This year for my birthday I received a wonderfully big surprise in a very small package. Turns out that Big D, my dad, and Thibault conspired to find the world’s smallest White Mountain Freezer and sent it for my birthday. After the usual debacle with Parcel Farce, I received the newest edition to our White Mountain arsenal the day after my birthday. The picture below should give it some scale. This is the White Mountain Junior inside a six-quart freezer.
We measured the can and decided it could handle just shy of a cup and a half of mix, which is a tricky figure for scaling down the family recipe. We worked with some rough guesses and came up with the following:
- just under a quarter cup of sugar
- around a tablespoon of beaten egg
- about a half cup of double cream
- and a little bit of milk
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Oddly enough, we have yet to discuss the best way to make vanilla ice cream on this blog. For the last couple batches I made, I did it properly, using a vanilla bean. The method is easy, but it takes some advanced preparation. First, cut open the bean by running a knife along its length. Then scrape all the little seeds into the milk. Leave the vanilla in the milk to soak overnight or at least a good few hours. Meanwhile take the now empty bean and stick it in a bag of sugar. The sugar will absorb the vanilla flavour in a few hours and become “vanilla sugar”. If you use this vanilla sugar and vanilla milk in the mix, the flavour is the best you can get. Plus, if you always keep a vanilla bean in your sugar supply, you can get a great subtle vanilla flavour without any prep.
Cranking the Junior
The Junior bucket does not leave a lot of space around the can for ice cubes, so we decided we should break the ice up and mix it with salt separately. Then we just spooned in salty slush around the sides of the can.
Also the drain-hole on the side of the bucket is relatively low, and means that you won’t have any cold brine around the top third of the can. We modified one of Big D’s super-expensive wine-corks to fit the hole and were careful to keep an eye on the water level.
The White Mountain Junior is not actually triple motion, but since it’s so small, the single-motion action did a very good job. I was a little worried about breaking the tiny mechanism, but it held out, and delivered a velvety delicious ice cream. There was just enough for two small bowls and it all disappeared in just a few seconds!
We are looking forward to experimenting with new flavours in small batches in this fantastic little machine.