I have been curious about using goat milk in ice cream as I love goat cheese and was recently turned on to cajeta, a mexican goat milk dulce de leche. After doing a bit of reseach I found that there are only minor differences either nutritionally or in make up between milk from cows and goats. Here is a comparison table that I pulled from this interesting comparison between dairy goats and cows.
So the decision to use goat milk instead of cow milk comes down to taste preference. Maybe you are lucky enough to own a goat, and have a ready supply of fresh goat milk. While you will certainly taste the goat in goat milk ice creams, the taste is subtler than in cheese. Cold dampens flavors and the taste of sugar pretty drasticly alters flavor in most ice creams. Having said that, the unique tang of goat milk seems to be one of those flavors that inspires a wide range of extreme reactions in people. I assume if you have read this far you are fan.
So here is my first attempt at a goat milk ice cream. I decided to be a goat milk purist and use no cow milk or cream at all. This means we have to get more fat from somewhere and we need something to to help us fight grainy ice crystals. The additional fat will come from egg yolks and the additional ice tamer will be corn starch. Im using honey rather than table sugar because the flavor is a good complement to goat milk. Try to use a strong, dark version. The downside to using honey is that ice creams with a lot of it tend to develop a coarse texture after being stored in a home freezer for a while. We are only going to make about a pint and a half so that we can eat it with only a few hours hardening (or straight out of our ice cream maker).
- 2 cups goat milk
- ½ vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- Mix together the egg yolks, ½ cup of goat milk and the corn starch until smooth in a blender.
- If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the goat milk in the next step. If using vanilla extract it will be added in at the end of the cooking process.
- Add the remaining goat milk and honey to a heavy bottomed, medium, saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip), and bring to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Boil, stirring for 3 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the burner. Turn the blender on at a low setting and in a very, very, thin stream pour in the hot goat milk. It is critical that this is done very slowly so as not to end up with scrambled eggs. Do this through the access hole in your blender lid as opposed to just having the lid off, otherwise you risk making a surprising and regretable mess. If you would prefer a more traditional method read this.
- When the goat milk mix is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the goat milk.
- Thicken the mixture into an egg custard by stirring constantly, over a medium heat, until you measure 170º F/77° C on a good instant read thermometer. If you don't have an instant read thermometer, thicken it until you can run your finger over the back of the spoon or spatula you are stirring with and leave a trail that doesn't immediately fill back in.
- Remove from heat. Remove the two pieces of vanilla bean pod. If using vanilla extract instead, mix it in now.
- Pre-chill the mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker. Read about the various ways of doing this (or not) here
- Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker. It should take 15 - 30 minutes.
- Serve right out of your maker or within a few hours of storing in your freezer. Store remainder in a freezer proof container. A layer of cling wrap smoothed on to the top of the ice cream before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.
I would serve this as a sundae using a generous topping of warm cajeta sauce and some toasted almond slivers.
For more goat milk recipes click here.