I made this for Thanksgiving this past year, and even though my husband's family already devoured a turkey, stuffing, sticky rice, and everything else I put on the table, and two pies, they finished this ice cream. Finished. Nothing left. I helped, of course. —Betty
Prepare the night before: Stick freezer bowl in the back of the freezer the night before you plan to make ice cream.
Prepare cranberry puree: Cook 1/3 cup sugar, salt, water, and cranberries for 3 minutes. Cover pot, lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 min until the berries soften and burst open. Cool for 10 minutes, then blend cranberries and orange juice in a blender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and immediately refrigerate.
Heat milk and heavy cream until it begins to simmer – do not let it boil. Remove from heat.
In the meantime, whisk yolks and 2/3 sugar until pale in color and thick. Gently stream milk mixture into yolk/sugar mixture, whisking constantly after each addition. This is called tempering – the point is to prevent cooking of egg yolks. Have patience, and do this slowly.
Pour mixture back into a saucepan and heat until custard is thick. I like to use the spoon test – dip a wooden spoon into the mixture, and remove it. Run a finger in a line down the back of the wooden spoon. If the line remains visible, then the custard is thick enough.
Pour custard through a sieve into a bowl. Fold in cranberry puree. Sprinkle in orange zest. Cover with plastic wrap and immediately chill in fridge for at least 4 hours.
Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to instructions.
Pour churned ice cream into an airtight container and freezer for another few hours. Drizzle with dark chocolate if you want.