A long, long time ago, during my summer break from college, I joined my two best friends who were working at Stewart's Ice Cream in my hometown of Saratoga Springs, New York. I was working as an office assistant during the week, but thought I would make a little extra college spending money on weekends, having fun working with my bff's, Donna and Jeannie. Donna is actually my sister, but we're only 11 months apart in age, so she's always been my best friend too! We had to arrive at the ice cream shop by 6:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, after being out late partying at the Rafters the night before. The Rafters, a dance club on Saratoga Lake, was the "in" place to go during our college years. (Drinking age was 18 years old - way back then.)
Dragging ourselves into the ice cream shop after only a few hours sleep (maybe), putting a smile on for our first customers of the morning picking up their gallons of milk, one of our regulars entered the shop and burst out laughing at us. Gee, we thought we were hiding our "not feeling the best" pretty well. He looked at us, and questioned, "you work at an ice cream shop, and you don't know what the best cure is for how you're feeling right now?" Three sets of eyes looked with pleading anticipation at him, waiting for the solution to our pain. "A coffee milk shake", he announced, as he waved good-bye walking out the swinging door, still laughing.
Jeannie ran over to the frozen case with the huge vat of coffee ice cream and proceeded to whip up three frosty glasses of coffee milk shakes. Yep, it worked! From that point on, it became a Sunday morning ritual. The first one in the door, had three coffee milk shakes waiting as the other two arrived.
Coffee ice cream became my favorite that summer and still is to this day, not only because it tastes so delicious, but also the treasured memories it brings of Donna and Jeannie, and our wonderfully carefree time together, that special summer.
This creamy, natural coffee bean infused classic ice cream is adapted from the delightful, highly acclaimed book, The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz. You can also find it online here. If you enjoy your coffee, you will love this ice cream!
Until next time…mangia! xox
Coffee Ice Cream
(Printer friendly button below)
Makes about 1 quart (1 liter)
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1-1/2 cups (125 g) whole coffee beans (I used Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend)
pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee
Create the ice cream:
Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee bean, salt, and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Reheat the coffee-infused milk mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy, but not boiling. Pour the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl and set aside. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. This can take about 10 minutes. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the ice bathed cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible, then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and the finely ground coffee and stir until cool over the ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
If you like to eat your ice cream in the evening, and coffee keeps you awake all night, feel free to use decaffeinated coffee beans.
I'm an egg white eater, so always looking for ways to use my saved egg yolks. Ice cream and lemon curd are my favorite uses. If you, on the other hand, need to find a use for the leftover egg whites, a few ways are: a white egg omelette, meringue, or white cake/cupcakes.