Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Archive for the ‘Custard Based Ice Creams’ Category

Even better than Black Raspberry!

I decided to make this flavor after a bumper crop of fresh blackberries came into all of my local grocery stores, yielding pints and pints of fresh, juicy, inky black berries on sale for only 99 cents a pint. So what to do with them all? Make tasty homemade ice cream of course! Part of the many charms of DIY ice cream is that you can make flavors that are nearly impossible to find commercially. Blackberry ice cream is one such flavor. Sure black raspberry is readily available, but do you really think it’s made with real, wholesome, honest to goodness black raspberries? In most cases I highly doubt it. Not only does the homemade kind have real, natural ingredients but the taste is superior as well. A beauty both to look at and to eat.

Quick Skillet Jam

When I first started to make fruit ice creams, I followed certain recipes that instructed me to simply mix pureed fruit right into the ice cream base. In my opinion, I think this method yields an icy finished product. You see, water is the enemy of ice cream. Added water to your base will diminsh creaminess and produce an icy result every time. This is tricky when it comes to making fruit based ice creams because fruit inherently contains a lot of water. My solution? The quick skillet jam. By making a jam I boil the troublesome water out of the fruit while concentrating the flavors of it simultaneously. Then, right before you put it into the ice cream maker, I add a small amount of pureed fruit for freshness.

You've got to love lavendar ice cream!

Please don’t be afraid to make a skillet jam!  Trust me, it’s fall off a log simple. You just mash up the berries a bit, through em’ in a pan with some sugar and booze, and simmer over low heat until jam-like.  No scary canning, sealing or boiling required. The jam won’t keep as long as a properly canned preserves would, but it you really don’t need it to. This jam is made for a higher purpose- providing sweet, sweet flavor to your homemade ice cream!

A great way to kick off summer!

Blackberry Ice Cream is a perfect flavor for summer, and this recipe came out beautifully. The texture was actually velvety with a creamy, fruity flavor. Do think of this pretty little dessert next time berries are on sale at your local supermarket. Or whenever the mood strikes!

Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

12 oz. blackberries, divided

2 cups half and half

3/4 cup sugar, divided

3 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liquor, or other liquor compatible with blackberries

1.) To make the easy skillet jam, combine 9 oz of the blackberries, ½ cup of the sugar, and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier in a medium pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced, with a jam-like consistency (about 30-40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add in the remaining tablespoon of Grand Marnier and remove from heat. Spoon into a container; cool to room temperature.

2.) Place remaining fresh blackberries in food processor. Pulse until blended. Strain puree through a sieve to get rid of extraneous seeds.

3.) Combine half and half in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

4.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

5.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add the half and half and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes.

6.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, vanilla extract, blackberry puree and blackberry jam, whisking well to blend. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

While I think this ice cream is stand alone delicious, I think it would taste lovely with a white chocolate hot fudge sauce drizzled on top. Blackberries and white chocolate are a tried and true delicious flavor combo. Emeril Lagasse makes a tasty looking white chocolate sauce here:

http://www.emerils.com/recipe/1556/White-Chocolate-Sauce

A great combination!

 

This was just as delicious and straightforwards as it sounds. I made a standard custard based ice cream, added kahlua to it after it finished cooking, and then after it finished churning I added dark chocolate chips. What else can I say- Yum!

A twist on chocolate chip!

 

So often you when you see Kahlua in ice cream, it’s automatically paired with coffee. But Kahlua has a delicious flavor all its own that deserves to be highlighted. Yes, it goes very well with coffee, but can you really taste the Kahlua flavor very strongly? I never can. So I decided to make Kahlua queen for the day and give it its own flavor. The chocolate chips enhance without detracting from the overall Kahlua flavor of the ice cream. And hey- everything’s better with chocolate chips right?

Almost ready to eat....

 

 I knew a Kahlua Chip flavor would be good, and my instincts definitely served me well. This was completely delicious!  A great twist on chocolate chip and a must for anyone who likes Kahlua!

Kahlua Chip Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons Kahlua

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup dark chocolate chips, chopped from a bar of high quality chocolate

      1.) Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.     Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, vanilla and Kahlua and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

This ice cream would taste great with a mocha sauce drizzled on top, chopped toasted walnuts and whipped cream. Yum!

The lighter side– Feel to substitute whole milk or half and half for the heavy cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.

The best rice pudding I've ever had!

