Buttermilk Ice Cream

This ice cream was an excellent foil to the sweetness of the Cranberry-Pistachio Crumble we served on Christmas Eve. It has a lovely tang and rich taste.

Buttermilk Ice Cream
Servings: 1 quart
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 8 hours cooling
Total time: 24 hours

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup demerara or turbinado sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until slightly lightened in color.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the cream over low heat with the sugar, honey and salt until the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not let cream reach a boil; the sugar should be dissolved well before that. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Vigorously whisk the yolks while adding a ladle of hot cream in a slow stream. Repeat until about half of the cream has been mixed in. Return egg/cream mixture to sauce pan and combine. Return to low heat and cook for another 3-4 minutes; stirring regularly. The mixture should thicken slightly.
  4. Remove from heat, strain and cool for 20 minutes. Add the buttermilk, stir until fully incorporated. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold, at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. When you are ready to churn the ice cream add the extract into the chilled sweetened cream.  Freeze according to your manufacturer’s ice cream maker instructions.  For me that is ~25 minutes. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze overnight.

Notes:
Step 3 is very important. You need to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs otherwise they will scramble. Slowly adding the hot cream while whisking the eggs will allow you to do this. Don’t trust the TV show host who pours a cup of hot liquid into their eggs and then picks up a whisk. Two good examples are Alton Brown’s Good Eats episode The Proof Is In The Pudding or any episode of America’s Test Kitchen that deals with ice cream or pudding.

Demerara, or turbinado sugar, is also referred to as raw sugar. At one time it was only available from higher end grocery emporiums or natural food stores. I found it next to the agave and sweeteners in the baking aisle at our local mega-mart.

You can substitute a tablespoon of bourbon, whiskey, etc. for the vanilla extract if you wish. You add it after the mixture is cool so that the heat of the liquid doesn’t dissipate the aromatic components.

I referred to several recipes when coming up with my version including ones from Joy the Baker, Smitten Kitchen and Bon Appétit.

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