Chinatown Ice Cream

By • February 7, 2015 3 Comments

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Author Notes: When we were younger my sister was always more of a city girl and would spend her college summers interning in New York City. When I'd visit, she would indulge me in all of my touristy food stops in Little Italy and Chinatown. One of my musts was Chinatown Ice Cream for triple (!!!) scoops - my combination was a trio of red bean, almond cookie, and green tea ice creams. This is my version of red bean ice cream, with a hint of almond too, and some aromatics found in Chinese five-spice for depth. Don't fear beans in a dessert - this ends up tasting a bit like an exotic cousin of peanut-butter ice cream - and their consistency eliminates the need to add egg yolks to your base. Enjoy!Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus

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Makes about 1 quart

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 14 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine milk, cream, granulated sugar, spices and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Puree the kidney beans with the dark brown sugar in a food processor (you can add a tablespoon or two of the milk/cream mixture to get it going) and add to the milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until steaming and almost to a simmer, but do not allow to boil. Cook 5-7 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and almond extracts. Cover the pan and allow the spices to steep, until cooled to room temperature.
  3. Remove the cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick from the milk mixture (I do not strain as I like the bean texture and the whole fennel seeds in my final product.) Add to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions (generally about 20 minutes). You can eat it like soft serve at this point, or place in a lidded container place in the freezer for one hour to firm up.

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