Chile Lemongrass Ice Cream

For Mother’s Day this year, I got an ice-cream attachment for my Breville BEM800 Stand Mixer. Something I really, really wanted. So even though it is really getting rather cold here now for winter in the Southern Hemisphere, how could I not try out my new toy – and who says ice creams are for summer only in any case (I similarly enjoy soup in summer!)

I was also busy looking at the thousands of recipes out there in the world for chilli peppers as I have now got a glut of a last harvest from my plants. I’ve dried, pickled, frozen, jam and jellied and sauced as much as I could, but was looking for something a bit more interesting when I happened upon this recipe for Chili and Lemongrass Ice Cream by Sara Engream and Katie Luber from their book Spice Dreams (Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2010).

Ingredients:

  • 4 lemongrass stalks,
  • 2 cups whole milk,
  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon ground mild chile pepper,*
  • 1/8 tsp salt,
  • 4 egg yolks,
  • 2 cups whipping cream,
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Cut the lemongrass in pieces, place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add lemongrass to milk, 1/2 cup sugar, chile pepper, and salt and scald in a heavy saucepan for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let infuse for an hour.
  3. Strain the milk mixture through a sieve and return to a clean saucepan. Scald the milk for 5 more minutes, stirring often.
  4. While the milk is scalding, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add a little of the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking continuously until well incorporated. Slowly add the rest of the milk to the egg mixture.
  6. Return the custard to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
  7. Cool the custard quickly in an ice bath, stirring often.
  8. While the custard is cooling, add the vanilla to the cream and mix through. Stir into the cooled custard mixture until well combined.
  9. Cover in plastic wrap – allowing the wrap to lie on top of the custard – and leave to chill in a refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight.
  10. Freeze the chilled mixture in an ice cream machine as per manufacturer’s instructions, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 2-4 hours before serving.

I did make one teeny-tiny change – I thought I’d try infusing with a freshly picked chili rather than using powder. The chili I used is called Bird’s Eye Chili and is a rather HOT one! Cut a slit through the chilli so that full flavour can infuse better into the milk mixture.

Take from the freezer a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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