Friday, October 28, 2011

Gingerbread porter ice cream

Why are birthday desserts the only ones I mess up? And why have I messed them up with very disappointing regularity since I moved to CA? At least I was able to recover this one. If you follow the recipe as written, you should be fine.

2 c cream
2 c half-and-half
1/2 c porter
4 cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom pods
dozen whole allspice
6 pieces crystallized ginger
2 large slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed
3 T butter
1.5 T molasses
1.5 T + 3/4 c brown sugar
4 egg yolks (do not use whole eggs)
1 t vanilla

Combine 1 c cream, 1 c half-and-half, beer, and whole spices in a saucepan. Bring to a very low simmer, and heat uncovered for half an hour or until richly fragrant and tasty. The beer may curdle the cream a bit, but that's ok. Strain to remove the spices and any cream solids.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Grind the bread into coarse crumbs in the food processor. Melt the butter and molasses together, then mix the butter, molasses, and 1.5 T brown sugar into the bread crumbs in a couple food processor pulses. Spread the mixture in a thin even layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 13 minutes until toasty but not burnt. Let cool on the counter while you finish making the ice cream. Break into small pieces before putting in the ice cream.

Beat the eggs and 3/4 c brown sugar together until thick. Gradually stir in some of the spiced cream, then pour the eggs back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, to make a custard. Strain into a clean bowl, stir in the vanilla plus enough cream and half-and-half to bring the volume up to 3.5 c (about another cup of each), and chill in the fridge overnight. In the morning, churn, adding the brown bread when the ice cream is almost done.

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