So, what to do about the cream. I don't like to use more than 8 ounces (1 cup) of cream (in a batch that yields 4-5 cups of ice cream). I try to keep it down to 4 ounces. Previously, I made up the remaining volume with fat free half and half, and whatever milk we had, either 2% or skim. Fat free half and half, I've decided, has too many chemicals for me to using it on such a regular basis, so that ingredient had to go. But making up the rest with milk would yield some very crystal-y (yes that is now a word) ice cream.
Enter: tofu. Firm silken tofu, to be exact. I started this time with 4 ounces, blended up with 1 ounce of milk. I was reserving the remainder of the package for another dish, so 4 ounces was all I had to spare for the ice cream experiment. I also decided to make it part custard by making an egg yolk base with 4 ounces each of cream and milk, and two egg yolks.
The comparison of the nutritional information from the original recipe to mine is startling. The calories per serving were cut in HALF! Total fat was reduced by over 15g, saturated fat by over 11g. Even the cholesterol was reduced! On the plus side, I increased the potassium, fiber, and protein content. All around, a huge win for ice cream!
I almost forgot - how does it taste? It's pretty awesome. There is a perfect balance between tart cranberry and sweet agave nectar!
Cranberry Ice Cream
Yield: 5 cups
1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces heavy cream
18 ounces milk (I used 2%), divided
2 egg yolks
4 ounces firm silken tofu
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1. Heat cranberries and water in a small saucepan until boiling. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, until the cranberries pop and become soft. Let cool 10 minutes. Pour into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed. Add cinnamon and set aside.
2. Scald cream and 4 ounces of milk in a small saucepan. Place egg yolks in a small bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of heated cream, 1 tablespoon at a time while whisking constantly, to warm up the yolks. Add yolks back to pan with heated cream. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until custard thickens, coating the back of the spoon.
3. Blend tofu and 1 ounce of milk in food processor until smooth.
4. Combine cranberries, custard, tofu, salt, agave nectar and remaining 13 ounce of milk in a large bowl and blend well. Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight, then freeze in an ice cream maker.
Nutritional Information, per 1/2 cup serving: