When Randy and I got married, I didn’t do much of a gift registry. We were in our early 30′s and had both been married before. We had all the sheets and towels and I had a KitchenAid mixer and a food processor. We have plates we liked and more kitchen equipment than we had room for. Of course, there were a few things we really wanted so those items went on our registry list. One item was an ice cream maker.
My brother and his lovely wife bought us the ice cream maker, along with the cute bowls you see in the above picture. Soon after we got married, we moved in to a new house. The ice cream maker got put in a box that somehow got hidden in the basement. Then it put in another box that got put in storage while we lived in London. Then that same box came back to our basement and remained unopened until we moved to our current house, a little over 2 years ago.
This is the long way of telling you that, in spite of the fact that I make a lot of desserts, I have only made ice cream 3 times in my life. I feel like there is dessert mentor somewhere to whom I owe an apology. If you read food blogs, you have probably read in multiple places how easy and amazing it is to make your own. Listen to those people and listen to me. It’s easy and it’s amazing. Ice cream makers are a relatively inexpensive piece of kitchen equipment, especially for the incredible results they give.
I made this ice cream somewhat on a whim. For dessert last night, I planned on serving the Peanut Butter Cup Brownies that I had in the freezer, but had a hankering for something else too. I decided to make ice cream, but didn’t want to spend any more time than necessary on it. Caramel flavors were calling out to me, but I didn’t even want to make a caramel. I settled on this incredible ginger flavor and am so glad I did. Randy loves ginger and I thought it was time to reward him for all the chocolate that has been around here lately. Poor guy. He’s been a trooper.
Crystallized Ginger Ice Cream
Adapted from Ice Creams and Sorbets
Makes approximately 1 quart
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
In the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of water), heat the half-and-half and fresh ginger over simmering water until steaming. Remove from the heat and steep for 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, then whisk in the sugar. Whisk in about half of the hot half-and-half and pour the yolk mixture into the pan of half-and-half. Stir and cook over simmering water until the custard coats the back of a spoon ,about 10 minutes. Immediately place the custard pan (or bowl) in the ice water bath and stir the custard occasionally until it cools to room temperature. Strain the custard into a container and discard the ginger. Stir in the cream and vanilla, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours. (DT: Mine was chilled in one hour.)
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is almost frozen, add the crystallized ginger and churn until blended in, about 15 seconds more. Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.