Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Taste of Summer

Summer is flying by and I have been delinquent about updating this blog. I have a perfectly good excuse but sometimes when you make a commitment to something, it leaves other things behind before you realize it. People do that to their friends all the time...I only do it to my blog. But the good news is that I have not been delinquent about cooking.

Summer to me is about pulling out my ice cream maker, one acquired in a divorce which is pretty funny since I've never been married. But I'll take other people's discarded wedding gifts any time. Over the last few years, I've made all kinds of fruit ice creams - blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and peach. I've made a few vegetable ice creams like pumpkin and corn. But this is the first time I've made an ice cream from a flower, or to be perfectly honest a tea bag of dried flowers.

I first had chamomile ice cream at a restaurant, on an apricot bread pudding. As soon as I tasted it, I was in love and came straight home to hunt down a recipe. The concept is fairly simple. Like a tea, you steep the dried chamomile in hot milk. Then carry on with ice cream making as usual, tempering the egg yolk, whisking up a custard, chilling and processing. But it tastes so much better than a tea. It's so good you'll want to pour cream into your next cup of chamomile tea to recreate that creamy flowery flavor, the color of freshness, the taste of summer.

Chamomile Ice Cream

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 chamomile tea bag (check ingredients - should be only dried chamomile flowers)
  • 5 large egg yolks
Heat the milk, cream, salt, and sugar in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the chamomile tea bag to the mixture. Cover and remove from heat for one hour to allow flavors to infuse. Remove the tea bag before proceeding.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Re-warm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

Place the saucepan in a bowl of ice to cool. Refrigerate to chill thoroughly for at least 8 hours but preferably overnight. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

1 comment:

  1. So, finally Ryan and I got around to making ice cream last night. We started out basic with a little vanilla ice cream and topped it with espresso. It was delicious! Tonight (yes - I still have a freezer full of vanilla and I couldn't wait) I'm trying nutella gelato. The technique was a little different, so I'm hoping it turns out just as well. The sky's the limit!

    Glad to hear your back to your blog!