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Ice Cream Base

Ice Cream Base
This simple, classic ice cream base can be used to create numerous flavors of ice cream, or can be made and eaten on its own.
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  1. 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  2. 2 cups skim milk
  3. 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  4. 1½ cups sugar
  5. 8 egg yolks
  6. 1 teaspoon gelatin powder, bloomed (sprinkled, gently stirred, and dissolved) in ¼ cup hot water
  7. Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated (preferably with a microplane)
  8. ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Prepare an ice bath by setting an empty mixing bowl within a larger bowl filled with ice water. Place in the refrigerator to stay cold during the next few steps.
  2. In a saucepot, combine cream, skim milk, condensed milk, and sugar. Over medium-low heat, slowly bring to a simmer.
  3. Place egg yolks in a heatproof mixing bowl. Keeping the cream mixture at a simmer, ladle 1½ cups of hot cream mixture over yolks as you whisk steadily. Be sure to add the liquid quite slowly so as to not curdle the yolks.
  4. Lower heat on the remaining cream mixture and add yolk mixture, along with bloomed gelatin. Whisk vigorously to combine. Add lemon zest and salt. Whisk to combine.
  5. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until mixture thickens slightly and holds a line when you run your finger across the moistened spoon.
  6. Remove ice bath from refrigerator and pour the hot cream mixture into the empty mixing bowl. Stir steadily until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  7. Mix in additional flavors as desired and freeze. Store in the freezer for at least 2 hours (and preferably overnight) before serving. Alternatively, you may use a home camping-style or foam cooler to freeze ice cream. Place ice cream inside, and top with a block of dry ice followed by a sheet of cardboard. The dry ice mimics the action of a hardening cabinet, an essential part of the ice cream manufacturing process. When the ice cream is rock-hard, transfer it to your home freezer. It will actually rise to proper serving temperature in the freezer.
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