I’ve been making David Lebovitz’s Rice Pudding Gelato ever since I purchased his wonderful book, The Perfect Scoop, a year ago. It immediately jumped out to me because I love gelato and I particularly love this type of rice pudding that Scandinavians call Riskrem. Riskrem is rice pudding as you’ve never had it before and one of my all time favorite desserts. Part of what makes it so special is that freshly whipped cream is folded into the rice pudding, making it both decadent and light as a cloud. Combining my two favorite desserts is brilliant and this recipe captures the very best qualities of rice pudding and ice cream.

This ice cream starts life in the oven.

Part of what makes this ice cream so great is the way it’s prepared and its delicious flavorings. You bake arborio rice with milk, a whole split vanilla bean and some orange rind for an hour and a half until the rice is tender and deeply flavored. The milk infuses with the orange and vanilla flavors creating a rich and complex base.

The best of both worlds, take that Hannah Montana!

Another genius aspect of this recipe is the fact that some of the rice gets put into a blender, creating little nubbly textured grains of rice. Texture is really important in almost all food and ice cream is no exception. With some grains of rice being left whole and some pureed fine, this ice cream has a delightful mouthfeel that’s a joy to eat.

A sprinkling of cinnamon makes it perfection!

Even if you’re not a rice pudding lover, do try this ice cream. I think it’s an improvement on the traditional rice pudding and the subtle nutmeg, vanilla and orange flavorings keep every bite delicious and intriguing. Another great ice cream from David Lebovitz! With him you just can’t go wrong.

Rice Gelato
Adapted from Perfect Scoop.

1/2 cup Italian Arborio rice
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lenghtwise
Two 1-inch-wide strips of orange zest
5 large egg yolks (save the whites for use later)
1 cup half-and-half or cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350. In a 1.75 to 2 quart baking dish, mix together the rice, milk 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Add the vanilla bean and strips of orange zest (I made the mistake of actually scraping out the vanilla, but it’s not really a mistake… it’s delicious.)

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered for another 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven a second time, remove the vanilla bean and orange zest and briskly whisk in the egg yolks at once. Then whisk in the half and half or cream and nutmeg.

Puree half of the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until chopped fine then stir it back into the cooked rice.

Chill the mixture in the fridge then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Better than the cake itself!

When I saw this delicious and inspired ice cream on the wonderful blog, Not Eating Out In New York, I knew I had to try it for myself. I’ve actually had Carrot Cake Ice Cream before at various ice cream parlors, and its alway been one of my favorites! It combines the best aspects of carrot cake and vanilla ice cream, creating a sort of carrot cake cake ala mode effect. With a flavor with the word “cake” right in the title, you might think this is just carrot cake pieces crumbled into vanilla ice cream. But this ice cream derives its flavor from a mixture of shredded carrots, brown sugar, spices, dried fruit and nuts to make the base of the ice cream itself taste just like the real thing.

Shredded Carrots

The one way I deviated from the already brilliant recipe was that I added some cream cheese right into the base of the ice cream to mimic a cream cheese frosting flavor. This worked out really well! The cream cheese was subtle, but present, and added to the overall effect of eating a piece of carrot cake in frozen form. I even think it improved the texture and scoopability of the ice cream as it held up particularly well even after days in the freezer.

Simmering Carrots

The hardest part of this recipe is probably simmering the carrots in milk for 20 or so minutes. It’s an extra step in comparison to the standard custard based ice cream recipe, but the results are completely worth it. The shredded carrots seep into the milk, creating a base that tastes of carrot cake in every bite.

Just finished churning...ready for scooping!

This was definitely one of my best homemade ice cream flavors and a recipe I’ll be making again and again. If you love ice cream and you love carrot cake then making this recipe is a no-brainer. Try it alone, or better yet with a slice of real carrot cake!

As adapted from the blog “Not Eating Out in New York”

Carrot Cake Ice Cream
(makes about 1 quart)

2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup packed shredded carrots
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup well softened cream cheese

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugars and spices until fluffy and the lighter in color. Set aside.

Combine the milk, cream, carrots and raisins in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. (Do not let boil.)

Whisk softened cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside.

While beating the egg yolk mixture, pour in a small spoonful of the hot milk mixture and continue to beat. Repeat process with a larger spoonful, while beating, then repeat again, and again. (This will temper the eggs, so that they don’t cook lumpy.) Next, scoop all the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture. Return heat to medium-low. Cook about 8-10 minutes longer, stirring frequently with a spatula to scrape all corners of the bottom of the pot. Do not let boil. The custard should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but have no lumps.

