A few years ago, my friend Sam brought this AMAZING ice cream to a birthday party, and the Hubs & I were just absolutely smitten with it. All the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, oranges, almonds… it was like EATING Christmas. I asked him to share the recipe with me, which he was kind enough to do, because he’s awesome.
Now…here’s the thing. I’ve been utterly swamped lately. My company has a massive project starting next week that’s going to require nearly all of our field personnel and much of the equipment we have…so we’ve all been under the gun to get any OTHER field work completed before that project started. So between field work, office work, school work, and the general craziness of Halloween, I’ve been getting home really late. And when it’s late, I don’t necessarily feel like cooking. Particularly if it involves a lot of steps.
Which this ice cream sort of does. Sure, chopping the almonds was easy. But candying orange peels? Yeahhhhh…I burnt them the first go-round and almost swore off this recipe entirely.
Thankfully, I’m blessed with an amazing husband who works out of our home. So one afternoon, he pulled out this recipe, candied the orange peels, make the “custard” base, and by the time I got home, everything was ready to go into the ice cream maker. Have I mentioned how much I love my husband recently? :)
Anyway, I recommend saving this recipe for weekend sometime, because there’s a lot of time involved, particularly once you have to chill your ice cream base mixture. If you’re craving ice cream OMGLIKERIGHTNOWWWW, then you’ll have to run out & grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But if you’ve got some free time, this decadent dessert is TOTALLY worth it.
INGREDIENTS: Candied Citrus Peel
- 1 large lemon or orange, preferably organic (no wax on the zest)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1½ tsp light corn syrup
- pinch of salt
With a vegetable peeler, remove strips of peel from the citrus. Keep only the bright peel, leaving the white pith behind. Then slice the peel lengthwise into thin strips.
Put the strips of peel in a small, nonreactive saucepan, add enough water to cover them by a few inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain the peel, and rinse with fresh water.
Combine the cup of water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in the saucepan. Fit the pan with a candy thermometer and bring to a boil. Add the blanched peel, reduce the heat, and cook at a very low boil for about 25 minutes, until the thermometer reads 230˚F (NOTE: check back frequently and stir, or you will end up with a large pan of black goo. Just FYI). Turn off the heat and let the peel cool in the syrup for a few minutes. Once cool, lift the peel out of the syrup with a fork, letting the excess drip away, and then place the peels on a sheet of wax paper to finish hardening.
You’ll end up with about a cup of this, but you’ll only need 1/4 cup to go in the ice cream recipe below. You can sprinkle some over the top of your ice cream for garnish, and save the rest for other recipes. I’m planning to use it in a cranberry-orange cookie recipe soon. You can store the excess peel in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Ingredients: Ice Cream (makes about a quart)
- 1 cup fat free half and half
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 Tbsp honey
- ¼ cup mixed candied citrus peel
- ½ cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Warm the half-and-half, sugar, and spices in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over top. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the spiced mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Don’t rush this step: it might take 10 minutes or so. If you hurry it along, you may end up with scrambled eggs in your ice cream. Then, pour the custard through the strainer into the cream. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir the custard until cool over an ice bath. While it’s cooling, stir the honey into the custard.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. This is vital. If you pour warm ice cream mix into your ice cream maker, it’s not going to solidify properly.
When cold, freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the citrus peel and almonds.
After about 15-20 minutes of churning, you’ll have somewhat soupy soft-servey ice cream. Pour this into a freezer-safe airtight container, place in the freezer for a couple hours, and let it get nice & firm.
Serve with candied orange peel and/or sliced almond garnish. (I like mine with a little pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top.)
I forgot to take a final pic, so you’ll have to just ogle this pretty pic snagged from the interwebs:
Other serving alternative to be featured in tomorrow’s Thirsty Thursday…stay tuned!!!
NutriFacts: (per 1/2 cup serving)
Total Fat 16.7 g
Saturated Fat 8.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.2 g
Cholesterol 144.9 mg
Sodium 59.3 mg
Potassium 146.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 28.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Sugars 24.8 g
Protein 4.0 g