Having witnessed Noël's valiant struggles with custard-based ice cream, I decided to have a go at a simple fruit sorbet for my inaugural batch. Since these pints were destined for consumption at a barbeque, lemon seemed like a logical choice. So, I picked up a bag of lemons at the store, stole an electric juicer from my parents' kitchen, and headed home for some sorbet shenanigans. 

_After the delicious announcement of the arrival of our ice cream maker, my mother immediately sent over her favorite Blackberry Ice Cream recipe. But blackberries aren't quite in season (or at least not in budget), so I decided to go with the steal of strawberries at the farmer's market this morning: half a flat for $9! Katie provided the cream this go-round, and we're off to the races.

{This event actually took an additional trip to the store because I managed to curdle the custard. Curses!}

The hardest part about ice creams (and all custards, really) is not curdling the eggs. When egg yolks get too hot too quickly, the proteins bunch up into little tiny non-creamy chunks.

This is why some pumpkin pies get a little grainy and watery: the bunched-up proteins separate from the liquid that would normally be occupying the bunched-up space in creamy togetherness.

Top Tips to Prevent Curdling:

  1. Mix in a small amount of heated milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper, or warm, it.
  2. Use a low, low temperature. Did I say low? I mean low.
  3. Stir. Try to use consistent, smooth strokes with a wooden spoon (whisks are good at keeping liquids moving -- and therefore cool -- but they also form bubbles. Custards do not like bubbles.)
  4. Cool the custard rapidly once it hits temperature. (This is why we have ice baths prepared.)
WARNING! I accidentally recorded with sound; turn off speakers for best results!

What Do You Do When Your Custard Curdles?

There isn't any way to get over the hurdle of a curdled custard. You can continue, and be satisfied with a non-perfectly-creamy ice cream, or you can start over.
_This Fourth of July was monumental. It was glorious. It was the fateful day when we walked to the grocery store. Fate rewarded us for this adventure with the discovery of Raley's pint cartons for homemade ice cream.
The logical thought process of the next twenty-four hours ran its course thus:
  1. The cardboard pint containers are the most adorable, amazing, possibility-filled things we have ever seen. We must therefore buy some.
  2. We cannot decide between blue or pink, so we must buy both.
  3. If we buy them, we must therefore make ice cream to put in them! (Of course, they'd make amazing gift boxes by themselves, but function before fancy!)
  4. If we make ice cream, we'll need ice cream ingredients. Since we're at the store, let's buy some! Chocolate, eggs, cream, and milk acquired.
  5. Once home, let us actually look up the ice cream recipe to ensure we have the needed ingredients.
  6. Let's buy an ice cream maker!

__Yes. "Acquire ice cream maker" was logical stop number SIX in this thought train.

It was not acquired until Thursday, a full twenty-four hours later, after some comparative research. Salt and ice = too messy and unstable. Frozen double-walled cylinder for the win! And, as a bonus, Williams-Sonoma had a special deal with Cuisinart to sell their ICE-21 ice cream maker with an extra cylinder for only ten dollars more than at other retailers. Bonus!

The Cuisinart ICE-21.
__The cylinders only required overnight freezing and then. . . and only then. . . could the ice cream making begin!

And after the giddy dancing at the culmination of two pints of Chocolate Ice Cream in the freezer I blurted out "IT COMES IN PINTS!", Katie declared that That Was a Blog, and so here it is.