Forget the first green buds on the trees, or seeing the first robin of spring. Here in Vermont you know spring has arrived when the ice cream stands open again. Take last Saturday, the first gloriously sunny day in almost 2 weeks… I had been heavily sidelined by a […]
There are a number of things I find enticing about this recipe for Cinnamon Ice Cream (Not the least of which are the brownies sitting next to it 🙂 ). First and foremost the use of cinnamon oil to intensify the cinnamon flavor of the ice cream, a spice that isn’t exactly shy to begin with. It’s a good reminder that our ability to discern flavors diminishes significantly in cold foods. A warm ice cream mix that tastes just right will probably be on the bland side once frozen. Getting a feel for this comes with experience, but as general rule of thumb, when flavoring ice creams remember the words of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein “Moderation is for monks.“.
Which brings me to using natural essential oils, and extracts when making ice creams. Vanilla extract is one everyone is familiar with, but they are available for a wide range of flavors. Concentrated, technicolor magic when used appropriately (which depending on the extract can be drops at a time), they are essential potions in the ice cream mad scientists laboratory. Not inexpensive, but with a fairly long shelf life, I like to use them to experiment with flavor notes in a couple of different ways. In milkshakes and when I’m being more methodical, by scooping out half cup of still soft, but mostly churned ice cream and then stirring in an extract a drop at time. I will be writing more about this in the flavor combinations section I am working. A good source of natural extracts in the Frontier Natural Products Cooperative, but there are a number of companies that make huge assortment flavors. Click on the previous link and then do an search on “natural flavors and extracts” and you will see that are pages of them.
Another potent way of intensifying this particular recipe would be to grind the cinnamon used right before making the ice cream. Grinding cinnamon by hand is simply not worth the effort when an inexpensive electric coffee grinder does the trick. This Krups is what I use and it works great, though it is a bit of a pain to clean. Grinding a little rice is a fast way to clean it out.
To go off on yet another tangent, cinnamon is another interesting spice to experiment with as there are a number of similar tasting plant barks that are sold as cinnamon. Actually its a good bet that you may have not actually ever tasted “real” cinnamon. You can get an idea of the variety on the The Spice House website, which is very good spice store in Chicago.
I like the use of 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Which I thought added just the right amount and character of sweetness.
I also thought it was interesting that MaryJane Robbins, the recipes creator, chose to use whole eggs, instead of just egg yolks. You rarely see this and honestly I think that’s mostly due to convention. There is without question a difference in the resulting texture, when just egg yolks are used. And my guess is, that if a recipe calls for many more than the two eggs used in this one, using the whites would start to become a problem. It would be interesting to try this recipe with just yolks and see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. I wish I can speak more knowledgeably on this. If anyone has any thoughts on using egg whites in ice cream please leave a comment below.
Lastly let me point out that this is a high fat recipe with a 3 to 1 cream to milk ratio, which means that it is very rich and creamy and freezes fairly well.
Cinnamon, eggs / 1 quart
Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min