While we enjoy rosemary and ginger, we really never considered using them together—and especially not in ice cream. But while pining for something dessert-ish, Michelle found this recipe in Patricia Wells’ The Paris Cookbook and decided to give it a go. She was a little dubious even as she steeped the ginger and rosemary custard, but started to be convinced by its savory aroma.
The recipe comes from Alain Dutournier’s Carré des Feuillants, a wonderful restaurant we visited with Michelle’s mom during a 2002 trip to Paris. Dutournier pairs the savory ice cream with pears poached in honey and Beaumes de Venise (a sweet Muscat-based wine from the Rhone Valley). Pears were not yet in season here in Kentucky, but we had a surfeit of peaches and figured their spicy sweetness would make a good substitute.
We also had, as always, an abundance of eggs, so we made the ice cream a little richer than the original recipe with the addition of some yolks.
After an overnight chill it was time for Steve to plug in our ice cream maker and stand watch while Michelle browned sliced peaches in butter and brown sugar. We were very pleased with the results. The rich ice cream’s spicy ginger and piney rosemary flavors played wonderfully off one another and brought out the spicy-sweet notes of the peaches.
HONEY-ROSEMARY-GINGER ICE CREAM
(adapted from Patricia Wells’ The Paris Cookbook)
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1/2 c. mild honey
- thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, peeled
- 7-8 branches of rosemary
- 3 egg yolks, whisked together in small bowl
Combine cream, milk, honey, ginger and rosemary in a large saucepan. Heat over medium flame until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Add a little warmed cream to the egg yolks and stir to temper. Add the yolks to the cream mixture, whisking for a minute or so. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for approximately an hour.
Strain cream mixture through a fine sieve. Discard ginger and rosemary. Refrigerate overnight. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze.