I have mentioned before that I really, really like all things Wolfgang Puck. I like his stainless steel pots and pans. I like his nifty, reasonably priced kitchen knife set, the immersion blender thingy with the chopper attachment, the pressure cooker, and, most of all, the electric griddle/grill. My kitchen is totally Pucked Out…….
So, just when I thought we pretty much have everything Wolfgang that we’ll ever need, we went and added yet another Wolfgang Puck appliance to our cookware collection. I swear this might be be the last cooking gadget we purchase, but don’t hold me to it. It’s officially Mr. Dave’s appliance since it was purchased as a Dave birthday present. However, being related to Mr. Dave, means I get to use it, as well. This is a good thing.
This is what was added to the Halverson kitchen:
What you’re looking at is a Wolfgang Puck stainless steel 1.5 quart compressor dessert maker. We just call it the new ice cream maker, because that’s what it is. It’s a practical item. It pretty much ended the ongoing spousal war over dedicating precious refrigerator freezer space to store the double insulated freezer bowl that worked with our Cuisinart machine.
You see, I liked storing the Cuisinart bowl in the freezer so that the liquid stuff that keeps the bowl cold was always frozen and ready to do its job when the mood hit me to make sorbet or ice cream. Mr. Dave fumed over having the bowl in there wasting essential freezer space. He believed the bowl should be in the freezer only if it was going to be used the next day. Any other time the bowl should be out of the freezer and out of Mr. Dave’s way.
That war is now over. The Wolfgang machine contains a built in freezing mechanism. No more need to fight over space in the freezer to store the bowl. We can now make frozen concoctions when the odd, impulsive urge strikes us. I rather like that.
Mr. Dave did have to give up some of his preferred kitchen counter space. He now shares his lunch prep area with our new appliance. He still has lots of working space, however. The Wolfgang machine is sized like a toaster on steroids.
A week ago, on Saturday afternoon, I made a vanilla bean custard ice cream base and refrigerated it overnight. On Sunday we powered up the Wolfgang and churned that custard into a soft serve consistency in a jiffy.Within 20 minutes the machine had done its job. I spooned the soft ice cream into a quart freezer container and placed it in the freezer to ripen. There was about a half cup left over for quality control tasting.
I did share this overage with Dave. Honestly, I did! Even though the cook is supposed to have total possession of anything that exceeds a chosen container’s capacity. That’s a sort of unwritten rule we cooking folks have. I was perfectly willing to deal with that ice cream that wouldn’t fit in the container on my own, only Dave showed up to see how things were going and, of course, I graciously asked him if he wanted any. He was supposed to graciously say something back to me like “Well, no I don’t, dearest. That is the cook’s share. I would never presume to partake of that which belongs to the cook.” Instead, Dave said “Yep, I like soft serve ice cream the best.”
Never presume that others will behave as graciously as yourself…… I tasted a spoonful and then handed the rest over to Mr. Dave. He pronounced the soft serve version as an epic success. Happy dancing was performed by all…..
Sunday evening was the big taste test. Dave got out the ice cream cones and we each got a scoop of home made yumminess. Wow! It’s all I can say. It was excellent. I’d forgotten how good that vanilla bean custard recipe is. I’ll give you the recipe I used at the end of this time’s blog.
Here are the pros and cons of The Wolfgang Puck 1.5 quart stainless steel frozen desert maker as I see them:
- It makes the perfect amount for a two-person household.
- Parts are study.
- Very easy to use.
- Easy clean.
- Can make multiple batches, but must rest machine 30 minutes after every 2 batches.
- Makes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbets, sherbets, gelato, and frozen drinks
- Cost of machine is over $100, but you can get it cheaper if you shop around.
- Makes 1 quart at a time. Might not work for larger families unless they are patient enough to make two batches back to back.
- You still need to make your frozen desert base in advance and chill it well before churning. I don’t find this a problem, but others may.
- It needs some counter top room. Measurements: Length: approx 16″ Width approx 11 inches, Height approx10.”
Following, is a great vanilla bean custard recipe. I think this recipe originally came with our Cuisinart machine, but I’m not certain. Be sure to use a whole vanilla bean to get that extra deep vanilla flavor.
Vanilla Bean Custard Ice Cream (Makes 1 quart of ice cream base)
Combine vanilla bean scrapings, including pod with homogenized milk, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring well to dissolve sugar and disburse vanilla seeds throughout mixture.
In small bowl, beat egg yolks with whisk. Temper the egg yolks by drizzling in 1/4 cup at a time of the hot milk mixture while whisking the egg yolks. Tempering means warming the egg yolks slowly to the temperature of the milk and sugar mixture. You do this so that the egg yolks don’t curdle. Once you have whisked in about a cup of the hot milk mixture, you can pour the egg yolk mixture into the rest of the milk mixture in the saucepan and blend it all together.
Return the saucepan to medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook mixture until custard lightly coats your mixing spoon. Remove from heat. To ensure custard is smooth pour cooked custard mixture through strainer. Remove vanilla pod and set aside. I always rinse off the used vanilla bean pods and let them dry for a day or two, and then I add them to a quart jar I keep filled with granulated white sugar. Makes a killer vanilla sugar that’s useful for many things.)
Mix in 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, stirring to combine well. Pour mixture into a covered container and refrigerate overnight. Churn into ice cream following your ice cream maker’s instructions.