Saturday, September 17, 2005

Recipe Blogging: Cinnamon Ice Cream

First off, if you’re not familiar with Penzey’s Spices do yourself a big favor and head over there for a looksee.  I’ve been using spices, herbs, and whatnot from Penzey’s for years.  They’re just plain amazing.

This ice cream is something I came up with four or so years ago as a side to a roasted pineapple (I’ll post that some other time).  It’s wonderful stuff, and really worth the effort to search out good vanilla beans and cinnamon.  Did I mention Penzey’s is a great place for spices?

Cinnamon Ice Cream

 3 c. Half-and-half

2 sticks cinnamon, broken

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out

1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder

3 egg yolks

3/4 c. sugar

  • Pour the half-and-half into a heavy saucepan.  Add both cinnamons, the vanilla seeds and the scraped bean husk.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to avoid scalding.  Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the eggs are pale yellow and form a ribbon when you drizzle the egg/sugar mix back into the bowl.  Set the bowl in a towel rolled into a ring.  (This keeps the bowl from scooting all over the place during the mixing which is about to occur.)  Bring the half-and-half back to a simmer, then very slowly pour 1/2 c. of the hot cream into the egg mix, stirring constantly.  After this initial bit is mixed in, slowly pour in the rest of the cream, whisking constantly.  Pour the mix back into the saucepan.
  • Return the saucepan to medium heat and continuously stir the custard.  Cook until it just begins to thicken — at the point where it leaves a clear strip when you draw your finger across the back of the spoon or spatula you’re using to stir.  Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a bowl set in an ice bath.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, pushing down onto the surface of the custard, and chill overnight.  This overnight resting is critical to the outcome of the ice cream.  The stuff will be very good if you skip this and go straight to freezing, but it will be wonderful if you’re able to do this the night before.  The additional resting time gives the proteins and other smart-sounding stuff time to bind.  I don’t know what really happens, I just know I followed Alton Brown’s suggestion from years ago on FoodTV and it makes a helluva difference in the final texture.
  • Process as usual in whatever ice cream maker you’ve got.  We’ve got an old Krups which has served us very well over the years.


Here’s a shot of the eggs at ribbon stage:

 Eggs and sugar at the ribbon stage.

Here’s the custard after it’s been cooked just enough:

Custard when it's been cooked enough.



triticale said...

I agree about, as you put it, going to Penzey's. The website is a good start, but visiting the store is a real treat. Overall aroma and vibe, and then direct sniffs of each item. Note that the home store in Brookfield Wisconsin has moved from the mall on Blue Mound to much larger quarters around the corner on Janacek (which everyone insists on pronouncing Dzhanisek instead of Yahnuchek).

Jim Holmes said...

We were stationed in Germany when I first heard about Penzey's back in '95. They wouldn't ship APO at that time, so there wasn't anything I could do. Most henious.

My wife's a cheesehead and we went back to Wisconsin to visit her Mom for Christmas -- and visited one of the Penzey's stores. Almost like going into a shrine for me!

I expected to be overwhelmed with spices, much like walking into one of those lousy candle/potpourri shops. I was very surprised when it was a much milder atmosphere! It's nice that they keep all their spices in closable jars so one's nose doesn't explode.

Penzeys. Good Stuff.

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