We recently posted a link to Food & Wine's article on Jeni Britton, the founder and mastermind behind Jeni's Ice Creams. Jeni's has a wonderful array of seasonal flavors; one of our favorites (and their signature) is Salty Caramel. We also love their current Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal award-winning Sour Cherry Lambic Sorbet. They also had several recipes, and one thing stood out to us big-time: Jeni doesn't believe in using eggs in ice cream. She says, "I love the taste of cream so much that I hate to cover it up with anything." This made sense, since the flavors of her ice creams are so pure and crisp.
Instead of thickening her ice cream with egg yolks, Britton boils the cream down to reduce it, then adds a bit of cornstarch. We had to try this!
We followed the recipe for her vanilla bean ice cream, adding some chopped flakes of dark chocolate while churning. Here are our thoughts: • The texture of this ice cream was amazing!! It was soft, rich, and creamy. Where our eggless ice creams are usually icy and hard, this was incredibly soft and velvety. • The process of simmering down the cream and whisking in a little cornstarch was much easier and faster than our usual custard process. • We did overcook the cornstarch a bit; you can see how thick our "pudding" was. This gave the ice cream a little too much flavor of cornstarch. But this wasn't too noticeable; our taste testers raved over it. • The addition of cream cheese for scoopability and softness is brilliant; it gives the ice cream just a slight tang, but not a noticeable flavor. It does seem to affect softness a lot. End result? Highly recommended technique! We can hardly wait to play around with this formula a little more. Anyone else try Jeni's ice cream technique? Related: How To Make Ice Cream Like an Artisan: Splendid Recipes from Jeni's Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio (Images: Faith Hopler)