Speaking of ice cream season (as I just did in my previous post): I recently made my first spring batch of ice cream after an abstemious winter, to go with a very simple chocolate cake I like to make with orange rind rubbed into the sugar.
I had been planning on doing good old vanilla, but a perusal of the fabulous Sweet Stuff cookbook from the Magnolia Grill in Durham NC led me to Burnt Orange Caramel ice cream, which I thought would be perfect. It was, especially when I decided at the last moment of churning to add a handful of cacao nibs.
After a large, hearty, multi-course dinner, people actually had seconds of dessert! I thought the gang of ice cream hounds might be interested...
Variation on a Paraphrase of Burnt Orange Caramel Ice Cream (about 1 qt)
1 1/4 C fresh sqeezed orange juice
1 3/4 C cream
1/4 C whole milk
1/2 C + 2 T sugar for caramelizing
5 egg yolks
2 heaping T sugar
1/4 t kosher salt
2 t vanilla
1 t freshly ground black pepper (optional but recommended)
About 1/3 C or so cacao nibs
Reduce orange juice by half in a nonreactive saucepan. Keep warm and reserve.
In another large saucepan, heat the cream and milk just before boiling. While this is heating, caramelize the sugar in a third, roomy pot (yes, a lot of dishes). How much you caramelize depends on your taste but I like a bitter sort of flavor and make it quite dark. SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY add the OJ to the caramel to stop the cooking process. SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY add the hot cream and stir over low heat until caramel is dissolved.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and salt, and add the pepper. Temper the yolks with some of the hot cream, then add them to the saucepan and cook until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the vanilla.
Strain and chill, then freeze according to the machine's directions. Add the nibs. Very tasty on its own but amazing with chocolate cake.