If Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer, does that mean it is also the unofficial beginning of ice cream season? Is there even an ice cream season? I guess in SoCal, ice cream season is year round. We have 80 degree temps in January and 60 degrees in May/June (which is freeeezing for us!). It makes no sense. We're getting back in to that May Gray/June Gloom season here, but last weekend I felt like making some ice cream. I had buttermilk and egg yolks left from my party cake and I have had this recipe saved for a while. Remember when I made that amazingly rich and delicious buttermilk pie? This is basically that pie in ice cream form. It is so totally luxurious and very simple to make. I paired this with some dried hibiscus flowers that I just found at TJs. The sweet and tart flowers went perfectly well with the sweet ice cream with the tart bite of buttermilk. There is no cream cheese in this recipe, but I could swear with my eyes closed, it tasted like a cheesecake ice cream. FYI, if you haven't tried these dried flowers before, they are so delicious. I wish they had more nutritional value because I have been adding them to everything from cocktails to granola. More on the latter, soon. (I hope)
Buttermilk Ice Cream
(Adapted from The Last Course via Smitten Kitchen)
Makes about 1 quart
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 to 12 large egg yolks *
2 cups buttermilk
Pinch of salt
1/2 a vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
Bring the cream and 1 cup of the sugar to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat (if you’re using the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the cream while it heats as well.)
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
After the cream comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and dribble a small amount into the egg yolks, whisking them constantly, to temper. Continue slowly adding the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking all the while. Once everything is incorporated, return the mixture to the saucepan where you heated the cream.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl and mix in the buttermilk (and the vanilla extract if you are using that instead of the vanilla bean.) Cool the mixture completely, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
*I used 6