This is a perfect holiday season ice cream, if for no other reason, than it can be hard to find cranberries in the supermarket the rest of the year. Kerry Saretsky, the recipe’s author, states she was led to the idea for this frozen custard by cookies made with white chocolate chips and cranberries. Sounds right to me!
The Secret Ingredient (Cranberry): Cranberry Ice Cream with White Chocolate Chunks Recipe on the Serious Eats blog
Kerry has her own excellent food blog which I urge you to visit.
First my standard caveat; chefs make choices about technique and ingredients for a reason. I list some things I might change, not as a criticism, but to reinforce the point that ice cream making is forgiving, and to encourage experimentation. In most cases I suggest that the first time you cook a recipe, do so exactly as laid out by its creator.
Kerry uses a hand mixer to combine the eggs and sugar. I’m currently hot on using a blender for this. Blend the eggs and sugar until pale and smooth. Then when you are ready to combine the cooked milk and cream mixture with the eggs, pour it into the blender in a very thin stream, with it turned on to its lowest setting. I describe this in a little more detail here.
I would probably go with 3/4 cup of sugar rather than a full cup as Kerry uses for this recipe. Cranberries are tart so many (most?) people probably wont find the full cup of sugar too much. This is just my personal taste.
Since this has 5 egg yolks in it, I think you would be safe reversing the proportions of milk to cream if you wanted to turn it into a lower fat gelato. By safe I mean I don’t think you would give up much in terms of creaminess. This would be especially ok to do if you plan to eat it all right out of the machine. With less fat, what’s left will freeze harder in your freezer and may need a few minutes to warm up before serving.
I think I also would be tempted to take this over the top a little, based on its chocolate chip cookie roots, and mix in a 1/4 cup of nuts (chopped walnuts or almonds), maybe even a little shredded toasted coconut. My favorite chocolate cookie recipe is out of the old Paul Prudhomme classic cookbook Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen. Lori Taylor’s Chocolate Chippers is chock o’ block full of delicious add-ins: dates, toasted coconut, granola, and walnuts. Here is the recipe online. Now of course if you start loading up this recipe with all these additions, you are moving pretty far way from the balanced elegance of the original. I know, make the ice cream as Kerry describes, and then serve it as an ice cream sandwich between a couple of Lori Taylor chocolate chippers!
Since I brought up the Louisiana Kitchen I have to mention another recipe because it is one of my all time favorites: Barbecue Shrimp. This heart attack inducing, butter loaded, hot pepper infused, take on marinating and cooking shrimp is so spectacularly delicious that regardless of any dieting distractions you may be currently fostering, I urge you to try it at least once. If this was typical of what Mr. Prudhomme was eating regularly in 1984, his cover photo makes total sense, from the big smile on down.
Cranberries, White Chocolate / 1 1/2 quart
Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour