Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pistachio & Dried Cherry Ice Cream

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream and Tested in Alice's Kitchen
Makes 1 quart

Well, this is what I made during the torrent of rain we got this week. Once the flood waters receded a bit, we took this to our friends' house for dessert. Everybody gave this treat a thumbs up. You'll find dried cherries and pistachios at Lost River Market & Deli. I love making ice cream and so I use my ice cream maker often, summer or winter! It's a great to make ahead a special homemade dessert for a party. When the summer fruit arrives, I'll put some wonderful fruit sorbet and ice cream recipes on the blog!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (divided)

1 cup (divided) coarsely chopped unsalted pistachios (If the pistachios are salted, be sure to rinse them with water and drain.)

1 cup (divided) coarsely chopped dried cherries (I plumped the cherries by soaking them in very hot water and then draining them.)

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Procedure:

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of the cream, 1/2 cup of the pistachios and 1/2 cup of the cherries. Cook over medium heat until bubbles from around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep for 20 minutes.

Strain the milk mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon. Discard the pistachios and cherries. Return the milk to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup cream in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whish about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. In a small bowl, toss the remaining pistachios and cherries together.

Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When nearly frozen and the consistency of thick whipped cream, add the remaining pistachios and cherries. Churn or stir just until mixed. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.


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