I told you how this year's Thanksgiving pie came to be, and in that post, I mentioned the embellishment I added: honey-cinnamon ice cream.
Way back when I used to make ice cream on a regular basis I made an absolutely wicked honey ice cream that was smokey-sweet. I wanted to capture it's essence, but not in a cloying, insipid way. I also wanted something that was reminiscent of Greg's cinnamon ice cream. I write "reminiscent" because I find their version far too cinnamonny for my taste.
So, off I went to develop a frozen treat that was neither too sweet, nor too spicy. What I came up with was an ice cream that was the most comforting shade of taupe, speckled with the occasional fleck of warm reddish-brown. The taste is a deep sweetness that isn't overpowering that finishes with a bit of cinnamony taste. Because I used 18%, 35% and 40% cream, it was very, very rich.
As much as I like this ice cream, I don't think it can attain "star billing" as a dessert. It's a great accompaniment to pies--apart from the apple and pumpkin, I can see it working well with peach and bumbleberry--and most likely any dense and richly flavoured cake or pudding, such as gingerbread, fruitcake or Christmas puddings.
Honey-cinnamon ice cream
Makes about 1 litre.
6 egg yolks
90 ml (about a third of a cup) runny honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
500 ml (2 cups) half and half (18%)
125 ml (half a cup) double cream (40%)
125 ml (half a cup) heavy cream (35%)
icing sugar (as necessary)
- Heat the half and half until it simmers and set aside.
- Whisk together the eggs, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Slowly incorporate the hot milk into the sweetened eggy mixture while whisking constantly.
- Move the bowl to the top of a pot of boiling water (yes, this is a makeshift double boiler) and stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the custard bowl and plunge it into a basin of very cold water (keeping care to not let the water get into the custard).
- When the mixture is cool, whip the heavy and double creams together until you can get firmish peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the custard. Give it a taste. If you would like it sweeter, seive as much icing sugar into the custard as you wish and carefully mix it in so as to not lose all the air bubbles in the mix.
- Transfer to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Not everyone can get 40% cream, so if you can't, simply use one full cup of heavy cream.
- You technically don't need the double boiler, if you are confident enough in your custard-making abilities, you can just set the custard in the milk pan and light a low flame and keep on stirring (this is what I usually do).
- If you wind up with scrambled eggs, you can seive the mixture into a bowl to break up the custard. Quite honestly, I've had this happen and the solid bits are so creamy, no one noticed them in the ice cream (or at least no one mentioned them).