Does something being on sale make it in season? I'm going with yes.
Last week, Sprouts had a weekend sale on blackberries for $1/package, and I grabbed up four of them with no particular plans in mind. Then, because I kind of sort of REALLY bought way too much whipping cream for an event that I was making desserts for, I had a lightbulb moment and decided to make ice cream. It helps that I'm 39.5 weeks pregnant, and am totally taking advantage of the "pregnant ladies eat ice cream" stereotype while I can.
I've done a lot of reading about ice cream making, since most homemade efforts can be really disappointing. Due to the lack of gums, additives, and extra air that only industrial ice cream makers can add, it tends to be a soft, runny mess or a complete brick when frozen hard. There are all kinds of fixes given in various recipes. Corn syrup is the answer! Add more fat from whipping cream or egg yolks! Alcohol doesn't freeze either, so throw in a glug!
Since sugar and fat are already in plentiful supply when it comes to ice cream, and booze is generally too strong to be pleasant, I started thinking about the only other variable that I knew of and wasn't implementing-- air. The average home machine doesn't run fast enough to incorporate extra air, so I had to figure out another way to get it in. And the whipping cream held my answer.
Before adding to the custard, I beat half of the whipping cream until it formed soft peaks, and carefully added it into the custard just after it began churning. Holding my breath and saying a prayer, I let the ice cream finish it's time in the cooler (sorry. ish.) then put it in the freezer to see if it came out a brick. And guess WHAT? IT DIDN'T! (<----sorry I yelled. But it's exciting!)
It came out soft and scoopable, but still firm enough to hold a shape. It has a light, airy feel in your mouth without being overly thick or goopy. Even my husband, the Sceptic, was impressed when he ran a spoon through it.
One little side note. I know that Straciatella is traditionally a gelato flavor. In fact, it's pretty much my favorite gelato. But I look the sharp, crackling little shards of chocolate so much, I decided to add it to this ice cream, and I have #noregrets. So maybe you can forgive me? Even if you're Italian? You could even prove it by making it and telling me how much you love it.