Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bastardized Panaforte Ice Cream

...Otherwise known as, "My Culinary Last Hurrah" in anticipation of a tonsillectomy.

(Adapted from David Lebovitz' The Perfect Scoop.)

1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (fresh if you're fancy)
1 cup 2% milk*
1 cup half and half*
4 large egg yolks
3 tbsp full-flavored honey
1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest*
1/4 cup minced tart, dried montmorency cherries*
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped*

Warm the 1 cup half and half, sugar, and spices in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for a half hour.

Rewarm the spice-infused mixture. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs, then scrape the new mixture back into the original saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat using a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens to a light "custard" and it coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and mix it into the cream. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir the custard until cool over an ice bath. While it cools, warm the honey, then stir it into the custard.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (overnight, preferably), then freeze it in your ice cream maker. During the last few minutes of churning, add the zest, chopped cherries, and pecan pieces.

*These ingredients have been adjusted from the original recipe. Let's hope all is well in the land of ice cream when I freeze it tomorrow afternoon. :)

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