Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Cherry Compote

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All week I've been reading about how summer is over.  It doesn't help that football season started and swimming pools have closed... but it was 96°F in Denver today and it certainly seems to me that it's still the season for shorts and swimsuits, sunglasses and flip-flops, and corn on the cob and ice cream.

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Why not combine the two?  

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When I read Melissa Clark's article about sweet corn ice cream, I was immediately intrigued.  I love corn in all forms, but for dessert?  In ice cream?  

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Well, I'm very glad that I gave this recipe a chance.  The flavor of the ice cream is intensely corn-y in a really delightful way.  It's sweet, but not overly so, and while its refreshing on its own, I think the corn flavor is best cut with another flavor, hence the cherry compote.  I think blueberries or blackberries would compliment the ice cream as well.  Give this recipe a try before the farm stands close for the year!

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Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Recipe from the NY Times

Yield = 1 1/2 pints

Time = 40 minutes, plus at least 5 hours' standing, chilling and freezing

Ingredients

4 ears fresh corn, shucked

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup granulated sugar

6 large egg yolks

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 cup sour cream 

Preparation

1.  Using a large knife, slice the kernels off the corn cobs and place in a large saucepan. Break cobs in half and add to pot along with milk, cream and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat. Let stand to infuse for 1 hour, then discard corn cobs.

2.  Using an immersion or regular blender, purée kernel mixture. Return mixture to a simmer, then turn off heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, 1/8 teaspoon salt and another 1/4 cup of sugar.  Add a cup of hot cream mixture to yolks, stirring constantly so they don’t curdle.  Add yolk mixture to saucepan, stirring.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens enough to coat the spoon, about 10 minutes.

3.  Pass custard through a fine sieve, pressing down hard on the solids.  This took quite a bit of "elbow grease."  I ended up using a plastic scraper and pushing the solids against the sieve in a circular motion.  I've included photos above that illustrate the quantity of custard before and after that might be helpful.  Discard solids.  For reference, I was left with about 5 cups of liquid and about 1 1/2 cups of solids.  Whisk in sour cream until smooth.  Let custard cool in an ice bath, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

4.  Freeze corn mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve with cherry compote (recipe below) on top.

Cherry Compote

Recipe adapted from

Bon Appetit

Yield = approximately 3/4 cup

Ingredients

1 cup pitted fresh cherries

1/4 cup

Leopold Brothers Tart Cherry Liqueur

 (you can substitute another cherry liqueur, brandy, or orange juice)

1/8 cup sugar

Preparation

1.  Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large heavy saucepan; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cherries are softened and start to release juices, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to a medium heatproof bowl.

2. Simmer juices until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15–20 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over cherries. Serve warm.

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