See the list of all the Shirtless Chef recipes at www.mysaline.com/shirtless.
Way back in the day, I had a book of the Top Ten lists that David Letterman would do on his late show. It’s been more years than I would care to think about since I’ve seen that book, but there are a few of those lists that stick in my memory.
One was “Top ten phrases that sound dirty, but are not.” That list consisted of phrases like “I’m windsurfing on Mt. Baldy”, “She’s in the distillery making Johnny Walker Red.”, and “I’ve heard of Coming through the Rye, but this is ridiculous.”
That list came to mind when I realized I was going to have to tell people to “Go condense your own milk” and how that could be misconstrued without proper context . I mean that statement literally and not as some suggestion to be taken in whatever various ways your devious mind has concocted.
Some of the tastiest desserts required sweetened condensed milk, and that’s an off-limits item if you are trying to avoid refined added sugar in your daily life. I thought that meant I had to deep-six any recipe that called for SCM, but I have had a moment of clarity. Those cans contain no great mystery that can only be unlocked by cracking the pop top provided by a mega-mart.
How do you condense a liquid? Remove the water present by heating it, so it’s just a reduction. We’ve done that on other articles many-o-times, so why not with milk? As far as the sweetened part of SCM, my message to the big food corporations is that we will always handle that ourselves instead of using their giant vats of high fructose corn syrup:
We can also control the quality of the milk, or in our case, heavy cream. I’m fairly certain, even without doing any research, finding pre-made SCM using grass-fed dairy would be like going on a quest to find the Holy Grail:
Looking at the nutrition label for the average can of SCM, 2 tbsp has 22 grams of carbs and 18 grams of added sugar! Instead of a grail, that’s more of a Holy Crap situation. How do they fit that much in 2 tbsp? Listen, I know sugar has been made the enemy of all things health, but it’s really not the sugar. It’s the amount we eat that’s the problem.
Our bodies, like every other group of atoms in the universe that had the horrific idea to organize into a sentient being aware of its own existence, runs off of sugar. It’s the fuel in our gas tank. The problem is that most of us have left the nozzle in the filler tube with the handle stuck. Then we wandered off to the $2 discount DVD bin in the Gas ‘N Go, and now all that fuel is overflowing out into the parking lot. So, we will both condense and sweeten our own milk, and no, it will not make you go blind if you do that too much.
This opens the door to making very delicious treats, such as Key Lime Pie, which I plan on doing again for an article soon, or homemade ice cream, which I am doing now. But I don’t have an ice cream maker, you say? No problemmo, all you need is a standard issue freezer. You can also use your favorite ingredient.
One of mine is the simple Pistachio nut. They are delicious, nutritious, and easy to use. They are loaded with fiber, protein, potassium, and several other key vitamins. They pack more B6 per lb than most other foods out there. B6 is vital for blood sugar regulation, so by making our own SCM, not only are we reducing added sugars, we are now giving our body the tools it needs to regulate the sugars we do eat.
We also avoid the laundry list of ingredients in store bought ice cream, which is full of HFCS, oils, fake colors, and who knows what else. The only downside I’ve ever had to eating pistachios is when you hit that one rotten nut hiding in the bag. Man, that will ruin a good time for sure. I can only imagine some poor kid, hesitant to try pistachios due to their green color or some other equally stupid reason, is convinced to try them, only to pick one solitary nut that happens to be spoiled. They must for the rest of their lives wonder how anyone could ever eat such horrible food. More for the rest of us, I suppose.
One word of warning, this is not a low calorie dessert. We are using SCM and heavy cream, plus a little coconut oil and dark chocolate. I make these into small servings by using ramekins, and then I usually limit myself to only a half a ramekin at a time. If I can. It is a real test of will power not to eat the whole one, and not go for another.
This dessert is that good. If you do, at least it comes with all the benefits pistachios bring to the party, and compared to traditional ice cream, it’s still way better for you than a pint of that stuff…excuse me, seriously, please and thank you.
Pistachio Ice Cream with homemade SCM
Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 carton grass fed heavy cream (2 cups)
2 tbsp grass fed butter, unsalted
1/3 cup powdered monkfruit
1 batch homemade SCM
2/3 cup dry roasted and salted pistachios
2/3 cup grass fed heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bar 70% dark chocolate
2 tsp coconut oil
Make the SCM by melting the butter in a saucepan and then adding the powdered monkfruit and 2 cups of heavy cream. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil, stirring often. Once it hits a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the milk is noticeably reduced and thick, stirring every so often. After 25 minutes, let cool and then transfer to a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to cool. I would advise not to taste test it, because you might eat the whole pot and have to start over:
To make the ice cream, add the nuts to a small food processor and put the spurs to it. Blend them to the point that it almost becomes a nut butter:
Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl and add the batch of SCM, 2/3 cup heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Use a stick blender and blitz it until it is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can use a blender or Ninja, but good luck getting all the goodness out. A stick blender is definitely the weapon of choice:
Transfer the ice cream to ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze:
Once they are frozen, use a double boiler set up to melt the chocolate and coconut oil:
Cover each serving in a layer of chocolate and freeze again:
Thaw on the counter for 30 minutes before eating. I transfer a ramekin to the fridge to help soften each day after freezing. You can keep them all in the fridge after freezing if desired for quicker access, which you will want after one taste: