This was not the first time I’ve made sweet corn ice cream. I made it last year for my birthday, and at least once before that, and served it to friends and family without telling them what it was. “Guess the flavor!” No one guessed corn. I think I used Kevin’s recipe but did not include kernels because EWW. I wanted to make it again using Jeni’s base and make it unmistakably corn-y. There was plenty of inspiration* online, so I cobbled together a recipe (seen below) and went for it.
*Doesn’t the idea of ice cream sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls sound fascinating? I want to try it! I’ve heard that other cultures serve ice cream on bread and I love the idea.
The recipe calls for three ears of corn but you can make adjustments. I used two full ears + two ears that had no kernels (because that’s what I had on hand), and the corn was already grilled. You might want to try using just two ears if you’d like a more subtle corn flavor.
This recipe makes a double batch of rich and creamy ice cream that’s scoopable right out of the freezer. I churned it in two batches, which made almost a half gallon. It was enough to serve with cake at my birthday party, give to a friend, and trade for two dozen eggs.
We ate this with the angel food cake + sugared strawberries my my mother-in-law brought to my birthday party. It was good together. I thought it was distinctively corn-y, which you may or may not dig. I can see this flavor pairing well with a berry syrup/compote or salted caramel. (Although salted caramel isn’t my thing. I think regular caramel would be way too sweet, though.)
Have you eaten sweet corn ice cream before? Does it sound crazy to you, like it did to Bill? Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
4 c. skim milk
2 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 ears of corn, kernels removed and reserved
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. cornstarch
3 oz. Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1. Heat 3 1/2 c. milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, salt, and corn (kernels and cobs) in a saucepan over medium-high heat until steamy but not boiling. Turn off the heat and let steep for 1 hour.
2. Mix the remaining milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth suspension. Put it aside.
3. Whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Put it aside.
4. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Put it aside.
5. Strain the corn mixture through a sieve. Discard the kernels & cobs. Return the corn mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the reserved slurry as you bring it to a boil. Cook, stirring, until thickened enough that dragging your finger across the spoon/spatula leaves a path. Remove from the heat.
6. Add a little of the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining milk mixture, making sure it stays smooth. I used the whisk attachment on my mixer.
7. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Submerge the mixture in the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand until the ice cream base mixture is uniformly cold. You can churn it at this point or chill it longer in the fridge.
8. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions; I churned it for 25 or 30 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and allow it to harden in the freezer for several hours before serving.
Finding myself with an abundance of overripe bananas (again), and on an ice cream kick, and having experienced the joy of roasted banana paletas, I thought I would give roasted banana ice cream a try. I found an inspiration recipe, tweaked a few things, and came up with what you see below.
The base is the consistency of chunky pudding, which churns into a dense ice cream that’s scoop-able right out of the freezer. This recipe makes a little less than a quart. It’s very banana-y and sweet and the roasting changes the flavor to something akin to banana cream pie filling or banana pudding. Graham cracker crumbs might be good on top.
Bill, some friends, and I ate this with dark chocolate ice cream and yummy noises were heard ’round the table. My friend Jenn said she wanted to bathe in them.
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
4 ripe bananas, sliced into thick rounds
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 c. skim milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1.5 oz. Neufchâtel cheese, room temperature
1/8 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)
1. Roast banana slices at 400°F for 30–40 minutes, tossing once or twice for even browning; I used the toaster oven. Spoon the bananas into a bowl and discard the sugary liquor. Add lemon juice to the roasted banana slices and mash into a paste with a fork.
2. Whisk the Neufchâtel cheese and salt until smooth. Mix thoroughly with the mashed bananas; I used the whisk attachment on my mixer. Put it aside.
3. Mix 1/4 c. milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth suspension. Put it aside.
4. Bring remaining milk, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla bean to a rolling boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, discard the vanilla bean, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
6. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook while stirring until somewhat thickened, or about a minute more. Remove from heat.
7. Add a little of the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the Neufchâtel cheese + bananas and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining milk mixture, making sure it stays smooth. (This is when you would mix in the vanilla extract if you didn’t use a bean.)
8. Chill the mixture in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
9. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions; I churned it for 25–30 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and allow it to harden in the freezer for several hours before serving.