If you live in the northern hemisphere and the weather is warm, homemade ice cream should reside in your freezer. That thought struck me recently because I suddenly craved ice cream but harbored absolutely no desire to buy it from the store or a shop. Homemade ice cream is an entirely different animal than store-bought; after making my own for a few years, I don’t wish to waste my sugar and fat allotment on the sub-par factory-made variety.
For this Blackstrap Molasses Ice Cream, I started with Jeni Britton Bauer’s Blackstrap Praline Ice Cream recipe, but altered it a bit and omitted the praline. Honestly, I can’t stand nuts in my ice cream. Rocky road is the enemy (sorry Sloth). They’re always soggy and there’s nothing grosser than that. Plus, molasses is such a brilliant ingredient that I wanted it to shine.
This is good stuff. I’m surprised at just how successful the flavor is–it is sweet but with a dark, toasted-sugar depth that kept me sneaking spoonful after spoonful. “I’m eating a frozen baked good,” popped into my head. The molasses taste is strong enough for this ice cream to stand on its own as dessert, but it would also complement a fruit pie or crumble like a champ. Other possibilities: try it with some chocolate magic shell or crushed graham crackers sprinkled over the top.
Blackstrap Molasses Ice Cream (adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer)
Yield: about a quart of ice cream
2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a small bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch with a fork and set aside.
Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and set aside.
Set up an ice bath: fill a very large bowl with ice cubes.
Whisk the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, molasses, and salt together in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently, and boil for 4 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to boil, whisking frequently, until it is thickened, about 2 minutes.
Pour a little of the hot mixture into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the hot mixture and whisk again. Set the bowl inside the larger bowl of ice. Let the mixture cool until well-chilled, stirring occasionally. Pour into the bowl of your ice cream machine, then process and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.