Contact Me:

Questions? Suggestions for a post? Corrections? Please contact me at

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Corny & Sweet: Sweet Corn Frozen Custard

Sweet Corn Frozen Custard --
not your average ice cream.
Yes, I'm corny and some say I can be sweet. That's what I have in common with this dish. My sweet tooth has been getting the best of me. I've been cooking a bit, but I realize that I've only been cooking desserts. I have been blessed with bushels of corn from family and friends and I whipped out my New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmer's Markets, Roadside Stands & CSA Farm Boxes, by Sheri Castle again (see my earlier review and her recipe for Panzanella) and found this quirky recipe for Sweet Corn Custard Ice Cream. My curiosity (along with my sweet tooth) ganged up on me and I had to try it.

Although this recipe doesn't take any great skill, don't get all cranked up to make your own corn custard ice cream tonight. It's involved, folks. A large saucepan, a small saucepan, a large bowl, a small bowl, a metal or glass bowl, a blender, two trips through a fine mesh strainer; then there's the scalding, simmering, steeping, whisking, cooling, chilling, not to mention the actual spin in the ice cream maker. This treat is not for the spontaneous. It's a commitment, an all-day endeavor. And it's worth it.

Sheri notes that this is best served as part of another dessert, atop a warm berry cobbler or pie. I lack the desire to do that many dishes time to bake a cobbler too, so I'm going with her suggestion of serving it with caramel corn (Cracker Jacks) or maybe roasted peanuts.

Sweet Corn Custard Ice Cream

by Sheri Castle

4 ears freshly shucked sweet corn, silks wiped away with a damp towel
2 c. whipping cream
2 c. whole milk
1 vanilla bean
3/4 c. sugar
6 large egg yolks

(serves 4-6)

- Cut the kernels from the cobs into a medium saucepan. Use the back of the knife or a small spoon to scrape the milky liquid from the cobs into the pan. There should be at least 2 cups of kernels and scrapings. Keep the cobs. Stir in the cream and milk. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the tip of the knife to scrape out the small, sticky seeds. Add the seeds to the pan and set the pod aside. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the milk is scalded, which means that there will be a few wisps of steam rising from teh milk and a few small bubbles around the edge.

- Remove the mixture from the heat and puree in a blender, working in batches so as not to fill the blender more than half full at a time. Pour the puree in to a large bowl and add the cobs and vanilla bean pod so that they can release their flavor into the mixture as it steeps. Set aside to steep for 1 hour at room temp, then discard the cobs and vanilla bean pod. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large saucepan, pressing on the solids to remove all the liquid.

- Bring the mixture back to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and yolks in a small bowl until smooth. Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1 cup of the warm mixture into the yolks to temper them. Whisk the yolk mixture in to the corn mixture and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula, about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large glass or metal bowl. Let the custard cool at room temperature, then press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until ver cold (under 40 degrees F), at last 4 hours, then mix well.

- Churn the ice cream in a small electric ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ice cream will be soft, like a thick milk shake. To freeze hard enough to scoop, transfer into an airtight container, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and freeze until firm.

Note: Churn according to directions, ~ 20-25 minutes, otherwise, when you churn the cream too long you'll get... corn butter! (Of course, that's a noble goal as well.)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds awesome! I am a sucker for both fresh sweet corn AND homemade ice cream. --Sally