Living in Texas for the last 23 years has not really prepared me for seasons that are not Summer and January. This late-summer season is lovely–I can feel fall and cinnamon everything on the horizon, but it’s still hot enough out that I want to put all that in ice cream.
No matter the recipe, ice cream has a predictable pattern (albeit a more complicated one if you’re following the egg-inclusive French style, rather than the cream-heavy Philadelphia one): heat the dairy, temper the eggs (temper your patience too, because you don’t want to rush this step), chill for hours, churn for minutes, enjoy for weeks.
NOTE: When toasting cinnamon, supervise closely–there should be no smoking, and it should be just about done by 3 minutes on medium heat. This step is optional, but recommended.
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups milk
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee
- ⅔ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 small cinnamon sticks (more may be desired, for garnish)
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Beat egg yolks together in a small bowl until they lighten in color (approximately 1 minute), set aside.
- In a small, dry, nonstick frying pan, toast 1 tablespoon cinnamon over medium-low heat for 1-3 minutes, stirring or shaking pan to prevent burning. When the cinnamon smells fragrant and spicy, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan combine heavy cream, milk, sugar, instant coffee, salt, and cinnamon sticks. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming and hot but not simmering (boiling your custard will give you scrambled-egg ice cream). Remove from heat.
- Add ¼ cup of the milk/cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until combined. Repeat 2-3 times before returning the liquid and egg yolks back to the saucepan.
- Continue to cook the custard for 3-4 more minute over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens (it should coat the back of a spoon or spatula).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool--an ice bath may be used to cool the custard quickly.
- Once mixture has cooled, add vanilla extract.
- Chill custard in the fridge for 2-10 hours. Remove cinnamon sticks after chilling.
- Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.