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Author Notes: A friend made this ice cream for me when I was 14 or so. It was the first time I had tasted ice cream straight out of the maker, and I never forgot it. Six years later, when I got my own machine, the first thing I did was ask for the recipe. The texture is ethereal, and the flavor will many a cardamom skeptic. This is adapted slightly from Ming Tsai's lemongrass ice cream (which provides cardamom as a suggested flavor substitute). —thebunalsorises
cups whole milk
cardamom pods, crushed
vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
large egg yolks
cups heavy cream
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cardamom pods, and vanilla bean. Heat over medium until scalded. Turn the heat down and simmer until the mixture is reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let mixture cool. Put in the fridge, and let steep for 2 hours.
- Strain the mixture. Return liquid to saucepan, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with cold water and ice. In another bowl, whisk yolks and sugar to blend. Add a ladleful of the scalded milk to the yolk mixture. Whisk until combined. Now transfer the yolk mixture to the saucepan to combine with the remaining milk (AKA "tempering the yolks").
- Cook mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook, or the eggs will scramble.
- Strain the mixture into a medium bowl, and place in your ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally. When cool, add cream, and stir to blend. Freeze in an ice cream maker, about 25-30 minutes. The ice cream will look soft and pillowy. Transfer to the freezer. Remove to room temperature for a few minutes before serving.