David Lebovitz, I adore you. You have made this house a happier place.
I know – minus 20 temperatures shouldn’t inspire ice cream making. But think about it: during a deep freeze, your ice cream machine insert won’t take up precious freezer space if you just stick it outside. And if you’re making the real, custard-base stuff, you won’t need to fiddle with a bowl of ice to cool it down – you can just stick it outside in the snow and it will chill in no time. My motivation to eat ice cream is rarely to cool off, anyway.
Besides, I had to get rid of the cream before going on a bit of a veggie bender in an attempt to wean myself off of all things buttery/sugary/creamy, at least for a little while. I signed up for a gym membership. I dug my gym bag out of the basement and dusted it off. I found my earphones and running shoes and went and bought a good supply of cheap Tshirts to sweat in. This has all taken far longer than it should have. I think it’s called procrastinating.
I’ll tell you all about that soon. Sue is arriving first thing in the morning for a 3 day Beanapalooza, in which we will attempt to make and photograph the recipes in the second half of the book, and I will do my best to not want to change everything. If you live within a 5km radius, you will likely receive leftovers on your doorstep. They will surely contain beans, even if they look like they couldn’t possibly. (Think chocolate cupcakes and gingersnaps.)
Meanwhile, have some ice cream. I read it in the book that currently occupies the space beside my bed – the Sweet Life in Paris. (If I can’t go, I can at least live vicariously through David.) D calls it caramel espresso ice cream, and though I cringe to second guess his infinite dessert wisdom, I do think burnt sugar better describes both method and taste – more bite, more character than straight-up caramel. Espresso makes a perfect pairing, without making it taste like coffee ice cream. (And I say that as one who loves coffee ice cream.) This is ice cream for grown-ups.
Burnt Sugar & Espresso Ice Cream
adapted for Canadian midwinter from the Sweet Life in Paris, by David Lebovitz
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk (2% would probably work fine)
pinch of good salt
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup strong brewed espresso (what David says), or a heaping teaspoon of instant espresso dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water (what I did)
Put the sugar into a heavy duty pot (I used my round Le Creuset) and set it over medium-high heat. Let it sit until it starts to melt and liquefy in spots. (This will depend on your stovetop.) Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with something heatproof, until it melts completely, turns deep golden and just barely begins to smoke. If you get nervous, don’t even wait for the smoking part.
Carefully (it will steam) pour in the cream and stir – the melted sugar will seize up and harden – don’t worry about it. Stir to dissolve the sugar caramel. Stir in the milk and salt.
Beat the egg yolks with a fork in a small bowl. Slowly pour some of the hot caramel into the yolks, stirring briskly, then whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the caramel in the pot. Cook over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon – if you draw your finger through, it should leave a trail.
Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. (I tend to skip this step, but it takes about 20 seconds and is well worth getting any rogue bits of cooked egg out of your custard.) Put the bowl out into a snowdrift, or set it on a bowl of ice, or slide it into the fridge (put a piece of parchment or plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin forming), and cool until well chilled.
Stir in the espresso and freeze in your ice cream machine. Call me and I’ll come share it with you.
February 04 2011 11:07 pm | dessert