Auguste Escoffier said to use 2/3 # of sugar and 10 egg yolks with 1 quart of milk (as opposed to the 4 yolk/1/4c. sugar/pint of cream I'm finding everywhere else). How the heck had I never thought to increase the fat via egg yolks rather than heavy cream?! This way, my product would still be creamy but without being overpowered by the "whipped cream" flavor. Not only that, but Escoffier's method involves cooking the yolks and sugar together to start...similar to the process of a Hollandaise sauce...which also means that I wouldn't have to reheat the eggs in the custard (aka decreasing my chances of curdling the milk). Why did we change these methods? How come, on every website and in every book I find, people have ended the traditional ways and made it so much more difficult to work with? Well, no more heavy cream for me! I will be creating custard by Escoffier's standards from now on.
I used Escoffier's method to make some vanilla ice cream with immense success. Beautifully rich, smooth vanilla ice cream that doesn't even need to sit out before scooping. I decided to use it in the Baby Alaskas recipe from MICID book I have been coking from, and it held up quite well. Here's how it works:
1/2 c. dried apricots- roughly chopped
2T Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1 pint vanilla ice cream
6 large ginger snaps (I used oatmeal cookies...you want something big enough to cover the top of a muffin tin)
3 egg whites
1 c. sugar
In a small pot, dissolve 3T sugar in water. Add the apricots and simmer for 5 min. Take off heat and add the orange liqueur; set aside. Put a set of muffin tins in the freezer for 15 min, and remove ice cream from freezer for same period of time. Pack ice cream around the sides and bottom of each tin, leaving a cavity in the middle. Once each tin is lined with ice cream, return to freezer for 5 min.
Add apricots to the middle of each tin and cover with more ice cream. Apricots should be sealed in. Return to freezer until firm. Place a cookie on the top of each tin (bottom facing up). Submerge the bottom of the muffin tin in hot water quickly and turn the tin out onto a cookie sheet. Each little ice cream tower should be sitting on top of a cookie. Place cookie sheet in freezer with ice cream on top.
Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar 1T at a time until meringue is glossy. Using a palette knife, spread a thick layer of meringue over each ice cream, making sure to seal where the ice cream meets the cookie. This is important, because you do not want the ice cream to melt and seep out. Return to freezer.
15 min before serving, preheat oven to 450*. Bake the Alaskas for 2 min or until the meringue is golden brown. Serve immediately.