10/21/2009

Honey Sage Ice Cream


It has been awhile since the last interesting ice cream, so I decided to post a quick and easy ice cream with ingredients I already had--and it turned out to be my favorite one yet! The other day, I bought a whole bunch of nice-looking items from the fruit market (hopefully to be used in a recipe to come), fresh sage being one of them. Just the way sage smells is intoxicating (according to Dr. Martin Lersch, sage may have common odorant molecules with chocolate!), and I'd gladly take any excuse to use more sage in cooking. I originally had something else in mind for its use, but I had a bit of an "Ah-ha!" moment when I thought... sage and honey flavors in ice cream--I have to try this!

Honey Sage Ice Cream

1/2 c heavy cream
1 1/2 c whole milk
About 8 large leaves of sage
3 egg yolks
1/4 c honey
  1. Combine cream and milk in saucepan with sage leaves (squeeze them to bring out their oils for more flavor) and bring to a simmer. Then remove from heat, cover and let infuse for 1 hour.
  2. After infusing, remove sage leaves and put back on low heat. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and honey until they turn pale yellow and fluff a bit.
  3. When mixture is simmering, turn off heat and pour 1 c very slowly into the yolks, making sure to keep whisking so the eggs do not scramble. Then add back to saucepan and turn on medium-low heat.
  4. Keep stirring over heat until custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Then take off heat, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Freeze in your ice cream maker.

This ice cream really blew my mind! First off, even the custard smelled heavenly, but tasted a bit too sweet. Freezing tempered the sweetness and it turned out much better than I expected. The contrast of sweet honey and refreshing sage in a cold, creamy form (along with the crunch and spice of a gingersnap cookie that I ate with it) was to die for. A winning recipe for sure, that I can see myself making again and again. Next time maybe I'll even put a gingersnap cookie crumb swirl into the ice cream itself.

Next up: Inspiration from Italy!
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