When custard is ready, take off heat and immediately whisk it into the the set aside bowl of whisked cream cheese. Whisk well until fully incorporated.

Let custard cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and completely chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Follow your machine’s instructions for churning length. Add the chopped nuts in the last minute of the churning process. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours to “ripen.”

Make it a Sundae!- Not Eating Out In New York also features a delicious looking cream cheese sauce that she pours over her carrot cake ice cream. This would make a delicious carrot cake sundae! If you want to make the sauce, omit the cream cheese in the ice cream recipe. Top with some candied or crushed pineapple and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Sauce
(makes about 4 servings)

1/4 cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth in consistency.

The holy trinity of malts!

I’m just going to preface this post by saying that I love malt. I love it so much that it’s almost impossible for a malted milkshake or an ice cream to be too malty for me. I think it’s a seriously underrated flavor that most people would love if they tried it. So when I decided that I was going to come up with my own recipe for a malted milk ice cream, I knew it had to pack a wallop of flavor. At first I thought that that would simply mean adding malted milk powder to the base of my ice cream, but in a stroke of genius I remembered an old, forgotten can of barley malt syrup in my closet. Barley malt syrup is a natural sweetener that can be used in equal amounts in substitution for honey, molasses or sugar in recipes. It’s also used as a part of the process in making authentic bagels and pretzels, which is why I originally purchased it. But best of all, it is some deeply malty stuff that did double duty in my recipe by sweetening and boosting the flavor of the ice cream simultaneously.

What a Whopper!

In addition to the malt syrup, I added flavor to the ice cream by adding malt powder to the base of my ice cream, and crushed malted milk balls to the finished ice cream. This resulted in an ice cream with a big, delicious malt flavor punctuated by the frequent crunch of a malted milk ball bursting between your teeth. Malt powder is usually found in the dried milk section of the grocery store, but don’t confuse it with Ovaltine which isn’t what you’re looking for. Brands such as Carnation or Horlicks are pretty dependable and readily available.

Malty goodness!

As for the malt syrup, that’s probably going to be trickier to find. I found mine at a local health food store, and Whole Foods might carry it. Trust me though, it’s worth the trek to find it. The syrup made the ice cream deeply flavorful in a way I’ve never experienced before just using malted milk powder. It also added a slight background caramel note that I found appealing. I also have suspicions that the malt syrup may have helped the texture of my ice cream as well. This ice cream came out particularly smooth and creamy, so I think that the syrup may have acted as a stabilizer similar to the way corn syrup would behave in a recipe.

The malt ice cream of dreams.

With malt powder, malt syrup, and chocolated covered malted milk balls, I definitely got my fix of malty goodness in this ice cream recipe. And man, was it good! If you love malted milkshakes as much as I do, you have to give this a try. It turned out smooth and thick with a creamy malt flavor permeating every bite. Forget the drive thru, and make this soda shop classic for yourself at home!

Malt Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 ½ cups whole milk

¼ cup sugar

½ cup barley malt syrup

4 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ cup malted milk powder

2 cups coarsely crushed malted milk balls

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

      1.) Combine milk, heavy cream and sugar in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the malt syrup. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffier and turn a paler yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 4-5 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, malt powder, and vanilla extract refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Add in the malted milk balls after the ice cream finishes churning.  

 Make it a sundae!

This ice cream is a natural when paired with chocolate. Make a chocolate malt sundae by adding hot fudge spiked with malt powder, more crushed malted milk balls, and whipped cream.  And of course this ice cream also makes fabulous malted milkshakes. Enjoy!

A New England Classic!

I live in New England (hence the title of my blog) so I couldn’t get away with not including this timeless Vermont classic. Made from good, toasted walnuts and high quality maple syrup it’s just divine. Unfortunately, at most places you order Maple Walnut Ice Cream, the flavor is not so fabulous. To save money, most commercial versions of this flavor use the dreaded cloying and sicky-sweet imposter that is artificial maple flavoring. So even if you’ve tried Maple Walnut Ice Cream in the past and haven’t flipped for it, try this version at home. You’ll think you’ve been transported to a snow dusted Vermont sugar shack!

Toasting the walnuts.

