Thursday, June 5, 2014

Last day of school!

Yesterday and today were the girls' last days of school.  I keep waiting for Big to realize that kindergarten and her year with her amazing teacher is really over and for her to get all sad about it like she's done with transitions in the past.  But so far, so good.  In the hall of the preschool, after only 1 year of two-day-a-week school, Middle did a little woohoo fist pump and jump in the air.  So funny considering how easy she has it and what a long educational road she has in front of her.  But I get it - not having the schedule and rhythm of school weeks feels so nice in the summer.  I'm just trying to make it there . . . I've graded 154 essays and 28 debates since last week and I have 60 quizzes and 60 exams and two more days on campus before I can be DONE for a few months.

To celebrate summer break, Middle and I made a batch of our favorite ice cream - Coffee!  I usually don't let her have more than a bite because of the caffeine but I made this decaffeinated.  It was honestly, the best ice cream I've made.  Not super sweet, perfectly creamy, delicious.  Middle's addition was the chocolate chips but I think it would have been better without them so I'll leave them out of the recipe below.  I can't believe it took me this long to make coffee ice cream.  Hope you have a good start to the summer!

Coffee Ice Cream (makes one quart)
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1.5 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 cups whole coffee beans (I used decaf)
pinch of salt
1.5 c. heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat the milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until warm and steamy, but not boiling.  At this point, cover, remove from the heat and let it steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Put a medium sized bowl on top of a larger bowl filled with ice.  Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into that medium sized bowl.  Set a mesh strainer over the bowl with the cream and set aside.

Reheat the milk & coffee mixture until medium heat until it gets hot and steamy again (but don't boil).  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together.  Temper the egg yolks by whisking constantly while adding a couple of tablespoons of the hot milk mixture at a time.  You don't want to cook the egg yolks, but raise the temperature.  Then, whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the coffee bean & milk mixture and stir constantly.  Keep stirring over medium heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the custard thickens and coats the spatula.  You're looking for it to be thick enough that if you run your finger across the spatula, it won't run.  This took me almost 10 minutes.

Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream.  Press on the beans to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible.  Then, discard the beans.  Mix in the vanilla and stir until cool.  Chill completely in your refrigerator and then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to your maker's directions.

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