My first job in San Francisco was working as a baker at the Bi-Rite Creamery. This bakeshop is famous for their ice cream, which is handmade in house in small batches. It is so so good. It has been years since I have been in that kitchen but I still think about one of my favorite flavors that we made: ginger. I recently got a home ice cream maker and have been slowly making my way through their amazing cookbook. I made a few small variations on their original ginger recipe.
2.5 oz fresh ginger
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 egg yolks
Ice cream is not very complicated to make. Once you've done it once or twice and get the hand of it, it's easy breezy! You do need to invest in an ice cream maker, but it can quickly pay for itself, depending on how much you eat ice cream (I eat a lot). In my opinion, the key to really good ice cream is the milk and cream that you put into it. For example, the type of cow that the milk is coming from changes the quantity of fat in the milk itself. Most dairies use Holstein cows, which produce greater quantities of milk per animal than other breeds but have a lower fat content in the milk itself. Jersey cows, on the other hand, produce less milk per animal but have greater fat content in their milk. The extra fat content makes for delicious drinking milk, as well as badass ice cream. The are also very cute.
Back to the ice cream. The first step is to peel the ginger. I typically use a paring knife for this instead of a peeler--you lose more ginger, but it's way faster. After you peel the ginger, slice it into small coins. Place the sliced ginger into the bottom of a saucepan and add enough water to just barely cover it. Bring the water to a boil, and drop the heat to medium. Let the ginger simmer for about a minute. This process diffuses an enzyme that occurs in ginger that can sometimes make milk curdle. Don't worry- you won't lose much flavor during this process. After a minute, strain the ginger and place the slices back into the pot.
Combine the ginger with the milk, cream and half of the sugar and bring to a simmer. Once it begins to bubble, turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, separate the egg yolks and combine with the rest of the sugar.
After the ginger has steeped for 30 minutes, temper the egg mixture. The goal of this process is to slowly bring the eggs to the same temperature as the milk to avoid curdling. Bring the egg bowl close the milk pot (I usually do this quickly on the stove and place a towel under the egg bowl so it doesn't move while I whisk). Slowly ladle half of the warm milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Then add the egg mixture into the milk pot while whisking constantly.
Return the milk pot to medium heat and cook until the milk becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once you can run your finger through it and get a clean line, the milk is done.
Strain into a clean container and let chill in your fridge for at least 2 hours before following the churning instructions on your ice cream maker.
Then you can add fun toppings! Like blueberries!
Or both! This ginger ice cream is sweet and a little spicy. Perfect for the ginger lover. I would recommend eating homemade ice cream within a week of making it. Now grab a spoon!