Do you ever latch on to an idea and insist on seeing it through now even though in your heart of hearts you know it's best to wait? Guilty. Right over here.
We received an ice cream maker as a gift nearly a year ago. Since then I have been holding out on making my first batch because I really wanted to try sweet corn ice cream. I can't remember where I first heard of this concoction but it sounded just awesome (spoiler - it is!). I waited through all those seasons that come before summer. And then we entered July - ice cream time! I was practically skipping when went to pick up the ingredients. I was ever so slightly bummed by the corn display that met me at Whole Foods. It looked good, but just good. It did not look like a triumphant vision of summer. Yet I remained undaunted. It was only after I returned home and began shucking that I became unsettled. I tasted a kernel. Drat, not sweet. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but I actually turned around and went back out to a different store in search of better corn. I did find it, but its superiority was barely discernible. At this point I could have (some might say should have) abandoned the project. But I'd just bought $10 worth of milk and cream so that was not an option. I forged ahead.
Remarkably, after all that drama, this ice cream did indeed taste of luscious sweet corn! I'm not sure whether the takeaway is 'mediocre corn can yield great things' or 'all ice cream is awesome'. Both may be true.
Special equipment: ice cream maker & cheesecloth
- 2 ears sweet corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cob (reserve cobs)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer (I use the KitchenAid stand mixer attachment which needs to freeze a minimum of 15 hours)
- Make your ice cream base:
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine milk, corn kernels, and cobs. Over a medium flame heat the milk until it's just hot, about 2 minutes (you should still be able to dip your finger in comfortably)
- Turn off the heat, cover and let milk steep for one hour. Disgard cobs. Using an immersion blender blend milk and corn kernels until smooth. Next you want strain the milk through a cheesecloth to remove pulp. Set a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour milk through. Squeeze cheesecloth to save as much liquid as possible.
- Return strained milk to your saucepan and add heavy cream. Turn heat to low to warm through.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar on high until smooth and light yellow (1-2 minutes).
- Turn the mixer speed to low and temper the egg yolks by adding one cup of the warmed milk/cream mixture to the eggs in a steady stream. Once combined turn off mixer.
- Pour egg mixture into your saucepan with remaining milk/cream. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until it begins to thicken into a custard and coats the back of the spoon (about 5-7 minutes).
- Let custard come to room temperature. Store in a sealed container in fridge overnight.
- 15-20 minutes before you're ready to make the ice cream, place custard in freezer so it gets very cold. While you're at it, put the ice cream storage container you're going to use in the freezer as well. I used a metal loaf pan.
- Make ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
- Enjoy! and/or pour into storage container, cover and freeze.