Muffie Fulton is the founder and creative head of Bold Food, which offers classes in the science of cooking and modernist cuisine, as well as curated culinary tours all over the planet. Join her at Feastly SF for some modernist pop-ups!
There’s nothing better than homemade ice cream in the summer. And what’s the key to great, homemade ice cream? Good dairy. I use the best milk and cream I can find. This recipe does use some special equipment and ingredients, but you can still make it even if you don’t have access to a sous vide set up or liquid nitrogen (see alternative method below).
This is a simple, straightforward recipe that uses no added stabilizers or emulsifiers. This means that if you don’t eat all your ice cream immediately, it will be quite hard when take it out of the freezer. You can simply thaw it at room temperature for a bit before eating. Though the popular press would have you believe that stabilizers in ice cream are evil and only added by big companies to help them make more money, they can improve texture in addition to yielding easier scooping! Stay tuned for my next post on the science of ice cream.
Liquid Nitrogen Pro Tips
I get mine from Alliance Welding Supply. Ten liters costs about $40 and is enough to make four to six batches of ice cream. You can get liquid nitrogen at many welding or medical supply that has medical gases. Most places will loan or rent you a ten-liter tank, and you do not need any special permits or licenses to use it.
REMEMBER: Liquid nitrogen is -312 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful to not touch it at all, although a small drop on the skin will be fine (it evaporates quickly). However, you should wear safety glasses to avoid getting any in your eyes, and have cold proof gloves available. Also, ensure you are working in a well-ventilated room. Even though the atmosphere is 70% nitrogen, breathing in just nitrogen will cause suffocation. Here’s a safety video about liquid nitrogen (and making Dip N’ Dots-style ice cream).
Sous Vide Liquid Nitrogen Vanilla Ice Cream
- 250 grams (1 cup) milk
- 250 grams (1 cup) heavy cream
- 105 grams (6 egg) yolks
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- Sous vide set up and bag
- Electric mixer with metal bag and metal attachments (no glass or plastic!)
- Liquid nitrogen
- Safety glasses
- Heavy-duty, cold proof gloves
- Blow torch (optional)
- Set the temperature of your sous vide water bath to 85 degrees Celsius or 185 degrees Fahrenheit.*
- Add milk, cream, egg yolks, and sugar to a blender. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds, just enough to disperse ingredients and create a homogeneous mixture.
- If using, split vanilla bean in two, scrape out the insides with a knife, and add to the sous vide bag (or pour in vanilla extract).
- Carefully pour the egg mixture into the sous vide bag.
- Put the bag into water bath for one hour.
- Remove the ice cream mix from the sous vide bag and pour into the mixer.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the liquid nitrogen.**
- Check to see if the ice cream has frozen every few minutes, continuing to add liquid nitrogen until you reach a desired texture. The ice cream will freeze to the sides of the bowl first, which is fine. To free it, use the blowtorch and then mix it a bit more.
- Once desired texture is reach, serve and enjoy!
*If you aren’t using a sous vide setup, you can cook the ice cream mixture over the stove. It’s best to use a thermometer to make sure the temperature stays around 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees Fahrenheit).
**If you aren’t using liquid nitrogen, use a conventional ice cream maker. Just cool down the ice cream mixture in the fridge for about six hours before churning according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Like this recipe? Check out Chef Muffie’s holiday chicken ballotine.