I know it has been very quiet around here! I have been really struggling to keep up with the blog but luckily, my friend Nik from A Brown Table is filling in for me today. Nik is not only amazingly talented, he’s one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. If you’re not familiar with his blog, stop what you’re doing right now and go check it out. It’s amazing. Nik not only takes stunning photos, he makes the kind of food that really excites me. He uses bold, interesting flavor combinations in new and unusual ways. His blog has been receiving a lot of well deserved attention recently and I couldn’t be more excited for him! He recently won the 2015 IACP award for Best Photo Based Culinary Blog. And now he’s up for a Saveur Award for Best Food Photography. If you get a moment, please vote for him! But first, enjoy the stunning ice cream recipe he’s created. Take it away, Nik!
Jen is by far one of my favorite people. She’s one the few bloggers that I’ve actually first met in person before learning about her blog. A couple of years ago when I lived in Washington DC I had the pleasure of meeting her at a local food blogger’s happy hour. I think it might have been the first event I attended and if I remember correctly it was one held at a restaurant near Dupont Circle. I think Jen must have quickly sensed that I was a little shy and she quickly took me under her wing. We talked a little about our blogs but more about the happy hour and what to expect at these monthly gatherings in the city. After the event, I went back home and checked out Jen’s blog, her food and photographs were gorgeous and I quickly fell in love with all the delicious things on Savory Simple. Over the few years that we’ve known each other Jen has become one of my closest friends, even after I moved to California last year, we constantly keep in touch. I’ve learned so much from her and she’s always more than generous in helping me whenever it comes to the craziest of questions I might have! Jen’s been a great mentor and an awesome friend and when she asked me to share a recipe here, I was very happy and honored to share something on her beautiful site.
By far ice creams are one of my favorite desserts, I can eat them at any time of the year. Several weeks ago I made several batches of these blood orange chips (you can use any kind of fresh oranges) and in an effort to come up with new ways to use all these chips up, I’ve come up with this orange flavored ice cream.
Orange blossom water is one of the lightest and freshest floral scents to work with. It’s very popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking and it contributes a delicate sweet flavor to this ice cream. The candied orange chips provide the tangy citrus flavor to the ice cream in concentrated little bursts with every spoon you eat. I’ve also infused the ice cream base with a faint hint of cloves, orange blossom honey and a bit of honeycomb to heighten the flavors.
Here are some of my tips when preparing this ice cream that you might find useful:
- Whisk vigorously! Whisking the ice cream helps to prevent clumps from forming in the liquid as it thickens.
- You can find orange blossom water at any Middle Eastern or International store and now even at most grocery stores in the International/specialty aisle. (note from Jen: I’ve also found it for sale on Amazon and at other online retailers)
- Adding the orange blossom at the final stage when the ice cream is chilled helps to allow maximum flavor infusion. If too hot when added, you will lose most of the delicate notes.
- Here’s my recipe for the orange chips, which will work for any type of orange, skip the fennel for this ice cream, the sea salt is optional. However, you can also you any type of candied orange bits that you love to fold into the ice cream.
- 3 cups + 4 tablespoons whole milk
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1 inch piece honey comb (optional)
- 2 tablespoons honey (I used orange blossom honey)
- 4 whole cloves
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom water
- ¼ cup chopped candied blood orange bits
- Place the 3 cups of milk, heavy cream, honey comb, honey, cloves and sugar in a medium thick-bottomed saucepan. Heat the contents of the saucepan on a medium-high flame, stir and bring to a rolling boil. Remove the pan from the stove and pick out and discard the cloves with a slotted spoon.
- In the meantime, prepare a slurry of the cornstarch and 4 tablespoons of milk to form a smooth paste.
- Place the milk back on the stove and heat on medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Once the milk starts to boil, quickly whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue to whisk until the milk begins to thicken. Scrape the sides of the saucepan frequently with a silicone spatula during cooking. Boil the milk for 2 minutes, the ice cream base will acquire a thick custard like consistency.
- Remove from stove and pass the ice cream base through a sieve to remove any lumps. Cool the ice cream base to around 40 degrees F, stir in the orange blossom water and then pour it into a pre-chilled ice cream canister and follow the manufacturer's instructions to churn the ice cream. Once the ice cream is formed, transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container. Fold the chopped orange bits into the ice cream. Seal and freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight before serving.