I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but in the UK it has been HOT (relatively...I know that some of you will sneer at our paltry 30 degrees, but we don't do heat well in the UK, and being a goth I melt when exposed to bright sunlight...); I made the mistake of attempting to do a kettlebell workout yesterday...and I have never sweat so much in all my life...the floor around me was actually wet (pleasant I know). So obviously I have wanted to live off of nothing but ice cream.
This fresh ginger and honey ice cream was inspired by some ice cream we bought when we were visiting my parents. It was a small local brand, claiming to be handmade, so we thought that it would be really good quality, but it just turned out to be quite disappointing, with a strange taste and powdery texture; and at £4.50 for a small tub it was definitely an overpriced waste of money. I returned home determined to make my own, better version, as I love the combination of ginger and honey. What I came up with was certainly not disappointing in the slightest, it is silky smooth and has a strong, perfectly balanced ginger and honey flavour.
As with most of my favourite ice cream recipes it has a cooked custard base; the milk is infused with slices of fresh ginger for an hour before you make the custard, and the sweetness comes from honey. I just used a basic honey, but go for one that you like the flavour of, orange blossom would be nice. I was initially planning on mixing some chopped crystallised ginger through the ice cream once it had frozen, but Damian said that he would prefer it smooth so I left it out and just scattered some over the top before serving instead. The ice cream stayed softer in my freezer than most home made ice creams do, which meant that I didn't have to wait to be able to scoop it - win! I think that honey and ginger is a really good year-round ice cream flavour, it is very refreshing for the Summer, but is also warmly spiced for Autumn and Winter, and would be utterly amazing with warm apple pie, a fruit galette or an upside-down cake.
Fresh Ginger & Honey Ice Cream
- 90 g (3oz) fresh ginger (no need to peel)
- 600 ml (2 + ½ cups) full fat milk
- pinch salt
- 300 ml (1 + ¼ cups) double (heavy) cream
- 180 ml (¾ cup/250g) runny honey
- 6 large egg yolks
- 15 g (1 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
- chopped crystallised ginger optional
- Cut the ginger into thin slices and place in a non-reactive saucepan, add enough water to cover the ginger by about 2cm/1in. Bring to the boil, allow to boil for 2 minutes then drain, discard the water and return the ginger to the pan; add the milk and salt and heat until just coming up to a simmer. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave to infuse for 1 hour. (Blanching the ginger removes some of the 'heat', allowing you to get a good ginger flavour without your ice cream being spicy.)
- Place the cream and honey in a large heatproof bowl and place a fine mesh sieve over the top.
- Rewarm the milk and ginger mixture until just coming up to a simmer, remove the ginger slices with a slotted spoon and discard.
- While the milk is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale. Gradually pour the hot milk a little at a time into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan over a low heat and stir until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, do not let it boil.
- Pour the custard through the sieve into the cream and honey, whisk until smooth then cover and place in the fridge until completely cold (you can speed this up by placing the bowl over an ice bath).
- When the custard is cold, churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions. If you like you can toss in a couple of handfuls of chopped crystallised ginger in the last minute of churning. Transfer to a container and freeze for a couple of hours until firm.