Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."
Horchata Ice Cream Recipe
I'll never forget my introduction to horchata. I was enjoying a plateful of authentic green enchiladas, courtesy of my friend Juana, when I unwittingly bit into a jalapeño pepper.
Seeing my crimson face and the tears streaming down it, Juana came to my rescue with a tall glass of cool horchata. Surprisingly, not only did it douse the fire in my mouth, but it soothed my palate with cinnamon and vanilla.
Popular in many parts of the world, horchata seems to have originated during the Middle Ages in Europe and is made of almonds, sesame seeds, tigernuts or barley. Mexican horchata is rice-based and sweetened with brown sugar.
Horchata ice cream owes its silky texture to the naturally occurring starches in rice. This delicate, custard-like treat pairs well with sauteed bananas and salted caramel sauce. Think of it as a Mexican-inspired ice cream sundae—the perfect ending to a spicy feast.
Ice Cream Making Tips:
- Buy high-quality (organic, if possible) whole milk and cream.
- Adding sugar to the eggs helps protect them from the hot milk during tempering.
- Tempering is an important step since it prevents the eggs from scrambling.
- As soon as the custard passes the coating test, remove it from the burner and strain.
- Chill custard at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Horchata Ice Cream
- 1/2 cup white rice, toasted*
- 2 1/2 cups whole cream
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Pour rice into a blender container and blend until coarsely ground.
- Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until warm and steamy. Do not boil. Add the ground rice and stir. Cover, remove from heat and allow it to rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Set a mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth (or use a large coffee filter) over a large bowl. Slowly pour milk/rice mixture through cheesecloth to remove the rice.
- Add ground cinnamon to rice milk and reheat rice milk until steamy. Meanwhile whisk egg yolks, eggs and sugar in large bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk into the egg/sugar mixture, a ladleful at a time, whisking constantly so egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk instead of cooked by it. Return egg/milk mixture to the saucepan and add a pinch of salt.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon or spatula. Sweep a finger across the spatula and when the coating doesn't run, the custard is ready. Remove from heat immediately.
- Remove cheesecloth from strainer and pour hot custard through the strainer only. Stir in the vanilla.
- Chill custard thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, before freezing in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
* To toast the rice: Pour white rice into a skillet on medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the rice turns golden, about 3 minutes.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts horchata ice cream
- 2 under-ripe bananas
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Slice bananas 1/2 inch thick.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter has stopped foaming, add the bananas.
- Sauté bananas for 30 to 60 seconds, until golden brown.
- Carefully flip slices with a spatula and sauté on the other side about 30 seconds, until golden.
Butter Caramel Sauce
This caramel sauce perfectly complements horchata ice cream's cloying sweetness.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water and honey. Simmer over medium-high heat, swirling but not stirring, until sugar dissolves and bubbles.
- Add butter, evaporated milk and kosher salt. Boil for thirty seconds, whisking constantly.
- Add vanilla extract and allow caramel sauce to cool. This is a thin caramel sauce that will thicken once it has chilled for several hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Do You Need an Ice Cream Maker?
Although there are many methods for making ice cream, nothing churns out this creamy confection faster than a maker. The Cuisinart ICE-21 has been a fixture in my kitchen for more than a decade. It's affordable and easy to use, and, if you're in the habit of buying five quarts of grocery store ice cream annually, will pay for itself in a few years.
Homemade ice cream is more healthful than store brands because you control the ingredients. Commercial brands often contain chemicals like diethyl glycol, which is toxic enough to cause liver and kidney damage even in small amounts. Also, if you're on a low-fat diet, the maker can freeze tropical fruit sorbet or yogurt. If you're in the market for an ice cream maker, you're in luck! Cuisinart's newest model is equipped with a specially designed paddle that cuts freezing time to just 20 minutes, which means creamier ice cream and less time in the kitchen.
If you own a Kitchenaid stand mixer, your best bet would be to buy their ice cream attachment. See the Amazon capsule, below, for more information on either option.
© 2012 Vespa Woolf