I had my first taste of ginger ice cream in Maine a few years back in a mixed cone with — what else would you expect from up there? — blueberry ice cream. The slow burn of the ginger, made by a person not shy about capitalizing on its bold flavor, offered a pleasant contrast to the cool cream. The generous serving also made a great partner to the juicy berries in the other scoop.
Now ginger ice cream is becoming more visible in San Antonio. At select markets, you can find Häagen-Dazs’ five ginger, an all-natural ice cream made with only five ingredients.
If you want to modify the ginger to suit your own tastes, whether you want it hotter or milder, the best way is to make your own at home. Ginger is available year-round at the supermarket.
This version, made with six ingredients, comes from “The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook” (William Morrow, $40). And if it’s not intense enough for you, then top it with a shot of Stone’s Original Green Ginger Wine or make an ice cream float with a frosty ginger beer.
Ginger Ice Cream
4 thumb-size pieces fresh ginger
2 cups whole milk, divided use
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup honey
2 cups sugar, divided use
12 egg yolks
Peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler or a spoon, and cut it into slices. Place the slices in a saucepan, add just enough cold water to cover, and bring it to a boil. Strain, and rinse the ginger under cold running water. Combine the ginger and 1 cup of the milk in a blender, and purée until smooth. Combine the ginger mixture with the cream, the remaining 1 cup milk, the honey and half of the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it steep for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
[amazon-product]0061441481[/amazon-product]Bring the cream mixture back to a boil and temper the hot liquid into the egg yolks by adding it to the yolks a ladle at a time while whisking vigorously. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the ginger, and return the liquid to the pan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Refrigerate until it’s cold. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Makes 6 cups.
From “The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant” by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price