Saturday, May 2, 2009

Craft # 5a - Cinnamon Honey Ice Cream

During my Dad's winter stay in Las Vegas, he read an article about the health benefits of a variety of foods and has been making a concerted effort to ingest them on a daily basis. Two of the foods, in particular, are Cinnamon and Honey. Cinnamon and Honey are thought to aid digestion, reduce cholesterol and arthritis symptoms, treat toothaches and eliminate bad breath (among other things).

Rich, my idea man, suggested my Dad's ice cream flavor be Cinnamon Honey. Brilliant!

Cinnamon Honey Ice Cream
2 cups milk [I used fat free half and half]
1 egg (whole) + 3 egg yolks [I think I just used 4 egg yolks]
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
150ml cream (just over 1/4 pint) [I think I used 1c.]
2 sticks (about 6 cm) of cinnamon
1 t. ground cinnamon

Put the milk into a saucepan on medium heat, add the cinnamon and continue stirring until at simmering point. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for about 1 hour. [I did not do this, but if you do - reheat the milk to the simmering point before tempering the eggs.]

In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and honey. [I've read several recipes that have you beat the egg yolks and sugar mixture until the yolks are light yellow (~1 minute). So I usually do that at this step.]

Next step: temper the egg mixture. The goal of tempering is to slowly bring the egg mixture up to the milk temperature. [If you do this too suddenly (i.e. - dump the eggs into the hot milk), you will end up with scrambled eggs.]
To temper, I take a ladel to take some of the hot milk mixture and slowly add it to the egg mixture, while whisking the eggs. I repeat this process a few times until I'm certain the egg mixture is about the same temperature as the milk mixture in the pot.

Pour your egg mixture back into the pot and heat gently, stirring contastantly. This is your custard. You want it to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon (you should be able to swipe your finger along the back of the spoon and the line stay in tact) and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. That will also lead the eggs to cook and your custard to curdle.
Once you have a thickened custard, remove your pan the heat and strain the mixture into a bowl. Cover and chill for several hours, preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Put the cinnamon sticks back in the custard in order to further infuse the flavor [this is why I skipped the original hour of steeping].

The following day (or once chilled) stir in the cream and ground cinnamon. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and f
reeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
After churning, I recommend freezing the ice cream mixture for another 1-2 hours so it sets. If you prefer a softer ice cream (similar to soft-serve), by all means, serve immediately!

{finished product}
Happy Birthday Dad!!

The end result was a very sweet ice cream. It kind of reminded me of the leftover milk after eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I would definitely make this again, but maybe cut back on the sugar content.

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