Years ago

February 22, 2010

I used to buy a black tea at Pike Street Market whenever I visited Seattle. If I’m remembering correctly, it was called “Market Spice” although really, the only spice was cinnamon oil. Maybe you’ve had that tea, or one like it with tons and tons of cinnamon flavor.

I hadn’t thought about that tea in ages. Not until I made my afternoon cup of tea today. I was getting ready to pour a bit of half and half into the cup, when I had the happy idea to add a little scoop of this instead:

Cinnamon Almond Ice Cream

Yep, we made homemade ice cream again this weekend. The RNK picked the flavor this time: Cinnamon Almond. Yummy. You can see some little tiny dark flecks in the photo if you look close. Those are vanilla bean seeds. He used cinnamon oil to replicate a cinnamon ice cream he used to eat as a kid. I added chopped almonds for a bit of crunch. Nice addition.

I used a slightly less rich recipe to make the custard for this ice cream. Four eggs, not eight, like I used in the French Vanilla I made last time. Which was, if I do say so, wickedly delicious. However, I could feel that one sliding down my throat and straight onto my hips, so I backed off a bit on the eggs, cream and half and half. No worries. Even with the reduction in fat content, the resulting ice cream is still sinfully rich.

If you are interested in our recipe, I’ve added it at the bottom of the post.

Besides making ice cream, I managed to fit in some knitting time this weekend on my Ravelylmpic project. I made good progress on Mendocino. I hope to finish the back and fronts by Wednesday night.

4.5 inches to the neck decreases

I am enjoying the cleverness of this pattern and am really looking forward to seeing how it fits. I sure hope it does!

And in parting, the gratuitous animal shots. Ida Rose Parker, our big cat, has taken to pushing Jakob out of his bed during the day when I’m working. Poor little Jakob is no match for our obese monster cat little kitty.

Ida Rose just nestles and settles and pushes and resettles until Jakob finally gives up, crawls out of the bed and lays on the floor next to it. He used to sleep in his carrier, but lately, that holds no appeal. Curious.

Cinnamon Almond Ice Cream recipe

4 eggs
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 quart half and half
1 vanilla bean
cinnamon oil
3/4 cup chopped almonds
1 quart whole milk

Using a whisk, mix the eggs and sugar together in a saucepan to make a paste. Add the half and half. Cut the vanilla bean into half lengthwise to expose the seeds, then drop it into the egg mixture. Cook over medium low heat, stirring, until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon oil into the custard mixture. We used a lot (something on the order of 4 or 5 TBSP); how much to use depends upon the type of cinnamon oil you find. If you are lucky, you might still be able to find pure cinnamon oil. The one we found was mixed with sunflower oil so it wasn’t quite as concentrated. The cinnamon flavor becomes stronger when the mixture is cool, so you may want to be cautious if this is your first go at using cinnamon oil.

Cool the custard mixture overnight in the refrigerator. When you are ready to churn the ice cream, fish out the vanilla bean and scrape any remaining seeds free from the pod. Stir the tiny black seeds into the custard and discard the pod. Add the chopped almonds and whole milk. Pour the mixture into the freezer compartment of your ice cream freezer and churn according to the directions that came with your freezer.

I like to use a hand churn freezer, turning about 1 turn per second at first. Then, when it starts to get hard to turn, we up it to double time, turning 2 turns per second to whip as much air as possible into the ice cream mixture inside the can. We churn it until it’s just about too hard to churn any more with me holding the freezer down and the RNK doing the turning at the end.

Then we remove the dasher, use a spatula to push the ice cream down into the freezing can, then repack the freezing can inside the freezer with more rock salt and ice taking care to make sure the drain hole on the freezer is clear. We cover the whole thing with towels and let it sit outside in the cold for an hour or two. I suppose if it was above freezing outside, we might have to do it differently. But that works pretty well this time of year. Finally, we remove the freezing can and place it into the freezer compartment of the refrigerator for the last little bit of freezing. This recipe makes 1 gallon of ice cream.

One Response to “Years ago”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    That ice cream looks divine! I love that your cat has a full name. So funny.

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