It's been a long while since I last made home made ice cream. I've actually been sitting on this flavour combination since August last year, after attending an event relaunching the Table of Plenty dukkah range. At the end of our banquet we were served a dessert plate which included a dukkah ice cream which had hints of honey in it. I think it was the most memoreable part of the meal. I knew that it was something I was going to have a go at recreating myself.
Spring came and went and then Summer just got too hot to churn ice cream using my little machine, the ice bucket just melts before the ice cream even has a chance to churn. But luckily, Autumn is now here and the warm days are turning cooler in the evenings which means I can safely pull out my ice cream machine and start churning again.
I was given a goodie bag containing some Table of Plenty dukkahs to play with at home. Ryan and I made some dukkah crusted steaks with some and I had been saving this pistachio one to make an ice cream with. If you don't know what dukkah is, it's a mixture of ground nuts, spices and seeds traditionally eaten as a dip with some bread and oils. You can also use it to season proteins before cooking or to mix through salads. I was inspired when I had it in a dessert, ice cream of all things, I just wanted to experiment and make it for myself. It just took me a long time to get organised and do it (and waiting for the weather to cool down slightly too).
Some liquid gold. This is actually the 1kg jar of Manuka Honey which Ryan and I bought on our trip to New Zealand with my family. I decided that the Manuka honey would give a nice flavour to the ice cream, rather than regular honey. I make up a basic ice cream recipe then add my flavurings, using a few sources for comparison and then making up my own measurements for the ingredients. I'll give you the recipe as I remember it (measurements may be approximations only).
Recipe: Manuka Honey & Pistachio Dukkah Ice Cream
600ml thickened cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
30g dukkah mix (I used the Pistachio Dukkah by Table of Plenty)
Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy and then add the honey and whisk until combined.
Heat the cream and milk until just simmering (do not boil). Leave to cool for a minute or two. Slowly whisk the milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture back into a clean saucepan and cook over medium heat without boiling until the cream mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. (When you run your finger through the mixture it should stay seperated). Strain the mixture into a large bowl or container and cool, then store in the fridge overnight.
Set up your machine as per manufacturer's instructions. Stir your cream mixture and then add it to the machine and churn according to the instructions provided. I own a Krups ice cream machine which comes with a bucket which needs to be pre-frozen 24 - 48 hours before churning the ice cream. I then attach the rings and little electric motor with beater and away she goes.
The handy thing about living at home and Mum having a large chest freezer is that the tub lives in the freezer until I am ready to make ice cream hence no need for pre-planning. I do need to remember to return the bucket back once it's been cleaned and thawed out.
Once the mixture is poured into your ice bucket don't wait around taking photos. I learned the hard way that the mixture instantly freezes around the edge and because the motor is only low voltage and the beater is plastic, I have a good old time trying to scrape all the frozen mixture off the sides and bottom so that the beater attachment can churn the cream mixture. It keeps getting caught trying to push through the already frozen mixture stuck to the sides and bottom.
After a lot of kafuffle the ice cream is churning and we soon see the mixture progress to a nice thick fluffy creamy consistency.
The dukkah is then added and mixed through.
This is as far as you will get, the ice cream at this stage is more of a soft serve ice cream. Just pop it into the freezer for a bit until it firms up before serving. The ice cream does solidify quite a bit after prolonged storage in the freezer as it doesn't contain as much air and other additives which commercial ice cream contains. Just be patient and leave it out for a couple of minutes to soften before serving. A bit of extra dukkah sprinkled on top before serving is optional.
And the verdict? Mellow sweetness from the Manuka honey, a bit of crunchy texture from the nuts and seeds, bit of spice which gives the ice cream a very slight savoury undertone, combined with creamy ice cream, it was really lovely to eat. Mum and Dad didn't mind it, Ryan loved it, I thought it was pretty addictive. I'm glad I finally got around to making this flavour, it sure beats all the boring classics on the supermarket shelf ;).