 For this recipe I call for grade B maple syrup. This might be a little bit of a trick to find because most supermarket maple syrups are Grade A dark amber. What’s the difference you ask? Grade B has a darker flavor, with richer caramel notes. This intensified taste really helps in cutting through all of that cream and milk for a more pronounced maple flavor. I found my bottle at Trader Joe’s, but any other specialty food store or gourmet shop would probably carry it. It’s worth searching for, and also tastes great on pancakes, waffles and any other place you would typically pour on the maple syrup!

Just Churned Maple Ice Cream, yum!

I also call for maple sugar in this recipe, for another boost of maple flavor. I found mine at my local grocery store, but I do live in New England. If you live in a part of country or world that doesn’t carry it, again try a specialty food store such as Whole Foods or your local gourmet shop. If all else fails and you still want to make the recipe, maple sugar is also readily available through online vendors.

Maple-Walnut, the perfect winter flavor!

This flavor was very successful, with the maple flavor really shining through the ice cream. Add a substantial portion of toasted walnuts and get ready for a delicious ice cream straight from snowy New England!

Maple Walnut Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup grade B maple syrup

¼ cup maple sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon maple extract

¾ cups toasted walnuts

      1.) Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.     Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the maple sugar and maple syrup. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turns a lighter yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5-6 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and extracts and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add toasted walnuts. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

Make a Brazilian Sundae!! So good and unusual, I don’t know how this sundae got its name, but if the Brazilians did invent it they really know what they are doing! Start with a scoop of Maple Walnut Ice Cream, then add a scoop of Coffee and a scoop of Butter Pecan Ice Cream (either homemade or store bought ice cream is fine). Drizzle some caramel sauce spiked with rum and some cold chocolate sauce over it and top with fresh whipped cream and more toasted walnuts. A decadent taste sensation, and not to be missed!

The lighter side– Feel free to reduce the cream to ¼ cup and substitute all whole milk for the rest of the cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.

Cinnamon Scoops!

I ended up making this ice cream the day I caught a flight to Orlando for Christmas vacation. I had intended to showcase it as a Christmas flavor, but didn’t have the time unfortunately. Not that Cinnamon Ice Cream is exclusively for the holidays, but this ice cream tastes great on top of all sorts of seasonal desserts! From chocolate cake to apple pie, Cinnamon Ice Cream is a genial sort of fellow who seems to be compatible with just about everyone. And even if you have nothing to accompany it, don’t write off Cinnamon Ice Cream as boring or bland. It is really, surprisingly delicious and satisfying. It is a classic and simple favorite!

Little sticks of flavor!

Part of the simple genius of this recipe lies in the use of real cinnamon sticks to flavor the base. You coarsely crush up about five 3 inch cinnamon sticks and add them to a warm milk/cream mixture. Then you just take the mixture off the heat, put the lid on, and let the whole thing sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to marry and ripen. The result is a cinnamon flavor thats sweet with just the mildest touch of heat.

Cinnamon au naturel.

I also add about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon after I finish cooking the ice cream base. It boosts the cinnamon flavor, and adds a nice speckly color not unlike the look of vanilla bean ice cream. I also think it gives the ice cream a slightly grainy “mouthfeel” that I enjoy. It’s not dissimilar to the textural feel that cocoa powder gives to ice cream, but if you prefer a smoother ice cream feel free to omit it. Just add more cinnamon sticks in the beginning half of the recipe.

Cinnamon swirly!

This ice cream is a no brainer because it tastes like the classic combination of cinnamon/sugar. I think that sometimes in our quest for new flavors we overlook how truly great time honored flavors can be. Cinnamon Ice Cream is one such flavor, and can be adapted in many different ways. So try it this winter, either alone or atop one of the season’s many pies, cakes or crisps. Either way it’s a foolproof winner, and a recipe I think you’ll find useful and versatile for years to come.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Ingredients:

 1 ½ cups whole milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

5 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

5 cinnamon sticks, coarsely crushed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.)    Place milk, cream and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the barest simmer for a few minutes and then cover the mixture, take it off the heat, and let it steep for 1-3 hours.

 2.)    After steeping, strain out cinnamon sticks. Heat the cinnamon milk mixture in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

 3.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add both sugars. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

 4.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add cinnamon milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.

 5.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and ground cinnamon and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

With Cinnamon Ice Cream, the sky’s the limit on sundae combinations! One of my favorites would have to be Cinnamon Ice Cream, drizzled with a whisky caramel pecan sauce (Perfect Scoop author David Lebovitz has a great recipe!), caramelized apples and whipped cream. If you’re a fan of Mexican chocolate, try it with hot fudge or as a part of a brownie sundae!