Verdejo Ice Cream

[Note:  after posting this recipe, I tried making it.  I don’t usually post recipes I haven’t tried before, unless I’ve made something so similar it’s just a minor variation.  The Verdejo Ice Cream recipe was a compilation from a few different online recipes that seemed unimpeachable, but the ice cream turned out differently than I thought it would.  The version below is now corrected with the observations from actually making it.  I apologize if anyone tried it and was confused by my directions.  This one works and it’s delicious.]

Verdejo Ice Cream

Makes 1.5 quarts**

8 egg yolks, from large eggs

1-3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups excellent Verdejo (it’s nearly a full bottle, you can drink the rest yourself while you work)

1 sprig fresh tarragon or rosemary (optional)

2 cups heavy cream, very cold

The day before you plan to serve the ice cream, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl until well mixed.  Whisk in the salt and the Verdejo.  Bring an inch of water to boil in a 4-quart saucepan.  Turn the heat to very low and set the bowl with the egg yolk mixture over the pot.  Begin whisking the mixture.

At this point you have to keep whisking, or use the electric mixture on medium-low speed to keep everything moving.  Be sure to whisk all over and keep going.  You’ll see it start to foam more, creating a nice thick foam on top. At this point, you can turn off the heat under the pot.  The mixture will not thicken significantly, but will take on a consistency something like Creme Anglaise.  Take it’s temperature with an instant read thermometer, and don’t let it get much above 150 degrees F.  Take it off the heat, and scrape it into a smaller bowl.  Add the herb sprig if you want, then put a sheet of plastic wrap right on the surface of the custard, covering it completely.  Refrigerate overnight, or for at least six hours.

When it’s thoroughly chilled, remove the herb sprig if you used it.  Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until it makes soft peaks.  Using a whisk, fold the whipped  cream into the chilled mixture, taking care not to deflate the cream too much.  Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Transfer the soft ice cream to an airtight container, and use a piece of plastic wrap to cover the surface of the ice cream, like you did with the custard.  Put the lid on the container and freeze for at least two hours before serving.  If you’ve got leftovers, place a new piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream before putting it back in the freezer (this is a good thing to do with any ice cream, it helps prevent freezer burn.)  The ice cream won’t be rock hard, and it will still be very soft when you take it out of the ice cream  maker.  No need to soften it before serving.

**Note:  if your ice cream maker holds only one quart, you can use 6 egg yolks, 1-1/4 cups of sugar, 1-3/4 cups of Verdejo, a big pinch of salt, and 1-1/3 cups heavy cream.

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