Oh yes. My ice cream maker has been awakened from its deep winter slumber. And it was a long, long slumber.
Spring is a fleeting thing around these parts, so as soon as the sun comes out and the weather hits double digits, I take advantage of it as much as possible. I’ve been feeling like I need to unleash my inner domestic ninja more often, so I celebrated this past long weekend with some good old fashioned ice cream making.
I had attempted to make coffee ice cream sometime last year, but it ended in utter failure. For the first time since I started making ice cream, the milk curdled and it left me discouraged. This is one of those situations where the FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS meme is applicable because who else gets devastated by curdled milk? Seriously, #firstworldproblem
So this was my redemption, in a sense. I would reclaim ice cream making glory by conquering my earlier fail. I started with this recipe from Just One Cookbook that looked very promising. I did some minor tweaking to the proportions, but left the recipe largely intact.
The key to great coffee ice cream is patience. The beans steep in the milk mixture for about an hour to infuse their beautiful flavour. And as I always do when making ice cream, I let the custard cure in the fridge overnight, for at least 24 hours if possible, as it results in the better-tasting ice cream.
This time, the ice cream turned out perfectly. I used medium roast coffee beans that I picked up from Superstore (PC brand, FTW) and mixed in espresso-ground coffee at the end. I can see how different roasts and types of beans could affect the final outcome, so I look forward to experimenting with other varieties. In the name of research, of course.
Coffee Ice Cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups coffee beans
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp finely ground coffee (optional)
Heat the milk, sugar, 1 cup of heavy cream, coffee beans, and salt in a medium saucepan until it starts to steam (do not let it boil). Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl or container and place a mesh strainer on top. Set aside. Reheat the coffee milk mixture until steaming, being careful not to let it boil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour tablespoonfuls of the warmed coffee milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula; it should only take a few minutes. Make sure not to let the mixture boil.
Pour the custard through the mesh strainer. Press onto the coffee beans to extract as much flavour as possible. Discard the beans. Stir in the vanilla extract and ground coffee (if using) and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy often and enjoy liberally, because ice cream is awesome.