puddle, but we just pretended we were eating milkshakes. Or flavored milk. And then topped it with hot fudge sauce. And really, at that point, who cares? (Man, I wish I were this passionate about vegetables!)
Is it the mark of good ice cream, bad ice cream or desperation when you eat it in a melted puddle and still think it tastes amazing?
Well, no matter – we’re happy to have found an easy, tasty recipe for ice cream that we can make here.
My thighs, however, not so happy. But we all know what will triumph in a contest between my thighs and my taste buds.
Anyway, hope you enjoy! Let us know if you try it and how it turns out.
Oh, and what are your favorite ice cream flavors and toppings, by the way? I’m on a mission, I tell you. This could get ugly.
p.s. Sorry for the loooong text with no pictures to break it up. While our internet is finally back, it’s not back strong enough to allow us to upload pictures. It’s probably for the best, really, lest I tempt you too much with our delectable ice cream photos. 🙂 😉