Happy Thursday, all! I know my posting has been a bit sporadic lately, and well, it’s not going to get much better in the very near future. Basically today, I’m popping in to tell you I’m popping right back out for a week and a half. It’s vacation time for Matt and me, and we’ve decided to really go off the grid, old-school style.
This is partly our deliberate choice, but the choice was partly made for us because we’re staying on a fairly remote Caribbean island that is, according to TripAdvisor reviewers, predictable for having spotty and quite unpredictable Wi-Fi access. It seems that these days, most people who take a trip or vacation ending up taking social media and blogs with them – I’ve certainly done it. But not this trip, we (and the little island) decided. So, the blog will be very quiet for the next week and a half, but I will still see and read (and very much appreciate!) any comments you make.
In the meantime, I will leave you with this delicious, creamy, spicy ice cream. Ginger can be an acquired taste, I know it was for me, and I still struggle a bit with crystallized ginger – it’s not my favorite. I also usually pass on the pickled ginger that comes with your sushi. I do use both fresh and ground ginger in my cooking, but there it’s usually one flavor of many and doesn’t stick out. It sticks out here. I was a tad apprehensive about using the ginger so prominently, but yeah. It really works. It’s so balanced – just the right amount of pungency and bite. Oh, and it’s *spectacular* with a glass of chilled, white dessert wine, if you so desire.
I hope y’all will enjoy it. And have a wonderful week, I’ll see you again in May!
3 oz. unpeeled fresh ginger
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
5 large egg yolks
Cut the ginger in half lengthwise, then cut into thin slices across. Place the ginger in a medium, nonreactive saucepan. Add enough water to cover the ginger by about ½ an inch and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain, discarding the liquid.
Return the blanched ginger slices to the saucepan. Add the milk, 1 cup cream, sugar, and salt. Warm the mixture, but do not bring to a boil – you just want to see bubbles forming on the edges, then shut off the heat. Cover the pan and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Rewarm the mixture – again, just until scalding, where you see bubbles just beginning to form at the edges. Remove the ginger slices with a slotted spoon and discard. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl with a fine-mesh strainer set on top.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour about ½ cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Now slowly pour the tempered egg yolks into the remaining warm milk mixture in the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom of the pot as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. This takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the custard through the strainer into the large bowl with the heavy cream. Stir to combine, then cool to room temperature. You can speed this process with an ice bath. Make sure you stir at somewhat frequent intervals as it’s cooling, otherwise it will develop a skin on top.
Once cooled to room temperature, chill the custard thoroughly in the refrigerator, at least 4 hours. Then churn it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container and let it firm up in the freezer about 2 hours before serving.