adventures in ice cream

February 7th, 2010 § 16

The great thing about ice cream – aside from how happy it universally seems to make people – is how marvelous a canvas it is for culinary creativity. Over the holidays at a friend’s house we found an issue of Fine Cooking we’d somehow missed (June/July 2009) that featured an inspiring spread on flavour combinations for home-made ice cream.

cigar_bourbon_fig_ice_cream

Bourbon and cigar ice cream with figs, black cardamom, vanilla bean and a pinch of cinnamon.

We’d never made ice cream, but are always discussing novel taste combinations and looking for a new kitchen thrill. This first ice cream adventure turned out to be the most fun we’ve had cooking so far this year. We can’t believe how good these flavours are.

Fruity olive oil and toasted pine nut ice cream. Tastes surprisingly like butter pecan.

Fruity olive oil and toasted pine nut ice cream. Tastes surprisingly like butter pecan.

This technique, and the olive oil and pine nut recipe are from the David Lebovitz article in the Fine Cooking issue mentioned above. The cigar and Bourbon combo below was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba, and by the Bourbon itself.

Cuban cigars, Bourbon, California Mission Figs and Bourbon vanilla

Cuban cigars, Bourbon, California Mission Figs and Bourbon vanilla bean.

[fbshare]Bourbon and cigar ice cream

2 C heavy cream, divided
1 C whole milk
¾ C sugar
salt
5 egg yolks
2 pods black cardamom
a few gratings of Sri Lankan cinnamon
1 small Cuban cigar
1 Tahitian vanilla bean
10 dried Mission figs, chopped
¼ C Bourbon

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 C of the cream with the milk, sugar and a good pinch of salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until frothy bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan.

2. Turn off the heat and add the whole black cardamom pods, cigar, and cinnamon. Use a small paring knife to slit the vanilla from end to end, then scrape the seeds out. Add the seeds and empty pod to the cream mixture. Cover and infuse for an hour. Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Chop the figs and soak them in the Bourbon.

3. Nearly fill a large bowl with ice and water. Rest a smaller bowl in this ice bath. (The smaller bowl should be big enough to hold all of the ingredients comfortably.) Pour the remaining 1 C cream into the smaller bowl, to chill it. Set a fine-meshed sieve over the cream.

4. After an hour’s infusion, remove the cigar and re-warm the cream mixture until frothy bubbles again appear around the edge. Dribble about half of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then pour this yolk-cream mixture back into the saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over low heat until the custard coats the back of a spoon (175-180º F). Stir constantly and do not overcook, or the custard will curdle.

5. Strain the hot custard into the cold cream. Cool the custard to below 70º F by stirring it slowly over the ice bath. Refrigerate the custard in a sealed container for 4 hours.

6. If you have an ice cream maker, freeze the custard in it, mixing in the figs and Bourbon into the just-churned ice cream.

7. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the custard for an hour, then mix it with a stick blender. Return to the freezer for an hour, then mix again. After a third hour, mix a final time, then fold in the figs and Bourbon.

Fruity Italian extra virgin olive oil and roasted pine nuts.

Fruity Italian extra virgin olive oil and toasted pine nuts.

Olive oil and pine nut ice cream

2 C heavy cream, divided
1 C whole milk
¾ C sugar
salt
5 egg yolks
1 C toasted pine nuts
¼ C extra virgin olive oil

1. Nearly fill a large bowl with ice and water. Rest a smaller bowl in this ice bath. (The smaller bowl should be big enough to hold all of the ingredients comfortably.) Pour 1 C cream into the smaller bowl, to chill it. Set a fine-meshed sieve over the cream.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1 C of cream with the milk, sugar and a good pinch of salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until frothy bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Dribble about half of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then pour this yolk-cream mixture back into the saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over low heat until the custard coats the back of a spoon (175-180º F). Stir constantly and do not overcook, or the custard will curdle.

5. Strain the hot custard into the cold cream. Stir in the olive oil. Cool the custard to below 70º F by stirring it slowly over the ice bath. Refrigerate the custard in a sealed container for 4 hours.

6. If you have an ice cream maker, freeze the custard in it, mixing the pine nuts into the just-churned ice cream.

7. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the custard for an hour, then mix it with a stick blender. Return to the freezer for an hour, then mix again. After a third hour, mix a final time, then fold in the pine nuts.

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§ 16 Responses to “adventures in ice cream”

  • Gala says:

    Wow such creative flavors, nice to see you daring the unusual :)

  • pat of living [room] hell says:

    OK, you two. Month by month I’ve sat on my hands, moved to drool but not to comment. But CIGAR ice cream? I hate you for thinking of it. Now I’m going to try black djarum, thanks to your instructions for those of us without ice cream makers.

  • too funny… Would a Dominican republic cigar work???

  • Rob says:

    Sure, any kind of cigar would work. We used one that was small, and infused it in the cream for an hour. More than that might be a bit strong, depending on your tastes.

  • Karine says:

    This looks original and amazing!Thanks for sharing :)

  • Kasey says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe for olive oil ice cream. I first tried it in New York, at Otto restaurant and ever since I got my ice cream maker, have been dying to recreate it. The addition of the pine nuts sounds fabulous. Will definitely be making this!

  • neighbour says:

    Now everyone who is reading the latest ice cream entry, I have had the privilege of tasting both! Sublime is a word that comes to mind immediately! The cigar, fig and bourbon was a wonderful combination that I wouldn’t change.
    The pinenuts and oliveoil was delicate,subtle and so buttery!

  • David says:

    Those are both wild, and look fantastic! Glad to have inspired such madness…

  • Would the cigar ice cream go with a nice smoky wine?

  • I was sent the link to this by a fellow ice cream nut. Love bourbon. Love figs. Love vanilla. Hate cigars. I thing this is the only form of cigar flavor that would entice me to try.

    I adore olive oil ice cream and the pine nut addition sounds perfect.

    A note: in Venice I had pine nut gelato that was superb. The cream was infused with the nut flavor. I think they were strained and fresh toasted ones were added. Infusing would produce soft nuts, even frozen, but these were crunchy.
    Could end up expensive for ice cream.

    Glad to have found you guys.

  • admin says:

    The cigar flavour is like caramel and goes surprisingly well with the fig and bourbon. The pine nut and olive oil is very buttery and delicious!

  • admin says:

    Hey Michael,
    It’s great to get a comment from Africa! I do love smoke flavour in wine, and this might pair nicely with a Southern-hemisphere shiraz. But you know, this doesn’t actually taste like smoke, the tobacco in the cigar has more of a dried-fruit flavour, like fig or apricot. Plus the coldness of the ice cream might mask a red wine’s flavour. I’d try a fortified wine, like a Pedro Ximenez. Or a sip of Bourbon!
    David

  • Becci says:

    You’re blowing my mind

  • Griff says:

    Please be aware that infusing the cigar in this manner very effectively pulls the nicotine from the tobacco. Anything larger than a small cigar (as pictured), or for a person with nicotine sensitivity, would make this recipe dangerous. Nicotine is a very potent neurotoxin, when ingested, and ingesting one cigarette is enough to cause a hospital visit.

  • David says:

    There was an amazingly vitriolic exchange over the whole *idea* of this recipe at chowhound when we first published it. I don’t think anyone at risk of being injured or offended by this ice cream is likely to make it, or ingest a dangerous amount of it. But thanks for the warning.

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    Feature ingredient

    Jim Beam Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    Aged 8 years in charred oak barrels, with distinct aromas of fig and tobacco, and a characteristic cherry finish. Almost as satisfying to smell as it is to sip.

    Jim Beam Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey