Tags: coffee, ice cream
For about two seconds during last year’s holiday season I helped out in a little shop that specializes in a certain sweet made with egg whites. As part of prep, a couple of days a week I’d have to separate nine flats of eggs…the whites were saved, but there was no use for the yolks. There are 30 eggs in a flat, so you can do the math on the number of yolks that went into the bin each time I did this. Is that not horrifying?!? I actually felt pain when I would dump that giant bowl of fatty yellow gold in the garbage. So, one day I asked to take some home and walked off with enough yolks for about eight batches of ice cream (or curd or pastry cream or whatever). I portioned them up and froze them for later. If you’ve never frozen extra yolks before, this link will give you some good tips on how to stabilize them for sweet preparations.
When I made last week’s Coffee Ice Cream Tart, I thought it was the perfect excuse to defrost some of those yolks and churn up my own ice cream. There are recipes for coffee ice cream using instant espresso power and recipes using whole or ground beans. I went the ground beans route and just used my normal drinking coffee, which is a not-too-acidic medium roast bean that I grind myself. A quick steep of the beans in hot milk gives the backbone for the base, which is also flavored with almond extract. The coffee-almond combination is a real winner in my books, but if it doesn’t sound like your thing, just swap vanilla extract for the almond and leave out the toasted almonds at the end of churning. This ice cream is great with chocolate sauce!
Coffee-Almond Ice Cream– makes about a quart
1 3/4 cups whole or 2% milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coarsely ground medium roast coffee (measured after grinding)
5 large egg yolks
1/2 t almond extract
about 1/8 t xanthan gum (optional; helps keep ice cream scoopable)
3/4 cup (3 oz) sliced or slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
-Heat the milk in a medium saucepan until it reaches 190-200°F (steaming but not boiling). Stir in the ground coffee and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the coffee to extract as much liquid as possible, and remeasure the milk. If necessary, add a touch more milk to reach 1 1/2 cups.
-Put the coffee infused milk, 1/2 cup of the heavy cream, a pinch of salt and about half of the sugar in a medium saucepan, stir and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl or measuring cup and set a mesh strainer over the top. Ready an ice bath in a bowl large enough to hold your other bowl or measuring cup.
-In a separate medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar. Slowly pour the warm liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
-Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (the temperature should be about 175°F). Vigorously whisk in the xanthan gum, if using, and quickly pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cold cream. Mix in the almond extract, then cool over your ice bath, stirring occasionally until the base is room temperature or cooler.
-Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least four hours, but overnight is better), then pour the chilled base into your ice cream maker and churn. Just as your mixture is reaching the end of its churn time, add in your sliced or slivered almonds to incorporate.
-Transfer to a resealable container and place in the freezer until firm enough to scoop.