Tuesday, August 6, 2013
As you can tell, I’ve been making ice cream left and right this summer! Actually, I’ve been making ice cream all year round since I’ve got this baby! It’s probably the most utilized kitchen tool right after my stand mixer. Not sure if you’ve tried my Azuki Paste recipe just yet. I’ve been making one batch right after another to keep the red bean paste inventory in-check so that I can prepare the Red Bean Ice Desserts and this Azuki Ice Cream (紅豆雪糕) anytime I want.
Besides the Matcha Ice Cream, Azuki Ice Cream was another must-get item when I visited the Asian supermarkets. Noticed the past tense from the previous sentence? Yes, that’s a thing in the past. Now, I can make my own at home any time I crave for it. Besides, I can control the quality of ingredients I use in the recipe and adjust the sweetness in it to suit my preference. That’s the art and benefits of home cooking/churning. Plus, my favorite Asian supermarket isn’t that close to where I live now. So, making a batch of ice cream at home is way more fun than driving in L.A. traffic. See, I think making homemade ice cream should be considered a “green act” because I can skip that trip to the grocery store, which translates to less driving. Does it make sense? No? Never minded, at least I've tried.
In this Azuki Ice Cream, I used my favorite vanilla ice cream as the base. Then I simply stir in the cooked and cooled red bean paste right before churning. It’s amazing how the red bean paste can transform the plain old vanilla ice cream into this rich, creamy, flavorful, and delectable concoction. When the Azuki ice cream just finish churning, it has the soft serve texture. If you want a firmer ice cream, simply transfer the ice cream into a freezer safe container and keep it in the freezer until it firms up. Just keep in mind, the red bean will also firmed up a little after freezing. I totally enjoy biting into the beans because the firmer texture contrasted well with the soft and creamy ice cream. And the frozen red beans are slightly more starchy and icy than the creamy base. That totally reminds me of the red bean Popsicle that I enjoyed so much as a kid.
I hope you’re inspired to make some homemade ice cream this summer instead of driving to the store for a tub! That’s totally good for the environment, and your tummy! Stay cool and have fun churning.
Azuki Ice Cream: (Printable Recipe)
1 1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon liquor (I used vodka), optional
1 cup cooked Azuki paste (red bean paste), recipe followed
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and salt together until simmer. Cover and remove from heat and let the mixture steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Set aside. Reheat the vanilla mixture until simmer. While whisking the egg yolks constantly, slowly pour the warm vanilla mixture into the yolks. Then, scrap egg yolks mixture back into saucepan.
With a flat bottom wooden spatula, stir the mixture constantly and cook over medium low heat until the custard is thick and coat the spatula. Set a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Strain the custard. Do not discard the vanilla bean, simply wash and pat dry it, then add it to your jar of vanilla sugar.
Stir in the cream and liquor, if using. Set the mixture over an ice bath and stir until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight. Right before churning, stir in the cooked and cooled Azuki paste. Churn the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Red Bean Paste (自家製紅豆沙餡料):
1 Cup Azuki Bean (dry)
4 ounce cane sugar (片糖)
water for soaking and cooking
a pinch of kosher salt
Place Azuki beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water at least an inch above the top of the beans. Cover with plastic wrap and let them soak overnight.
The next day, transfer the beans to a strainer and rinse under cold tap water. Discard soaking water. Place bean in a large pot and add just enough water to cover the beans. Cook on medium high until water comes up to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste a bean and it should be tender. Then, add the cane sugar and salt and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook uncovered and stirs constantly with a wooden spoon until water is almost all absorbed by the beans. Remove from heat, let cool and store in the fridge until ready to use. Or, you can wrap them individually in small portion and store in the freezer for future use.