Make Ahead

Sweet Corn and Black Pepper Ice Cream

August  4, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by Beth Kirby
  • Makes 3 cups
Author Notes

Creamed corn is a well established Southern tradition, as is corn roasted with salt and black pepper. These two meet in this surprising dessert that reinvents those side dish staples as a rich, creamy frozen treat. The corn is roasted before infusing the cream to give it an even more robust corn taste. You have to try it to believe it. It's a revelation! —Beth Kirby | {local milk}

What You'll Need
  • 3 ears of corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. Cut kernels off of cob, halving and reserving the cobs, and toss it all with the olive oil, salt, and brown sugar on a sheet tray. Roast at 450° for 10-15 minutes or until corn has begun to caramelize.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the white sugar with the egg yolks until thick, pale, and creamy.
  4. Once corn is done, heat milk and cream together in a large stockpot over medium until just steaming and bubbling around the edges but not boiling. Add the corn, cobs and all.
  5. Bring corn and cream mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from heat, cover, and let steep 15 minutes.
  6. Remove cobs, strain liquid into a clean bowl, pressing on solids to get the most out of it. Clean out the pot and add the milk mixture back into it.
  7. Little by little whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. After you've added about 1 cup of hot milk and the yolks are warm, pour it slowly into the rest of the milk mixture, stirring constantly.
  8. Cook this custard until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain one more time into a clean bowl, stir in the black pepper, cool, and refrigerate covered for at least 3 hours and up to 8 until completely chilled.
  9. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. When done, pour into a container, place plastic wrap directly on the surface, and chill in the freezer to set.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathleen Young Rybarczyk
    Kathleen Young Rybarczyk
  • Will Price
    Will Price
  • Beth Kirby | {local milk}
    Beth Kirby | {local milk}
  • Sarah Sladen
    Sarah Sladen
A Southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera. Freelance food writer & photographer. Blogs at

13 Reviews

Sarah S. March 27, 2014
Delicious and very rich. Drizzled some aged balsamic vinegar on top and it was amazing. September 10, 2013
Pure genius... thanks for this. Can't wait to try this weekend!
Ken August 26, 2013
I am trying this recipe for the first time, I made curry ice cream not too long ago and it was awesome!! I bet curry powder instead of black pepper would be awesome too.
Ellen J. August 23, 2013
Never buy ice cream again! Cuisinart makes a really nifty ice cream maker for @ $60, free shipping from a variety of places. You can make any kind of ice cream you want, substituting for the corn part, and if you don't want to mess with the custard part, sugar, cream and milk in varying proportions works fine, or substitute yogurt, Greek or regular, no fat or whole. Endless possibilities. Makes you wonder why you've been eating the grocery store freezer stuff. p.s. this recipe is great!
Christina August 21, 2013
I don't have an ice-cream churn. What is the option?
Beth K. August 21, 2013
You might want to search for "no churn ice cream" and adapt a basic recipe. This is, unfortunately, a churn recipe.
Ellen J. September 11, 2013
Buy one. Best small appliance available.
DC M. August 20, 2013
I don't understand "churn according to manufacturer instructions". Am I just mixing the chilled mixture before freezer it? Will I blend it at all?
Beth K. August 20, 2013
This recipe is meant to be churned in an ice cream maker. I edited it to clarify that it needs to be churned *in an ice cream maker* according to the manufacturers instructions. Sorry for the confusion! And when churning I usually go about 20 min and take it out when it looks like fluffy mashed potatoes : )
Kathleen Y. August 17, 2013
When do you add the pepper?
Beth K. August 17, 2013
In step 8! I apologize for leaving that bit out... I've edited it now. Thanks!
Will P. August 8, 2013
I made a similar version of this last week and in thinking 'less is more' i made the mistake of using more corn and steeping the corn with cobs for several hours. I was a little overbearing and well....corny...
Beth K. August 8, 2013
Ha! Yeah, I'd steeped longer in preliminary tests but found 15 minutes to be sufficient.