while it's surely not summer in northern michigan just yet (simply dip your toes in lake michigan and you'll agree), the occasional glistening 75 and sunny spring day has me in full-on ice cream heaven mode. i don't think a week went by this winter without at least some sort of homemade frozen treat available in the freezer (ice creams, sorbets, and sherbets), but now that some warmth has arrived... well there's often at least two or three options to choose from. and i have a hankering feeling that things are only going to get better from here.
i'm an ice cream addict and i'm not afraid to admit it. so, here's to a summer of ice cream!
i made this simple, yet sultry, rosemary ice cream using just six simple ingredients, including whole creamline milk and heavy cream from shetler family dairy. if you learn just one thing from this post, let it be the value in finding a good local dairy from whom you can purchase quality grass-fed milk, cream and butter. your treats, meals, and body will thank you. take a look here to learn more about the benefits of grass-fed dairy!
if you saw my brownie ice cream sandwiches, you’ll recognize this brown sugar ice cream base. it’s the perfect ice cream in my mind, so you’ll likely be seeing a LOT of variations on this one. i love the rich caramel flavor that comes to life by making a simple switch to brown sugar in a classic vanilla custard base.
the rosemary and brown sugar flavor balance is inspired by this stunning rosemary cake, with brown butter frosting. i made this cake for multiple special holiday occasions last year, and it's been in my heart ever since - pulling fresh savory herbs into my sweets left and right.
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
combine the milk, cream, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally. heat to just about a simmer, ensuring the sugar is dissolved.
while the milk is heating, place egg yolks in a medium bowl (i like to use a big measuring bowl like this one). once the milk is heated through, turn off the heat and pour about 1/2 cup into the yolks, whisking to combine. then add about half of the remaining milk, whisking to combine once more. finally, pour the milk and yolk mixture back into the pot, whisking to combine it with the rest of the milk.
return the pot to medium-low heat, stirring the mixture constantly until you have a custard. knowing when it's ready is probably the trickiest part of making custard, but you'll get the hang of it! the mixture will start to thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon when it's ready. this generally takes 5-10 minutes on my stove. if your a thermometer type, you want to bring the custard to 170 degrees. the most important thing is to stir it constantly and not overcook it.
when the custard is ready, pour it back into the bowl and stir in the vanilla and salt. plenty of people will recommend you put that bowl directly into an ice bath... but i'll admit that i'm lazy in that department. i just stir it for a minute or two while it starts to cool, cover the bowl, and pop it in the fridge.
let the custard cool for about 4 hours, then churn according to your ice cream maker's directions. as the mixture thickens, sprinkle in the rosemary. when it's fully churned, scoop into a container, cover, and place in the freezer for at least an hour or two before serving.