By Jon Wilde, GQ
We officially live in a world where "artisanal" ice cream costs $17 a pint. Luckily, it's less hassle to make your own at home than it is to get that plastic seal off the pint container.
Food hipsters will buy anything "handmade" and "small-batch," which is why we're in the midst of a full-blown artisanal-ice-cream movement. In Malibu you can buy a single scoop at Italy-transplant Grom for $5.25, while New Yorkers can sign up for a three-month subscription to MilkMade-only $50 for three pints! I'm sure it's all delicious, but there's no way in hell I'm spending that much just to feel smugly superior to Edy's eaters.
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Instead, I recently dropped $80 on the Cuisinart ICE-30BC, a simple two-quart ice cream machine, and started whipping up my own frozen delights for comparative chump change. After the first spoonful, I was ruined forever-the homemade stuff is as indulgently rich and creamy as anything sold in an organic heritage-farmed waffle cone. Plus, you're free to concoct whatever flavors you damn well please; my girlfriend likes to make ginger (not my thing) and rosemary-honey (weirdly delicious). I wanted to pump mine full of booze, so I settled on re-creating a favorite summer cocktail: the mint julep.
The recipe requires maybe thirty minutes of work. Though I'm more Chef Boyardee than Thomas Keller on the culinary-talent spectrum, I managed not to screw up...much. One lesson learned: More than a quarter cup of bourbon prevents the mixture from fully freezing. (Turns out there is no way to make ice cream boozy enough to get you ripped on one bowl.) On the bright side, eating homemade ice cream does get you drunk on the smug superiority of not paying a half Benjamin for artisanal rocky road.
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Bourbon-Mint Ice Cream
Makes about two pints
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh spearmint leaves
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup bourbon
1. Bruise the mint with a spoon to release its flavor.
2. In a saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, half the heavy cream, salt, and mint until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let that steep for 30 minutes.
3. Fill a large bowl partway with water and ice. Fill a medium bowl with the rest of the cream, then set it in the large one.
4. Pour the steeping mix through a sieve into a bowl. Toss the mint. Reheat the mix on medium for 3 minutes.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then slowly pour the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape it all back into the saucepan.
6. Cook the mix on medium, stirring constantly with a spatula, until it's thick enough to coat the spatula, about 5 to 10 minutes.
7. Pour the mixture through the sieve into the cream. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Set in the refrigerator to cool for 3 hours.
8. Pour the chilled mix into the ice cream machine and let it run until it's ice-creamy, usually 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop into a container; let it set in the freezer for 2 hours. Then, dessert.
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Photo Credit: Marcus Nilsson