Very Ginger Ice Cream

Wonderful as the main attraction with a simple butter cookie, or serve with a warm peach cobbler, pumpkin pie, or slices of fresh mango.

8 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup coarsely grated, peeled fresh gingerroot
4 tablespoons water
4 cups half-and-half
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup crystallized ginger*
(*available is some supermarkets in Asian section and specialty food shops)

In large bowl, whisk yolks. In a 3 quart heavy saucepan cook sugar, fresh gingerroot, and water over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Add hot half-and-half mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking and pouring into pan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally. Mixture will thicken and amply coat back of spoon. Do not let boil.

Pour custard through a sieve into cleaned bowl and stir in heavy cream and vanilla. Cool custard. Chill custard, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 3 hours, and up to one day.

Finely chop crystallized sugar. (If too warm, put ginger in freezer to harden, then chop) Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker, adding the crystallized ginger three fourths of way through freezing process. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Ice cream may be made one week ahead. Yield: 2 quarts (serves about 10)

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