I fell in love with red bean mochi at our local sushi place, but couldn't find it anywhere to buy. Already in love with Jeni's ice cream technique, I used her base to create this unique red bean ice cream. The red bean azuki paste recipe was adapted from Apple Pie Patis & Pate. It may sound strange to some, but I promise, it's delicious! —Nicole Dula
Look over beans and pick out any debris. Rinse and then cover with an inch of cold water in a medium pot with a lid. Over high heat bring the beans to a boil and then drain, discarding the water.
Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the pot with the parboiled beans. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the azuki beans are soft, stirring every so often. Watch to make sure the water doesn’t completely evaporate and add a bit of water if it does. The water should be almost completely absorbed at the end of the cooking time.
Add the sugar and a pinch of salt and stir. Use a potato masher or mash with a fork pressing against the sides of the pot, until you come to your preferred consistency. I liked a mostly mashed consistency with a few whole beans remaining. Makes about one cup of azuki paste. Cool completely before adding to ice cream base.
Azuki Bean Ice Cream
In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the whole milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. Put the container you are using to store your ice cream in the freezer to chill.
In a medium pot or saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes and then stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2-4 minutes.
Place softened cream cheese in a bowl and whisk a little until smooth. Pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture and whisk until combined. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture.
Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and some cold water. Pour ice cream mixture into a gallon-sized plastic bag, seal, and submerge in the bowl of ice water until chilled; about 30 minutes.
When ice cream mixture is chilled, pour mixture into your ice cream maker and continue according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If using the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment, process for about 20 minutes, add one cup of the azuki bean paste to the ice cream and then process for another 5 minutes.
Remove chilled ice cream container from the freezer and fill with ice cream. Freeze until set. If chilled overnight, take ice cream out about 10-15 minutes before you plan to eat for easier scooping.