we will always welcome vanilla soft serve in a crunchy cone. but our tastes occasionally skew more complex, and when they do we turn our ice cream spoons toward van leeuwen, a local fleet of “scoop trucks” and shops that offer artisan ice cream (both traditional and vegan) in out-of-the-box flavors like earl grey tea, sicilian pistachio and honeycomb.
in celebration of their new cookbook
, the team was sweet enough—pun intended—to share their recipe for sichuan peppercorn and cherry compote ice cream. a perfect afternoon D.I.Y. for the hottest summer days.
SICHUAN PEPPERCORN WITH CHERRY COMPOTE ICE CREAM
MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART
FOR THE CHERRY COMPOTE
2 cups cherries, perferably sour cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt
FOR THE SICHUAN PEPPERCORN ICE CREAM
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tbsp sichuan peppercorns, cracked
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
To make the cherry compote, in a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, and salt and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the juices released by the cherries come to a simmer. Skim any foam that forms on the surface; reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the syrup thickens and the fruit softens and slumps, about 30 minutes. Transfer the compote to a jar and set aside. The compote can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in the refrigerator; you will need 1⁄4 cup for this recipe.
To make the Sichuan peppercorn ice cream, pour the cream and milk into a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a sauce- pan of gently simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk in 1⁄2 cup (100 grams) of the sugar, the peppercorns, and the salt and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Warm the mixture until you see steam rising from the top. Remove from the heat, cover, and let the mixture infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture into a bowl; discard the peppercorns in the strainer. Return the dairy mixture to the double boiler and warm until steam starts to rise again.
Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set another bowl over it. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, with a kitchen towel underneath it to prevent slipping, whisk together the egg yolks with the remaining 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar until uniform. While whisking, add a splash of the hot dairy mixture to the yolks. Continue to add the dairy mixture, whisking it in bit by bit, until you’ve added about half. Add the yolk mixture to the remaining dairy mixture in the double boiler. Set the heat under the double boiler to medium and cook the custard, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon and reducing the heat to medium-low as necessary, until steam begins to rise from the surface and the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Hold the spoon horizontally and run your finger through the custard. If the trail left by your finger stays separated, the custard is ready to be cooled.
Strain the custard into the bowl sitting over the prepared ice bath and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the custard has cooled. Transfer the custard to a quart-size container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the container in which you refrigerated the custard in the freezer so you can use it to store the finished ice cream. Churn the ice cream until the texture resembles “soft serve.” Using a spatula, fold in 1⁄4 cup of the cherry compote, along with some of its syrup, until incorpo- rated. Transfer the ice cream to the chilled storage container and freeze until hardened to your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can serve it immediately—it will be the consistency of gelato. Feel free to top your ice cream with additional cherry compote. The ice cream will keep, frozen, for up to 7 days.
Filed under: deliberate polish