July is National Ice Cream month, so of course I had to celebrate with some homemade ice cream! But, oh, what recipe to choose??
I will never pass up flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate peanut butter cup, or even straight-up chocolate. But lately, I've been craving a flavor that I "made" at a restaurant where I worked several years ago. I say "made" because it wasn't from-scratch ice cream. It was a bit more Cold Stone Creamery-esque. I used to take a gallon of softened vanilla ice cream, and mix in chopped white chocolate and fresh raspberries.
Using that as inspiration, I decided to make a white chocolate ice cream, and swirl in some sweetened raspberry puree. The ice cream base is a cooked custard (meaning eggs are used as emulsifiers), which makes for a smooth, rich ice cream. It takes some technique and practice to know just when to take the custard off the heat, so as not to cook the eggs. However, if you do let it go too long and cook the eggs, just strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer as you are pouring it over the white chocolate.
This ice cream would be delicious with just about any sweetened fruit puree swirled in. You can substitute blackberries, blueberries, strawberries (or any combination of berries) for the raspberries in the puree recipe below, or use your favorite recipe. The puree recipe below will make more than you need for the swirl; save the rest for another use, or pour some over the finished ice cream for extra flavor.
White Chocolate Ice Cream with Raspberry Swirl
Slightly adapted from Serious Eats
Yield: 1 quart
For the ice cream:
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 8 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup raspberry puree (see below)
- Combine the milk and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat to scald. While the milk mixture is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow.
- Once the milk mixture has scalded (tiny bubbles form around the edge), pour about a half-cup of the mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Pour that back into the saucepan, and heat until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon without dripping. Immediately remove the custard from the heat and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Place the chopped white chocolate in a medium mixing bowl and pour the custard over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute, then stir until chocolate melts and is evenly mixed into the custard.
- Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator and chill for at least four hours, or overnight.
- When ready, churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions. When finished churning, layer one third of the ice cream in the bottom of your storage container (I use freezer-friendly plastic storage containers; tall, thin ones work better for layering than low, long ones), then pour half of the raspberry puree over the ice cream. Carefully layer another third of ice cream, then the other half of the puree, and finally the remaining third of ice cream. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, then cover with the storage container's lid and place in the freezer to harden.
- If ice cream becomes too hard to scoop, soften in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
Yield: about ¾ cup
- 12 ounces fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Puree the raspberries in a blender or food processor. Press the puree through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
- Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, tasting afterward to reach desired sweetness. Stir in the lemon juice.