New recipes! The reason behind this ice cream extravaganza is that I bought a half gallon of cream last week. (Also, it’s summer.) It is SO MUCH CREAM. I’ve made three batches of ice cream, and I still have four cups left.

The first batch I made was the bourbon and brown sugar ice cream. I had been planning on making a relatively simple, non-cooked ice cream involving chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces, but when I started getting my ingredients together, I found that we had no white sugar. The local minimart had already closed, and I forgot that I had a neighbor who would totally have given me a cup had I asked, so I went on the internets to see if I could use brown sugar. Answer: yes, but it’d have to be a cooked custard-style ice cream. Glad I did, because the texture in this batch was so wonderful. The bourbon was kind of a last minute add, but I think it tastes great.

The cardamom-honey ice cream I had made once before, and since I was seeing Lydia on Friday, I decided to make it again. I changed the recipe a bit from the first time (different cooking method, different dairy ratios, fewer yolks, etc.), and it turned out better. The ice cream hung together better. My problem with it before was that it turned out too soft. I made another change for the recipe (but not in my batch), which was to cut the cardamom down by half. I just don’t think you really need two tablespoons. That’s a TON of cardamom. I’d like to see if I can made this better by maybe using the seeds inside whole cardamom pods instead of ground cardamom. The texture currently is a little too grainy (the sieve can’t catch all the particles), and I’d like it to be smoother.

I was inspired by the strawberry-sage ice cream recipe over at Ice Cream Ireland, but after talking with my friend Eddie, he put the idea in my head of the classic strawberry-black pepper-balsamic vinegar combination. Well, I didn’t end up putting the balsamic directly into the ice cream (although I am thinking that either a balsamic reduction or some straight good balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top would be PURE WIN), but the resulting ice cream was very tasty. It was my first time doing a fruit ice cream, and I’m not entirely sure I froze it correctly. (Are the strawberries supposed to freeze solid? I guess so. I mean, the water content in them would really dictate that happening.) I also think that just a black pepper, or maybe a black pepper and vanilla ice cream would be lovely. Since the peppercorns were just broken and not ground, they were easily strained out, and the resulting texture on the ice cream base was much better than in the cardamom-honey.

YAY ICE CREAM.

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