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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cool the custard overnight, or until it is completely cold.
- 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.