Beer Ice Cream
This recipe is best with a malty beer that has a pretty high alcohol content—9 or 10 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Avoid hoppy beers such as IPA because the hops bitterness is accentuated by cooking, while their more floral flavors are cooked away.
- 12 ounces dark beer (such as Southern Tier Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 quarts cold water
- 2 cups crushed ice
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream (use cream without added carrageenan, which can give the ice cream an uneven texture)
- At least a day before serving, prepare the base for this ice cream: Pour half of the beer into a small, nonstick skillet, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the beer is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and add the remaining 6 ounces of beer and the vanilla, stirring to combine. Set aside.
- While the beer is cooking down, combine the cold water and ice in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Pour the egg yolk mixture into a large saucepan, and turn the heat to medium-low. Slowly whisk in the cream, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. (Don’t rush this part or your ice cream will be lumpy!) The mixture should be 180°F when it is fully cooked. If you don’t have an instant thermometer, you can use the old-fashioned custard test: Dip the back of a wooden spoon in the mixture, then drag your finger across the custard coating the spoon. If it leaves a clean trail, your custard is done.
- Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer set over a wide shallow bowl. Whisk in the beer mixture, and set the bowl in the prepared ice bath. Set aside until the mixture has cooled to 80°F, then cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
- Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then freeze until firm before serving. The ice cream will keep in the freezer for 5 days.
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