Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In celebration of summer: coffee ice cream

We spent memorial day weekend at the beach (with everyone else in Manhattan). Luckily, the weather was glorious and we were staying within walking distance of a town and didn't need to get in a car and sit in traffic much.

Our dog enjoyed long walks on the beach and we explored the local restaurants and shops. I stumbled upon a wonderful little antique store full of treasures for the food stylist at heart and ended up with a treasure trove of random flatware pieces, bowls and odds and ends and along with them, some new photo ideas.

My one major desire for the weekend was to indulge in some local ice cream. Believe-it-or-not, the "best" ice cream parlor in town (according to the locals) was constantly packed and it wasn't until Monday evening that the line died down to a tolerable wait. I guess I wasn't the only person who had ice cream on the brain. I was reminded of an amazing ice cream recipe that I took straight from Martha last fall and have been saving sharing for a more appropriate season. In celebration of the coming of summer, here it is: coffee ice cream.

Coffee is my favorite flavor (with mint chocolate chip and cookie dough close runners up). I used to think making your own ice cream was a bit over the top but it turns out (I guess as with most other things) that fresh, homemade ice cream is so sublimely superior to store-bought that short of going to a local dairy, it's pretty hard to beat.

What was particularly wonderful about the ice cream I made, is that I got the brewed espresso from my favorite artisanal coffee shop. The gave me a slightly puzzled look when I asked for the espresso to be measured in a measuring cup I brought and then put into a ziploc storage container - but they obliged and it served as the critical flavoring component of the ice cream. If you don't know how to make a good cup of espresso (or don't have the beans / equipment on hand) don't take a shortcut with instant - the real thing makes all the difference.

Coffee ice cream (from Martha Stewart Living)
(Makes 6 cups)

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brewed espresso
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks

Prepare an ice-water bath. Combine milk, cream, 1/2 cup sugar, the espresso, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl.

Gradually whisk half the hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Pour egg-yolk mixture into saucepan, and whisk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Pour through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl set in ice-water bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Place plastic wrap on surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate 2 hours.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.


Unknown said...

We're getting colder in here, S, while you're almost at the peak of heat! Lovely composition and tone, as usual :) Happy vacation!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I'm so glad you used real coffee in this. It's so beautiful and really dreamy like in its presentation. Great purchase of props Sabra!

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

So lovely Sabra... perfect for the season. I am making a lot of ice cream and sorbet too lately. Your photos are so stunning.

Anonymous said...

Your photo and description made my mouth water!

Anonymous said...

no fair! it's my favorite. how long does it keep? I'm on my way....

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm! Coffee is my favorite flavor too. Your photo looks delicious & the recipe sounds really easy!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I just made some ice cream too! This one looks great!

Anonymous said...

this looks so yummy! i've been going back and forth on getting an ice cream maker, so of course seeing this recipe makes me one to run out and get one even more!!

Sabra said...

Thanks everyone!
Al: see this link for your how long does it keep question
Natalie: I have the ice cream making attachment for the Kitchenaid (a great gift I got!) - it costs a lot less and takes up less space than a stand-along ice cream maker. It lives in the freezer when I'm not using it.

Marianna said...

I LOVE coffee icecream! Definately one of my faves, and like you mint & choco chips is in my top 3. I have my ice cream machine ready and every weekend I tell myself I need to start using it!! Lovely work Sabra! This home made coffee ice cream must taste delicious!

Rasa Malaysia said...

I love coffee everything...especially coffee chiffon cake, but ice-cream will do, too. :)

Venus ~ Vi said...

Ohhhhh..coffee ice cream!!! I think it is time that I take my ice cream machine out of storage.

Anonymous said...

I loved this one. Coffee is my favorite favor. i like to have a little bit of distibuted fine amounts of the coffee bean itself in there, for a little added extra kick.

Special K

Anonymous said...

So simple, and a great way to enjoy Coffee.

I'm glad you enjoyed Memorial Day, and your photography continues to impress me more each time.

Carolina deWitte said...

I'm with the rest of the commenters, coffee ice cream is my ultimate favourite as well. I usually 'settle' for Haagan Dazs, especially the new 'light' line they have put out, but I will absolutely have to try making my own now. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

ooooh. Thank you! I'll be trying this one out. Home made coffee icecream is always so much better than store-bought icecream. It's worth all the effort in cranking the machine.

Anonymous said...

quick question is heavy cream the same as whipping cream ?

Sabra said...


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