Homemade ice cream is almost always vastly superior to the purchased variety, the main reason being cost. If ice cream manufacturers were to use the ingredients listed below their products would be prohibitively expensive. They tend to get around this by using powdered skim milk, less eggs, little or no cream and sub-par flavourings. What stops this ice cream from becoming inedible crap is oxygen. Large scale commercial producers use heavy industrial churners that incorporate large quantities of air to lighten the perceived texture of the end product.
Of course, you can avoid this by spending up big and buying super premium ice cream. Or, you can spend that extra cash on a domestic ice cream machine. It is all a matter of personal taste. Do you eat that much ice cream? Do you really think you will spend Saturday afternoons making the stuff? Mainly it comes down to the delight and personal satisfaction of having created something so wonderful yourself with a little dash of show off factored into the equation.
Once you have an ice cream machine, making the stuff is fairly straightforward. It is basically flavoured custard that has been enriched with extra cream.
The addition of honey to this ice cream not only gives a delicious flavour, but also increases the sugar content, thus lowering the freezing point slightly, resulting in a smooth, lush ice cream. Try experimenting with different honeys to see what flavour suits you best.
500 ml (2 cups) full fat milk
6 egg yolks
200 gm (7 oz) caster sugar
500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream, 35% butterfat
60 ml (¼ cup) honey
Bring the milk to the simmering point in a small saucepan. In a larger saucepan, bring 1 litre (4 cups) of water to the boil. Place the yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel) and whisk until just combined.
When the milk has come to the boil pour onto the yolks and sugar and immediately whisk to combine. Do not delay at this point as the hot milk can cook the egg yolks.
Reduce the boiling water to a simmer and set the bowl over the pot. Stir the custard continuously until it is cooked. To test, lift the stirring spoon out of the custard, the back of the spoon should be fully coated and your finger will leave a distinct line in the custard if you run it along the spoon. Alternatively, test with a sugar thermometer. The mixture is cooked at 83°C (180°F).
Add the honey, stir and pour into a wide shallow tray to let cool. When cool stir in the cream and strain through a fine meshed sieve. Churn in an ice cream machine, then place in the freezer to set. Allow extra time to freeze due to the high sugar content, say 12 hours.
This ice cream is just made to accompany fruit based desserts, try some poached fruit, directions for which can be found here, or simply serve scattered with some praline.