30 November 2010

The Odd Couple

I resisted this heavenly combination for way too long.  It just sounded too weird.  Or maybe I thought it just sounded gross.  I don't know what I was thinking. 

I have come to my senses and embraced the perfect pairing that is beer and ice cream. 

The Hubs and I have been on a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter kick recently, so that's what went in to this batch of ice cream. 


Well, that and the fact that HEB had it on sale.  (I know, I'm so dadgum cheap frugal)

Well, those two things and the fact that this batch of ice cream would be the a la mode for Thursday's pecan pie and I had a hunch that the porter would pair really nicely with the toasted nuts. 

Two important things to keep in mind when making this ice cream:
  1. Choose a beer you really like. The flavor will become incredibly concentrated as you reduce the brew. If you don't love your beer, you certainly won't like your ice cream.
  2. You have to use brown sugar. It lends a deeper, more caramel flavor to the ice cream. You can taste the difference.

 Vanilla Porter Ice Cream
(adapted from Satisfied's Pumpkin Ale Ice Cream, 10/11/10)

8 oz Breckenridge Brewery's Vanilla Porter
16 oz 2% milk
16 oz half and half
6 egg yolks
3/4 c brown sugar
2 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, reduce the Vanilla Porter by half.  It should be thick and syrupy.  (~ 10 minutes)

In a medium saucepan scald the milk and half and half.  (This would be a great time to throw in a split vanilla bean if you have one on hand)

In a medium bowl whisk to thoroughly combine the egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and salt.  Slowly pour in about half of the warm dairy mixture while stirring constantly.  You do not want scrambled eggs! 

Once it's well combined, pour the mixture back in to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.  You'll know it's ready when it evenly coats the back of a wooden spoon and a line you draw on the spoon stays.  Or you could just use a thermometer (180F). 

Take it off the heat and pour the mixture though a fine mesh strainer. 

Completely chill the reduced vanilla porter and custard base (separately).  Combine the two right before pouring the  mixture into your ice cream machine.  Follow manufacturer instructions.

This ice cream turned out to be perfect on pie, made a great coffee creamer and was heavenly all by itself. 

However, I think my next bowl will be topped with a little cajeta I have stashed in my cupboard for situations just like this. Mmmmm....

No comments: