I have a theory that food is a lot like fashion, or politics, in that most of the so-called “new” concepts/ideas or “trendy” ingredients really aren’t new or trendy at all. Instead, they are simply recycled from days gone by, and just given a proverbial facelift, or repackaged in more modern, prettier wrapping paper.
Polenta comes to mind. It came into vogue in the foodie world a few years ago, and many Americans marveled at it. And yet, there was nothing new or remarkable about it; northern Italians have feasted on it for centuries. Yet it was suddenly trendy in our grocery stores.
Same with sorghum syrup. Sorghum originated many, many years ago in the American south, and it was quite inexpensive. It wasn’t cool or trendy; rather, it was a staple in lower-income households due to its low price tag. And yet, sorghum is enjoying a recent resurgence and is gaining a chic reputation, especially in the general American northeast. I suppose it is rather novel up here.
Sorghum syrup, sometimes called sorghum molasses, has become quite hip in NYC, and believe me, it’s got a trendy, hip price tag to match. An ethnic grocery store offered me a jar for $19.99! Yikes! I declined and ordered some on Amazon instead.
This ice cream was my first use of it. The taste is somewhere between maple syrup and traditional molasses. It took a few samples for my palate to acclimate to the familiar-yet-not-quite-familiar taste and truly accept it, but it really is delicious. We definitely enjoyed this ice cream, and I’m very excited to find more uses for my jar of sorghum. Stay tuned!!
Source: adapted from Simple Fresh Southern, by the Lee Bros
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sorghum syrup
2 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream, cold
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan set over medium heat and whisk in the sorghum syrup. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl. When the milk mixture is scalded (when bubbles just start to appear at the edges), slowly ladle about half a cup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Now slowly pour the egg mixture into the rest of the milk mixture in the saucepan, again whisking constantly. This will temper the yolks so they do not scramble.
Turn the heat to medium-low, and stir with a rubber spatula until the custard thickens, about 5 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the pan from the heat and strain the mixture into a large bowl. Add the heavy cream, almond extract, and salt. Let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to avoid the custard forming a skin on top. Once it’s cooled, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, about 4 hours or up to overnight.
Pour the custard into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions, about 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of churning, add the walnuts and let them get mixed into the ice cream.
Transfer the ice cream to a container and place in the freezer for a couple hours to firm up.