Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

When I was a kid, sweet summer corn was always such a treat because it tasted like dessert and yet there it was on my dinner plate! To this day, I look forward to the few weeks each year when its REALLY good and eat it as often as I can. I see that same enjoyment from my daughter as well when we give her a piece of an ear to chew on (once we finally convinced her to try it that is...). So if we already feel like we're eating dessert, why not make it official? And since fresh corn can be as good cold as warm, why not try to make ice cream with it? Lucky for me, a food writer for the New York Times had the same idea and provided a great looking recipe that you see here. The only difference is that I skipped the sauce and instead used some raspberry puree we had left from another project.

Share Contents Used
Sweet Corn

4 ears as fresh as you can get sweet corn
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream

Shuck the corn then slice the kernels off the cobs and place them in a large saucepan along with the milk, cream and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Put the cobs in the pan as well (breaking in half if you need to). Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour to allow the corn flavor to infuse into the milk. When the hour is up, discard corn cobs. Using an immersion or regular blender, purée the corn kernel and milk mixture then return mixture to a simmer for 1 minute and turn off heat.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add a cup of hot cream mixture to the yolks, stirring constantly to prevent them from curdling, then add the yolk mixture back into the pan, stirring well to fully combine. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4-5 minutes. Do not let it boil.

Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down on the solids to extract as much of the custard as possible. Discard the solids. Whisk the sour cream into the custard until smooth then place the bowl with the custard into a larger bowl filled with ice water and let the custard cool, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to get any ice water in the custard. Once cooled, remove the custard bowl from the ice bath, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When the custard is full chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for 3-4 hours before serving. The raspberry puree is simply frozen raspberries that have been thawed and briefly pureed in a food processor with a bit of sugar added to taste.

Full disclosure time here: I did not like this ice cream, and neither has anyone else I've tested it on. I'm confident that I made it right because it tastes very much like sweet corn and has a nice smooth texture one expects with ice cream. In the end, the corn flavor just didn't work in an ice cream for me. Even though there is plenty of sweetness, this really is a savory ice cream, which I guess is a bit more Iron Chef than I was expecting. I imagine there are lots of people out there that would like it, and I am not saying this to discourage you from giving this a try, but I wanted to be honest with you all. I guess for now the sweet corn in our house will stay on the dinner plate. 

No comments:

Post a Comment