This feature is sponsored by KitchenAid, who is letting us play every day in the TasteSpotting Kitchen with the full suite of stand mixer attachments.
We’re not sure what took us so long to get to this.
It might have been its looking just like vanilla ice cream.
Oh, but, no.
No no no no no no. No.
Creme fraiche ice cream is absolutely nothing at all like vanilla ice cream.
Creme fraiche by itself, of course, is something of an amazement — a richer, more sophisticated version of sour cream. But we don’t need to tell you that. We will, however, still say that we love how the subtle sour tricks our senses into tasting a little bit of sweetness.
Which is what makes creme fraiche the perfect flavor base for ice cream. It’s sweet. It’s sour. It has the same basic formula as that veryveryvery popular frozen yogurt chain, except this is Real. Dairy. Crème.
And since creme fraiche isn’t a flavor that you normally find, even in the fanciest of brands (and by “fancy,” we mean brands like Haagen Dasz that we’d find in a regular grocery store, not an uber fancy brand that we can’t even name because we don’t know any), we make it at home.
Now most of you know about our long, loyal relationship with our ice cream maker. We love it, especially because it was a loving gift (literally, it was a gift from a now-ex-lover). However, when we tried out the ice cream maker attachment for our existing KitchenAid stand mixer, our hearts became divided.
The ice cream maker attachment makes our stand mixer an even greater multi-tasker, increasing the value of something we already have, and you know how we feel about the usefulness of gadgets (the more useful, the more valuable, the more we get all hyper and happy about it). More importantly, the ice cream maker attachment takes up much less space. The bowl stays in the freezer so we can make ice cream at a moment’s notice (plus time for hardening!). This is the case also, for the standalone ice cream maker’s internal freezing bowl, but we have to store the entire ice cream maker machine somewhere, taking up either precious cabinet storage space, or almost-nonexistent countertop space.
But, back to the ice cream.
The recipe is simple. There are only four ingredients in this recipe, one of which is not eggs, which means we don’t have to worry about raw eggs, or worse, making them “safe” by cooking them (without, um, cooking them). We took everything as is from Gourmet magazine — creme fraiche, buttermilk, sugar, lemon juice — and only decreased the amount of the last ingredient. We just weren’t sure about adding so much lemon juice on top of the tang of buttermilk and creme fraiche. We just added the lemon juice a tablespoon at a time and stopped just before we crossed into the pucker zone. That was at ¼ cup.
Creme fraiche ice cream is perfect as a scoop by itself. However, the tang lends itself to a pairing with fruit. Originally, we topped our scoop of creme fraiche ice cream with grilled peaches during the summer. It crosses naturally into the cooler months paired with sauteed apples with spices, poached pears or roasted persimmons.
Creme Fraiche Ice Cream
based on a from Gourmet, September 1994 on Epicurious.com
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (original recipe uses 1/3 cup)
1 ½ cups sugar (original recipe uses 1¼ cups)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups crème fraîche
In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, sugar and buttermilk until sugar is dissolved. Add crème fraîche and stir until smooth.
(Original recipe: “blend together all ingredients, scraping down sides until very smooth, about 2 minutes.”)
Chill until cold and freeze in an ice cream maker.
Makes about 1 quart