Lemongrass Ice Cream
This tempting dessert can also be flavored with cardamon (see Variation)
-- Ming Tsai
- 3 cups milk
- 8 lemongrass stalks, white parts only, slice 1/4-inch thick
- 1 vanilla bean, preferable Tahitian, split lengthwise and scraped
- 3/4 cup egg yolks (5 to 6 large eggs)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
To prepare: In a nonreactive medium saucepan, combine the milk, lemongrass and vanilla bean and heat over medium heat until scalded. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep at least 1 hour and preferable overnight; the longer it steeps, the more flavor with develop. Strain the mixture, return the milk to the saucepan, and bring just to the point of boiling.
Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with cold water and add ice. In a nonreactive medium bowl, combine the yolks and the sugar and whisk to blend. Add a ladleful of the scalded milk mixture to the yolk, mix well, and transfer the tempered yolk mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the eggs will scramble.
Strain the mixture into a medium bowl, and place it in the bowl of ice water to cool. When cool, add the cream, and stir to blend. Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions. Do not overharden; the ice cream should have a soft consistency. Transfer to the freezer.
Variation: Cardamom Ice Cream. Use 8 crush cardamom pods or 1/2 tablespoon toasted ground cardamom in place of the lemongrass. Steep the cardamom in the milk and proceed as above.
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