This post is dedicated to Yvette and to every Filipino who craves for ube ice cream but has no access to ready made one.
I called it Manang's Ube Ice Cream because I did not rely on others' recipe for this. I just had the idea brewing in my head for some time now, and I dare say it was one very good idea, and it was successful at satisfying my craving for an ube ice cream.
I was not aware that July is officially the National Ice Cream Month, until I read about the Social-Ice Cream contest on Tangled Noodle's food blog. The contest is co-hosted by ScottySnacks and SavorTheThyme. My initial thought on the matter was that, non-Filipinos would probably welcome this with mild reception, with the final product looking so plain, and the flavor unknown to most and probably will not be appreciated by anyone who is not Pinoy, who did not grow up in the Philippines. So far, that is the kind of reception it gets from my family, so I get discouraged bringing any ube-flavored Filipino food to a non-Filipino gathering. However, with TN's prodding, I figured it would not hurt to expose to the world the unique Filipino flavors, so here goes my ube ice cream post as my entry to the said contest.
For non-Filipinos, to give you a background on ube, it is the real yam, purple yam at that. Not the sweet potato that are labeled yams in the grocery stores. Filipinos and other Asians use ube on a lot of desserts, especially ice cream and cakes, probably as often as we use coconuts or sweet sticky rice.]
After our family celebrated the 4th of July here at our house, the next day was a much better day to get together and grill foods and swim in the pool, and with a lot of leftovers (uncooked hotdogs and burgers and BBQ) I called/texted out an impromptu invitation to some of my friends for a pool party. Two of my friends came. Some of the items I served were buco pandan salad and ube ice cream (I served the buco pandan salad on the 4th and nobody among my in-laws were interested in it and I made the ube ice cream the next day using leftover homemade old-fashioned vanilla ice cream (which my in-laws and hubby love soft served as in freshly churned).
Out of the 6-qt (1-1/2 gallons) recipe I made, we had about 3.5 qt (about 2 cups less than 1 gallon) leftover. Instead of putting in the freezer to harden further, I left it in the fridge to just keep it chilled, with plans to turn it into ube ice cream. I would have made a two-hour trip to the Asian stores to get some frozen grated ube, but I remembered I had two packets of powdered ube. So even though I did not really like the ube haleya made out of powdered ube, I thought maybe it would do ok when mixed into ice cream. So I made the haleya and cooked until thick but runny enough to make it easy to mix with the ice cream even when fully cold. I even placed it in the freezer for about 1 hr or so and it was still easy to scoop out and mix with the ice cream. Then I churned to make the soft ice cream, then added the rest of the ube haleya by hand. I deep froze for about 2 hrs enough to give us some hard ice cream (at the center it was still soft).
My Filipina friends' verdict? Parang Magnolia daw("It's like Magnolia's.") [To non-Filipinos, Magnolia is a famous brand of ice cream in the Philippines.]
Me: "Pwede na i-post sa foodblog ko yung recipe?" (So,I can post my recipe in my foodblog?")
Celia: "Oo! Pwedeng pwede!" ("Yes, of course!")
Celia often visits my site too for some recipes. If she does not have success in making, say, leche flan, she is lucky enough to get a chance for an actual demonstration from me (For example, I taught her how to make caramel in the microwave).
The next day my ube ice cream was very very hard I had to zap in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes (in increments of 30 second) to easily scoop out. But it was not icy gritty at all. Not as smooth as Magnolia in my opinion, but maybe because I added too much haleya (you know how frozen haleya can get too tough). But who complains anyway of having too much real flavor into something such as this? Our usual complaint about flavored foods (ice cream, ensaymada, etc.) is not having enough of the real flavor (bitin ba), and too often loaded with the artificial flavoring. Well, this one is packed with real goodness of ube. The pandan flavor adds volumes to its goodness.
1 gallon or less Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream (Click to get to its recipe page; make 6 qt if you want to experiment with different flavors or just leave out some as plain)- refer to the link on how to make it. You NEED to have an ice cream maker, rock salt, and crushed ice. I have been using the Rival Ice Cream Maker for 3 years already.
1 packet powdered ube (4.06 oz)
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 tsp pandan flavor (clear colored)
enough purple food coloring to achieve the tint as desired (both for haleya and the final ube ice cream mix)
Prepare the old-fashioned vanilla ice cream. Chill in the fridge good before freezing. This is your base for any flavor you want. Place the aluminum ice cream maker bucket in the freezer.
Prepare ube haleya and chill until cool enough to not melt the fat content of the heavy cream in the vanilla ice cream.
(The fat content of heavy cream, especially ultrapasteurized, plus the egg custard in the base help in emulsifying the mixture. The flour when cooked, plus the cooked ube, both help in hindering any ice lattice formation by the water content. These factors help so that the resulting ice cream will not give you ice crystals. Well, that's how I have come to understand the science behind ice cream making.)
Mix half of the ube haleya with the ice cream base. Place in the cold aluminum bucket, cover and position in the plastic outer bucket.Run the ice cream maker. Make sure the aluminum bucket is covered well before you start placing ice and rock salt around. Keep adding ice and rock salt until the motor stops running. This is the soft ice cream stage. Finish hardening the ice cream by transferring into an ice cream container and deep freezing it. Cover the top with cling wrap to avoid freezer burn if you have air space in the container.