Thursday, July 12, 2007

Peppercorn - Yes, Peppercorn! - Ice Cream

Foodgoat's first inclination on receiving an ice cream maker is to begin with the basics and make vanill, so as to begin crafting and perfecting one's ice cream technique.

My inclination is to just skip to the weird and bizarre flavors.

And that's why I made a Peppercorn Ice Cream, adapted from a recipe in Chow. I halved the recipe, partly because using 8 egg yolks in any one recipe just seems egregious, partly because I've found that the ice cream maker just works better with smaller quantities, and partly because I figured there wouldn't be a lot of demand for more peppercorn ice cream.

To my surprise, Peppercorn ice cream, even made with black pepper, is not nearly as bad as it sounds. Even though I used more pepper than suggested in the Chow recipe, you don't taste the pepper right away - it was more of building aftertaste than an immediate assault on the tongue. Even then, I didn't find it offensive at all. Someone said it was like the Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans in Harry Potter.

Still, it's not exactly dessert material. One wouldn't sit down with a big bowl of this. However, I could imagine it as a nice accompaniment to something savory. Like a steak.

Peppercorn Ice Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed with the bottom of a heavy pan
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. Heat the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and beat well with a wire whisk.
  3. Return the cream mixture to medium heat and bring to a simmer again. Remove from heat. Temper the hot mixture into the eggs by slowly pouring the cream into them in a thin stream, while constantly whisking the eggs with a whisk.
  4. Strain the egg-and-cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer back into the saucepan. Return it to the stove and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the custard base has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Cool the custard overnight, or until it is completely cold.
  6. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place in a covered plastic container and store in the freezer overnight.


  1. That's an interesting combo. I've never seen something like this, but I can see how the combo of sweet and savory would be tasty.

  2. That sounds delicious! Got to try creating green chili ice cream one of these days. Sweet, savory, and mushy.

  3. Yeah, peppercorn iced cream is novel, but can be paired successfully with various savory dishes. Could be used as a nice surprise to "spice" up your next dinner.