It’s safe to say that one doesn’t need ice cream after Indian buffet, but I never shy away from a good challenge. One day, I wandered (more like rolled) over to a new ice cream shop that had opened next to our usual Indian haunt. Not one to pass up a chance to try some novel flavors, I ordered a scoop of their featured ice cream: The Farmers Market. It was made of goat cheese, rosemary, and blackberries! I was shocked as to how much I enjoyed the unusual mixture of flavors and have fondly thought of that scoop many times.
Since then, I’ve made a goat cheese cheesecake a couple of times as it is one of the few sweets that Owen really enjoys and requests. The last one was topped with a rosemary blueberry syrup and it was a party-wide hit! I decided to use the same flavors, but in an ice cream, to pay homage to that wonderful scoop of ice cream with a Goat Cheese, Blueberry & Rosemary Ice Cream.
If you’re unsure of this ice creams worthiness and are lucky enough have a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams around locally, you can give it a try with their red cherry version before committing to churning a couple pints.
Ice Cream Tips & Tricks
Before you get started, keep these tips and tricks in mind to ensure a better ice cream:
- Chill your base. You want your base to be as cold as possible so the ice cream attachment or machine only has to worry about turning cold liquids into frozen solids, not lukewarm liquids into cold liquids. This will make your life so much easier.
- Deep freeze your ice cream attachment. This isn’t your ordinary ice pack. Your ice cream cylinder needs to be frozen solid. It’s going to have to sit outside the freezer and turn a liquid into a solid so you want to give it as much time as possible in the freezer. Unless you have the equivalent of a small AC unit in your machine like those industrial ice cream machines, give your cylinder at least 24 hours in the freezer. If you have an electric ice cream maker, you can run the entire machine in the freezer to get a truly frozen ice cream. I’ve used this basic Cusinart ice cream maker in the past and it’s very easy to figure out and clean. I have the Kitchenaid Ice cream attachment for my professional size mixer, so just make sure you get the right size.
- Keep everything cold. Something that you won’t think about to keep cold is the container you are going to store your ice cream in. You don’t want your freshly churned ice cream to melt once you put it in it’s final container. Pre-freeze your container so it’s ready for storage.
- Cover with some extra plastic wrap. While you may store your ice cream in a tupperware or a real ice cream container, everyone can benefit from an additional layer of plastic wrap. Keep the plastic wrap tight to the ice cream and make sure some hangs over the edge for easy removal. This will prevent air from coming in contact with the ice cream and forming those dreaded ice crystals!
- Store in a loaf pan for easy scooping. To get perfect scoop, store the ice cream in a long container like a loaf pan. This way, you can glide your ice cream scoop easily to make long scoops to form the balls of ice cream. If you heat the scoop in hot water, it will also help the scoop easily glide through. If you want a more official ice cream storage solution, you can also use a long re-usable plastic container. It also fits better in the freezer than a traditional pint container.
The blueberry sauce for the Goat Cheese, Blueberry & Rosemary ice cream is very simple. Throw the blueberries in a heavy bottomed pot with sugar, a splash of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Add in some water to help the sugar dissolve. Simmer the sauce on low until reduced and thickened. While the sauce cools, you can start your ice cream base.
Just like any other ice cream base, you need to heat the milk and sugars until dissolved and slowly drizzle and whisk it into the egg yolks. The only part that is differen is that we will simmer our milk with dried rosemary. By giving the rosemary time to cook with the milk, the rosemary flavor infuses into the liquid. Don’t worry about leaving the pieces of rosemary in the custard, we will strain them out later. Additionally, remember that we’re melting in a log of goat cheese, which is pretty much pure fat, so don’t be concerned that there is no half and half in the ice cream base. The goat cheese will make it rich and creamy! After tempering the eggs with the milk, return the custard to the pot and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of your spatula.
Pour the custard through a strainer over your bowl of goat cheese. The strainer will catch the rosemary as well as help you work out any lumps. The heat from the warm custard will melt the goat cheese into the rest of the liquid. Once the custard is nice and smooth, let it come to room temperature and then chill.
Churn the ice cream to your machines manufacturing instructions. Once the ice cream is done churning, swirl in the blueberry sauce and transfer to your chilled storage container. If you cover the ice cream with plastic wrap as well as the lid to the storage container, you can minimize those dastardly ice crystals. Let the ice cream sit out at room temperature for 3-5 minutes before serving for easy scooping, but once you’ve served it, stick it back in the freezer!
This Goat Cheese, Blueberry & Rosemary ice cream received polarizing reviews. Some loved the creamy and tangy aspect of the goat cheese, likening it to a liquid cheesecake. Others, who hate the taste of goat cheese, couldn’t stomach this concoction. Overall, it’s a pretty simple verdict. Goat cheese fanatics will rejoice. Conversely, if you don’t like goat cheese, you won’t like this ice cream. It’s not so overwhelming where you would think you are just eating sweetened goat cheese, but you can definitely identify the star flavor. Be adventurous and try something new. You’ll never know if you like it until you give it a try!