Monday, July 18, 2011

Molasses spice ice cream

It's ice cream, it's soft and creamy and spicy and smooth, you know this already. The weird part with this one was the texture before it became ice cream, when it was still a young little custard yearning for greatness on the stovetop. This time the custard thickening was accompanied by a change toward an inhomogenously goopier, more cooked texture, which has only happened for me when I've left the egg whites in. Maybe that's part of why almost every recipe calls for only the yolks. And the molasses may have been doing weird curdle-y things to the milk even before the eggs were involved? All sorts of odd things going on.

Which makes me start to think that ice cream is like bread—no matter how it misbehaves during the process, don't give up, it will probably still turn into ice cream. Based (at least the whole eggs with cornstarch part) on Weinstein's ginger ice cream recipe; makes more than 6 cups.

2/3 c half-and-half
1/3 c evaporated milk
1/2 c 1% milk
1/2 c molasses
1/4 c turbinado sugar
1/4 c crystallized ginger
about a dozen each of whole cloves and whole allspice
3 whole eggs
2 t cornstarch
2 c cream

Combine the half-and-half, milk products, molasses, sugar, and spices in a saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until as aromatic as you desire, at least 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the cornstarch. Strain the milk into a bowl, discarding the cloves and allspice but saving the ginger. Pour a bit of the hot spiced milk into the eggs, stir to temper, then add the egg and milk mixtures back to the saucepan. Heat over low heat for a few minutes until thickened or whatever, stirring frequently. Strain into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, stir the cream into the molasses custard, then churn in the ice cream maker. Mince the crystallized ginger while you watch the ice cream get puffier and puffier until it's starting to overflow the ice cream maker and there definitely doesn't seem like there's room for any add-ins like crystallized ginger, even if there's only a little bit of it. So scoop half the ice cream into one tupperware, let the machine stir the ginger into the other half, then scoop that ice cream into a second tupperware.

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