I haven't made much ice cream all year, so it's a bit ironic that I'm doing so when the weather's cooling down, but hey, ice cream is a year-round treat in my life! Honey ice cream seems just right for this time of year and would make a great accompaniment to poached figs or pears or even an apple crisp.
Thanks to ghbrooklyn in the linked post, I decided to use his/her recipe as a springboard for my own:
What I did: Combine 1.5 c. whole milk and 1.5 c. heavy cream (or 3 c. half and half) w/ 3/4 c. honey. Heat on med. heat til small bubbles form along edge. In bowl, whisk 2 XL eggs til frothy. Slowly add some of the hot honey mixture to temper the eggs and add back to honey mixture in pot.
Over very LOW heat, heat up mixture til it reaches about 175F, making sure to stir once in a while and turn down heat to prevent curdling. Take off heat and strain. Stir in a splash of vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Taste and add more honey or pinch of sugar if necessary. Chill overnight and churn.
Note: ghbrooklyn's recipe uses 1 whole egg w/o cooking, but I wanted to heat up since I thought that would help w/ texture. I like the idea of using the entire egg because I'm getting sick of all the whites I've amassed in my freezer. I'm scared to check, but I think there must be about 40 whites that I haven't gotten around to using and probably never will. Don't even bother suggesting uses for them since I've read the threads but have no desire to implement. Anyone else use whole eggs in their standard ice cream recipes? I'm going to try this more and more.
The result was phenomenal! First off, the texture is amazing. The honey keeps the ice cream from freezing rock hard such that it's ready to eat w/o the usual 15-min. thaw or quick zap in the microwave. Scooped out of the container like a dream. The honey also gives the ice cream nice body and "chew". The appearance was really striking...a pale yellow w/ a matte finish. The flavor was exactly as if I was eating the honey...sweet, slightly caramely, a little nutty, a little citrusy w/ a rosemary pine finish. Sort of tickled the back of the throat at times.
I was worried that applying heat to the honey would mar the flavor, but it seemed fine. I may try adding the honey at different times to see difference in flavor. I was also worried that the egg whites would do something funky, but it worked out fine. In fact, the flavor seemed more direct than might have been if weighed down by yolks. All speculations that I hope will generate discussion...
I think this is one of my and def. one of husband's favorite ice creams I've ever made. As I was eating it, I thought that any artisanal shop would be proud to serve this and that I would feel right about charging $ for this batch. I did think that it would be enhanced by some nuts (salted pistachios or smoked almonds) added at the last minute of churning.
Here's one photo:
Close up photo:
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