Happy National Frozen Custard Day! (8/8)

tFrozen custard would be great for a beginner’s first attempts at homemade ice cream. As anyone who’s fallen victim to a friend or family member’s first several attempts with a new homemade ice cream machine can attest, those first tries don’t come out at all exactly like ice cream. Sometimes too frozen, sometimes too salty, sometimes too flavorless, but with frozen custard, it wouldn’t be such a worry. When everyone takes their first bites and starts looking around at one another for reaction, instead of apologizing for it not turning out right, one could just dismissively declare “No, no, it wasn’t supposed to be ice cream. Did I forget to mention? It’s frozen custard!” And since custard isn’t something most people have eaten a lot of, most also won’t be able to tell you if it was made right or not.

Custard is pretty school. Some won’t even really have a clear picture of what it is when it’s brought up. It is, after all, as old as the Middle ages. I guess in dessert land it’s akin to ordering mead.

There are no frozen custard establishments that survived year one of business in my home town, so National Frozen Custard Day was going to have to be a creation, not a purchase. Sadly, it is certain that I’ve never before made homemade ice cream, and custard I’ve only made once. I also don’t have a neat-o ice cream machine. To top it all off, I had approximately six minutes to whip this thing together before I flew back out the door to shuttle my kid to her Tae Kwon Do lesson. Turns out, that wasn’t quite enough time, though, because I could not really concentrate on the recipes’ ingredients nor the steps for making it. So, what I wound up doing was a good old fashion improvisation.

I threw my last 1/2-cup+ of heavy whipping cream in with another half cup of 2% milk, added an unmeasured amount of cornstarch (probably about a tablespoon), a nip of vanilla extract, 1/2-cup of sugar, and three eggs; heated it all up and stirred for about five minutes.  Then I threw it in a bowl, put the bowl over ice, folded in some Carnation evaporated milk, stirred that up and threw it in the fridge.

Freezing the Custard

When I got home, I transferred it onto a shallow plate, and between dinner and bed time I dipped in and out of the freezer to stir the custard up so that it would freeze slowly. This is apparently the secret to making pre ice cream maker ice cream.

Back on National Custard Day, I made a chocolate custard. In that day’s blog, I stated that there is no wrong way to make a custard. Today I can confirm that that’s the absolute truth! This “wing and a prayer” concoction did turn out a little lumpy, but it was still really great! Well, of course it was. It was made from cream, sugar, and eggs with a little vanilla flavoring thrown in. Of course, my daughter didn’t like it, but that’s just not unusual. No kid likes lumps in food, and my kid pretty much hates food all together.

See you Thursday for Rice Pudding Day!

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About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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