Monday, January 4, 2010
Use Your Noggin
I'm the odd man out in my family when it comes to egg nog. My family jubilantly celebrates the return of egg nog to the dairy case at the store as if it were the swallows at Capistrano. Me? Not so much. But because I love my family, I will do a lot to make them happy. Like making egg nog ice cream.
There are two schools of thought about egg nog. One school is that it comes from a carton at the grocery store and is a rich, nutmeg and egg flavored beverage. The other school says it's all about the booze. I should have guessed, when I chose to try the egg nog ice cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop, in which school David Lebovitz is enrolled. While my kids attend school #1, Mr. Lebovitz is the principal at school #2.
I had made gingerbread cookies and I loved the idea of pairing the gingerbread with eggnog. Ice cream sandwich cookies, of course! There were a few glitches with the pairing, though. Because of the alcohol in the ice cream, it was very soft. I wanted to spread a thin layer on waxed paper, freeze it, then use the cookie cutter to get the precise cookie shape to layer with the cookies. Excellent thought, but the ice cream wouldn't cooperate. It kept getting softer and meltier until I ended up just spreading it on the cookie and quickly tossing it into the freezer to firm up enough to have its picture taken.
The flavor combination was good, but I'll give you the recipe as I'll make it next Christmas, with less booze and more nutmeg. Why don't I just wait and post it next Christmas, you ask? Well, because I'm unlikely to remember it that long. So I'll give you the recipe and the onus will be on you to pull it out of bookmark purgatory to serve up at your 2010 Christmas party.
Gingerbread and Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies
Your favorite gingerbread cookie recipe, cookies cut out in mirror-image shapes (stars, trees, snowmen), baked and cooled
Eggnog Ice Cream (recipe, the way I'll make it next time, follows)
You can either spread the cookies with freshly churned, but still soft, ice cream, or for more Martha-like cookies, spread the ice cream on waxed paper on a cookie sheet in a thing layer. Pop the sheet into the freezer to firm up. When it's firm, use the same cookie cutter to cut out ice cream shapes and a spatula to move the ice cream shape to top the wrong side of a cookie shape. Put another cookie, right side up, on top of it. Wrap quickly in plastic wrap and pop into the freezer.
Eggnog Ice Cream
- adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp brandy
1 Tbsp dark rum
2 tsp vanilla extract
1- In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, and salt. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
2- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the saucpan and set it over medium high heat.
3- With a heatproof spatula, stir the mixture until it thickens and coats the spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir.
4- Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream. Stir. Mix in the nutmeg, brandy, run, and vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath.
5- Pour the custard into a container with a lid and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
6- Once the mixture is cold, taste it and add more nutmeg if you wish. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Note - Because I know you'll ask, the lovely dish is from World Market.