Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...An unintended consequence of a search for meatless meals led me to Rick Bayless' Frontera website. I, of course, found my way to his desserts, where I stumbled on this remarkable recipe for sweet corn ice cream. This is not a bait and switch. The ice cream is actually made with sweet corn that is given a flavor boost with an injection of orange liqueur, cinnamon and fresh lime juice. My curiosity got the best of me and I had to give it a try. To my amazement, this actually works and the finished ice cream does have a faint, barely perceptible, but pleasant, corn flavor. I'm told this ice cream is common in many parts of Mexico. What makes this version a bit different from the others, is that the corn is pureed and the custard strained so there are no small irritating bits of corn in the finished ice cream. While I tried this as a curiosity, I will make it again. I used thawed frozen, shoe peg corn to make this batch of ice cream. I'd like to try this with fresh corn to see if it affects flavor in a major way. We have family members and friends who would enjoy its taste and the novelty of sweet corn ice cream. You might, too. Here's the recipe.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Rick Baylis


2 to 3 ears fresh sweet corn

1-1/2 cups half-and-half

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1-1/3 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup evaporated milk

A scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican cinnamon

2 tablespoon orange liqueur, preferably Gran Torres

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


1) Set up a double boiler: Set up a 4-quart saucepan, filled halfway with water, into which you can nestle a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat while you're preparing the custard base.

2) Cook base: Husk corn and pull off all the silk. Cut kernels from ears and measure 2 cups. Scoop into a blender and add half-and-half. Blend until smooth. In a 3-quart stainless steel bowl, stir together egg yolks and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add corn mixture and whisk to combine thoroughly. Reduce temperature under the pot of boiling water to maintain a gentle simmer. Set bowl of custard base over the simmering water and whisk frequently, until the mixture thickens noticeably, about 20 minutes. Custard is sufficiently cooked when it reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (You can also test it by dipping a wooden spoon into the custard, then running your finger through the custard: if the line holds clearly, the custard has thickened sufficiently.) Pour the base through a medium-mesh strainer into another bowl (preferably stainless steel for quick cooling).

3) Cool base: Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Nestle custard bowl into ice and whisk regularly until completely cool. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

4) Finish base, freeze ice cream: Stir heavy cream, evaporated milk, cinnamon, orange liqueur and lime juice into base. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions. Scrape into a freezer container and freeze for several hours to firm. Yield: 1-1/2 quarts.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Leche Asada - One Perfect Bite

Flan - Rasa Maylasia

Julia Child's Creme Caramel - Gratinee

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