This time last year we were driving up the coast of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine on a babymoon thinking parenthood can’t possibly be as hard as they say. My, my, my how different a year can look.
While whirling through Boston, we stopped for ice cream at Toscanini’s per Five and Spice’s recommendation. I probably ordered my usual—cookies and cream. Kev, who always tries something new as well as every flavor on the menu (if you see him coming hide your sample spoons), ordered oatmeal ice cream. I’d never heard or thought of such a thing. It blew my mind. But maybe not as much as the poster on the bulletin board advertising a $100 workshop to make your own cell phone. We were in MIT territory.
I’d like to think recreating oatmeal ice cream requires the same mental brilliance as building a cell phone. I’d also like to think eating oatmeal ice cream has the same health benefits as my morning oats.
In the wise words of Dr. Suess, “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the Thinks you can think up if only you try.” In that case, this ice cream is brilliant and healthy. (Let’s hope Hallie doesn’t inherit my reasoning skills.)
Back in the lab, I started with a vanilla ice cream base and overnight soaked oats, that so often grace my summer mornings. The verdict: too starchy in texture and flavor. I fell back on the always trusty very, very best oatmeal from Megan. Then let it steep, steep away. And the result: oaty, nutty, toasted goodness. Afterwards I was only wishing I had speckled it with mini chocolate chips. There’s always a next time and a next time and a next time.
About those cones—I got a waffle cone griddle for christmas that I’ve been harboring away for warmer months. I’m still learning the ins and outs of cone making, which I’m trying to perfect by the time we move to Minneapolis in 3 short weeks. Hopefully they’ll help in the friend making department.
Ok, I should really put the cones down and start packing now. This may actually be my most brilliant idea. “Oh, the Thinks you can think up if only you try.” It’s not all fun and games Dr. Suess.
Make the oatmeal. In a skillet, melt butter. Pour in oats and toast until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove oats from pan. Into the skillet, sprinkle salt and cinnamon. Add liquid and turn heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer. Add oats back in. Cover, remove from heat, swirling once to make sure oats are covered in liquid. Allow to sit, untouched, for at least 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the ice cream. Into a medium-sized saucepan, add milk, heavy cream, sugars, and salt. Whisk to combine. Heat on medium heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, crack egg yolks into a bowl and whisk until pale and foamy. Once the cream has come to a low simmer, measure out about 1 cup and whisk vigorously into the eggs to temper so as not to curdle the eggs. Pour mixture into the saucepan, again whisking constantly to temper. Cook until the mixture just begins to thicken and can lightly coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat. Add oats into the cream mixture and steep for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
For a less oaty flavor, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding oats. For a stronger oat flavor, pour the mixture into a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve, gently pressing the pulp. Discard oat remains or make pancakes with them?
Chill ice cream in the fridge until ready to make. Make ice cream according to machine instructions. Ice cream is best after an overnight freeze post churning.