The Soup Blog
Recipes, Culinary Insights & Humor Spooned Up Fresh Every Week…………………(Now in its Ice Cream Phase)
Cold Comfort: Ginger Ice Cream
Categories: Dairy, Ginger, Ice Cream

Coned Laughter

My children are growing up.

Not exactly breaking news, I know, but these developments surprise you sometimes.

The other night as the girls were watching a video with their mother, a kissing scene came on. The younger daughter covered her eyes and groaned about how inappropriate it was, but the elder one did not complain. In fact, as her sister described it, she was ‘watching it with ease.’

Subsequent questions about what ‘going out’ meant, raised the alarm a bit louder. I am not exactly ready to be fending off potential suitors, but I can suddenly see an upside to the lack of gun regulations in our country. (Just kidding.)

On the plus side, adolescence opens up a whole genre of movies which were closed to our Friday night movie repertoire. And one of the first ones I’d like to screen is called Gregory’s Girl. It’s about a boy’s first crush and how completely backward boys’ thinking about love is. The film was directed by Bill Forsyth who was active in film-making back during my wife’s and my college days.

He’s also the director of one of my wife’s and my favorite films, Local Hero, about a small Scottish village where a Texas oil man is interested in doing some ‘exploring,’ and the village folk all work together to cash in on the plan. That one may not be as appealing to either an eleven or a nine-year-old, regardless of how sophisticated they are.

All this ties into ice cream through a third Forsyth movie called Comfort and Joy, about warring ice cream vendors in Glasgow, Scotland. The conflict is resolved (spoiler alert) when deep-fried ice cream, is introduced onto the battle field. The delicacy is dubbed “frosty hots” and somehow ends both quirkily and happily in the same sweet way all of Forsyth’s movies from that time do.

That combination of hot and cold is the tie-in to this week’s ice cream, which is flavored with ginger.

I’d seen numerous ice cream recipes on the web that got their taste from crumbled gingersnaps, but I didn’t want to go that way. Instead, I infused the ginger flavor into the cream by simmering the sliced root in the dairy and then letting the mixture steep for a while. Then I used this flavored cream to make the ice cream.

It was really interesting, which is not a full-throated endorsement, I know, and both kids did not like how strong the flavor was. My wife, however, thought it was one of my best recipes to date. Just like in the movies, the ice cream had a frosty heat. Actually it almost had more heat than frost.

Too much ginger, perhaps?

With that in mind, I have given you a range for how much ginger the recipe demands. I used the full four ounces, but I think that just two would be plenty.

Just be warned, as I made it, the ginger was pretty overwhelming, so the ice cream was definitely post-adolescent. The amount of ginger you should use depends on how grown up you feel.

Or how much you like ginger.

Ginger Ice Cream
(about 1½ quarts)
1 ½ cup milk
¾ cup sugar
2 T flour
A few grains salt
2 eggs or 3 yolks (pasteurized, if possible, see note)
1 ½ cup + 2 T cream
2-4 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks

  1. Heat milk to 180-190ºF with sugar, flour and salt, stirring until thick, cover for 10 minutes.
  2. Beat eggs and add ½ cup of mixture while beating, then add eggs to mixture.
    HEALTH NOTE:     Since you’re dealing with eggs here, you need to take care when cooking the custard. Too much cooking and the custard gets lumpy, too little and you risk salmonella.  Another alternative is to use pasteurized eggs
  3. Heat the mixture for one minute over medium heat, then cool with plastic wrap or wax paper pressed onto the top of the mixture to keep it from developing a skin. Cool for several hours or overnight.
  4. In the meantime, prep the ginger, place it in a pot with all the cream, bring the cream to a boil and then cover and let cool, before placing it in the refrigerator to chill.
  5. After cream has chilled down, strain out the ginger.
  6. Blend the custard with the ginger-flavored cream and freeze in an ice cream freezer for about 35 minutes.
  7. Put the now frozen ice cream into the freezer for a couple of hours to give it a chance to firm up.

NOTE:     When freezing ice cream, you need to use an ice cream freezer to ensure that a certain amount of air is mixed into the frozen cream. This gives it a lighter, less icy consistency. When freezing sorbet, you may also freeze it in a popsicle mold, a bowl or on a sheet pan. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally to limit the size of the ice particles. Larger chunks of ice make for granita, miniscule chunks make for a nice smooth sorbet (an ice cream freezer is ideal).

Photo Credit: One of the movie posters for “Comfort & Joy” used with deep affection for but without permission from the director.

This is the 100th blog post for the Soup Blog, which is a lot of soup and a fair amount of ice cream as well. Maybe at last it’s time for that most irritating and least creative of blog postings—the greatest hits posting. Assuming, of course, I get enough votes from my ‘vast adoring public’ (please note the ironic nature of the quotations.) If there is any kind of response in the coming weeks, months, etc, i.e. comments, I’ll declare a winner. Stay tuned.

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