I've been doing a bit of kitchen wizardry, and can now confidently announce on my golden easel that my new favourite ice cream flavour has been born. BEER ice cream. Like summer, frozen (Wait - that's winter. Oh well).
I was inspired by this recipe from the LA Times, which seemed like one of the easiest and most fool-proof around. I've tweaked the quantities a little, and added in an extra step that will go some way to minimise scrambled-eggness (a completely normal by-product of custardy-ice-cream-making, but obviously we don't want to the whole lot to cook, because BOAK).
There's a fair bit of whisking involved, but you can do that while you polish off the rest of the beer. I implore you to use a craft beer of some sort - a can of Tennent's isn't going to cut it here. I used Orkney Brewery's Dark Island ale, which has coffee-chocolate flavours, with hints of figs and toffee. I think a raspberry beer, like Bacchus, would also work tremendously well. Steer clear of anything too, too hoppy - hops turn very bitter when heated.
The finished ice cream is soft-scoop - which is good, because you won't have to wait for it to soften before diving in and devouring it in one go.
Beer Ice Cream (makes enough to fill a pint glass!)
You will need:
- 4 large egg yolks
- 110g granulated sugar
- 250ml double cream
- 250ml good-quality beer
- Lots of ice - enough to fill a large bowl or the bottom of the kitchen sink
- Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl, until they form a sunshine-yellow paste.
- Over a low heat, and in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the cream and beer to a simmer. While the liquid is warm - but not too hot - spoon a little into the egg and sugar mixture to temper the eggs. This will reduce (but not eliminate) the chances of the egg cooking when you perform the next step. Blend together thoroughly with a spatula.
- Once the cream mixture has reached a simmer, pour it slowly into to the sugary egg mix, whisking constantly. If you want to, you can use a stand mixer or hand blender here, but keep it brief and low!
- Pour back into the pan, and heat until it's thickened, whisking frequently - it should coat the back of a spoon once it's thick enough. It will be more sauce-like than custard-like, so don't break your arm whisking in an attempt to make it thicker - you'll need that arm later.
- As the ice cream base is thickening, fill a large bowl - or the kitchen sink - with ice cubes, and place a medium-sized plastic bowl over the ice. Pour the mixture through a sieve into this bowl, then whisk as it cools. This takes about ten minutes, but you don't need to whisk continually, thank goodness.
- If you're using an ice cream maker, I'll leave it to you to now follow its particular instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a large tupperware box. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes, then stir vigorously with a spatula, breaking up any ice crystals that have formed. Repeat every 30 minutes until the ice cream has fully frozen.
- Ta-da! Two essential flavours of summer, wrapped up in one velvety-smooth tub of ice cream. Don't share it. You'll only regret it later.