Recipes from home: Strawberry ice cream with duck eggs

By KRYSTAL DRAGON

During the regular school year, our dining staff cooks us delicious meals, so we wanted to see what they’re cooking at home these days.

This is the first in The Campus’ series of recipes from home, sent in from Middlebury College Dining Staff. We welcome submissions! Please send recipes and questions to [email protected] 

Dearest Middlebury, 

I think it is safe to say that, at this point, we are all a little crazy from our isolation. Maybe some of you are stressed from working from home, trying to home-school your children, manage teaching or learn online, or maybe you are just stressed from the uncertainty of our new normal. All of us miss being on campus and interacting with each other. I’m feeling it too. 

As I have fully driven my husband and our Great Dane insane from being home all the time, I thought it would be a good idea to try something new. I have been spending my isolation learning new cooking techniques and I am playing with cooking Thai food. I also broke out the ice cream maker we received as a wedding present four years ago. Making ice cream has become a great way to spend an afternoon. And it is a great way to support local farms. I use Monument Farms dairy for this recipe and our own eggs. We have a flock of ducks that we raise organically in Vergennes, hence why this recipe calls for duck eggs. Chicken eggs will work, but they aren’t nearly as rich as duck eggs. The Middlebury Natural Foods Co-Op has local duck eggs for sale. I’m also always happy to deliver our duck eggs, so feel free to contact me if you’re interested! 

I hope that you can have fun making ice cream. Making ice cream has become a tasty distraction from the unpredictable world we now find ourselves in. And involve your kids. They shouldn’t handle boiling cream, but they can certainly separate eggs!

Enjoy! Hopefully, we will all be together on campus again soon.

Best,

Krystal Dragon

Ross Commons Dining Room Supervisor

The duckies! From left: Sabu, Taca, Blue (Khaki Campbells), Siddah (Pekin) and Anka (Blue Swedish/Cayuga)

Strawberry ice cream with duck eggs

 

Ingredients:

4 duck eggs, yolks only (if you use chicken eggs, use 5)

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or one vanilla bean scraped)

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups frozen or fresh strawberries (if using frozen, thaw them before adding)

½ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

 

Equipment needed:

An ice-cream maker 

A sturdy whisk

Two heat-proof glass bowls (Pyrex works)

A wet dish-towel

A medium-sized saucepot (see note on utensils)

A fine-meshed strainer

A wooden spoon (see note on utensils)

 

Instructions: 

  1. Add heavy cream, milk, vanilla, and half of the sugar to a saucepot. Bring to almost a full boil or 190℉. You will know it’s ready when the cream starts to boil along the sides of the pot, rise, and pull inward. (Note: Do not full-on boil it or you will scald the milk.) 

  2. In a heat-proof glass bowl (I use a Pyrex glass bowl), whip egg yolks and the remaining half of the sugar with a hand-whisk until pale yellow and sugar is mostly dissolved (about a minute). (Note: Prop a wet dish-towel underneath the bowl so that it doesn’t slide all over the counter).

  3. When the milk mixture comes to a light boil, turn off the heat, and slowly add the hot milk to the eggs while whisking the eggs constantly.(IMPORTANT NOTE: This is called “tempering” and if you are unfamiliar with this process, I highly suggest you search for a YouTube video of it. If you add the milk too quickly, the custard will shatter, and the result will be very sweet scrambled eggs!)

  4. Return the tempered eggs to the saucepot and heat on low, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. This only takes a couple of minutes. You should be able to drag your finger across the back of the spoon and make a trail through the custard. Do not let the custard boil, as it will shatter and, again, you will have scrambled eggs.

  5. Remove custard from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean heat-proof glass bowl. (There might be a few solid egg bits, but don’t panic! This is why we strain it.). Let the custard come to room temperature, then cover half of the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for two hours, or overnight. (Covering half of the bowl allows heat to escape and prevents a skin from forming on the surface of the custard.) 

  6. When custard is chilled, add it to an ice-cream maker and churn for 18 minutes (or follow your ice-cream maker’s instructions for “base” or vanilla ice-cream churn times). Add strawberries (and chocolate chips, if using) and churn for 5 additional minutes.

You can eat it right out of the ice-cream maker or freeze it for harder ice-cream! This recipe makes about 6 cups of ice-cream.

COURTESY PHOTO/KRYSTAL DRAGON
A scoop of duck-egg ice cream.