Thursday, July 9, 2009

Burnt Sugar Gingersnap Gelato

There really can't be such a thing as too much ice cream, especially when a carton of cream and a dozen eggs are begging to get used up in 3 days. Tempted by the weather and finding a small dent in my wallet from the ridiculous amount of Ici I've been getting the past few weeks, I decided to rouse my ice cream maker out of hibernation.

Ici has a fabulous brown sugar gingersnap ice cream, which I somehow remember as burnt sugar gingersnap. The taste is still in my memories, but the name seem to have gotten scrambled. Go figure. I must be getting old. Anyways, I turned once again to Dorie Greenspan and adapted her recipe for burnt sugar ice cream into this little tasty treat. The slight bitterness of the caramel, the hint of salt, the spice of the gingersnaps - it's definitely not vanilla.

Burnt Sugar Gingersnap Gelato

3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp water
1 cup cream
2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
5-6 gingersnap, crushed

Add sugar in a single layer to a saucepan (use a 3 quart or something of that size), and pour water on top. There's no need to stir right now, just allow the sugar to melt over medium heat. The sugar will clump before liquifying. This is the point when you have to keep an eye on it. Stir the melted sugar infrequently until it achieves a dark caramel. It should just start to smoke and barely smell like it's about to burn. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cream and milk. Be careful, it's going to bubble up viciously. The caramel will seize up with the cold liquid. It's going to look like a mess but don't worry. Just return the pan to the stove over medium heat and stir frequently to melt the caramel into the cream and milk. It will be smooth again in a few minutes.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks slightly. Add a ladle full of the hot cream and milk mixture to the beaten yolks, whisking briskly to temper the yolks. Add another few ladles to bring the temperature of the yolks up to that of the liquid. Add the yolks back to the pan and cook the custard over medium heat until thickened. Make sure to not boil. Add in vanilla extract and salt.

Pour the custard into a bowl set over another bowl of ice water and stir to cool. Place a layer a plastic wrap over the top, laying it right against the custard to prevent a skin from forming on top. Let it chill completely in the fridge.

Once the custard is chilled. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacture directions. Once done, stir in the crushed gingersnap cookies and pack into a container. Let it freeze to set up some more, or, if you can't resist, eat it soft-serve style.