This coffee ice cream is cool because unlike most coffee ice cream recipes, this one uses whole bean coffee (rather than instant). And when you use good coffee, freshly roasted, the resulting ice cream flavour is rich, complex and infinitely variable. Different beans have different characteristics – fruity, acidic, chocolatey, citrusy and so on – and the resulting ice cream takes on these flavours and releases them in perfect deliciously cold creamy mouthfuls.
In this particular instance I used Colombia Cundinamarca beans from Smokey Barn Coffee. As a coffee, these beans produce a full bodied cup with citrus fruitiness and notes of honey and nuts, which the careful taster may be able to pick up in their ice cream, as well.
Another benefit to this recipe is it makes it easy to make decaffeinated coffee ice cream, simply by using decaf beans. The result may be less nuanced than with a fancy single estate bean, but honestly, who would mind?
Coffee Ice Cream
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) whole milk
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1.5 cups (125 g) coffee beans
- pinch of salt
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) double cream
- 5 egg yolks
- Heat the milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of cream in a saucepan. Once warm (but not boiling), remove from heat, cover and let it steep for 1 hour or so.
- In one bowl, pour the remaining 1 cup (250ml) cream and set a strainer on top of it. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
- Warm up the coffee-infused milk mixture and slowly pour it (beans and all) into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
- Warm the saucepan over median heat, stirring constantly with a spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (you’ve just made custard!). Pour this custard through the strainer into the bowl with the cream and stir.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (I do this overnight) then freeze it in an ice cream maker (or use David Lebovitz’s technique for making ice cream without an ice cream maker).