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Author Notes: This recipe is bursting with Thai-inspired flavor. It's not quite savory and not overly sweet. I can't think of many better ways to cool off on a hot summer day, but be warned, it packs a mild heat that builds. Bonus points if you make yourself a float with a good, dry ginger beer. —Derek Laughren
Makes 2.5 quarts
- 5 cups heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 12 egg yolks
- 8 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, cut into 2" lengths, crushed with the back of a knife blade
- 4 Thai bird chiles, halved - do not remove seeds or ribs
- 1 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)
- Place the cream, milk, salt, and 1 cup of the sugar in a sauce pot. Add the sliced ginger, lemongrass, and chiles. Heat the mixture over med-low heat, stirring frequently, until just simmering. Remove from heat and cover. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Puree the mixture, chunks and all, in batches in a blender. Strain through a chinoise or other fine-mesh strainer.
- Clean the pot and return the the strained mixture to it. Mix your egg yolks in a separate, heat-safe bowl. Whisk the last 1/2 cup of sugar into the yolks until it dissolves and the yolks are pale in color. Temper the eggs by gradually whisking in a couple cups of the strained puree. Whisk the egg mix back into the the sauce pot.
- Cook over med-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon and leaves a clear streak when you run your finger through it.
- Strain your ice cream base and chill it in the refrigerator (or ice bath if you're in a hurry). Churn to soft-serve consistency in an ice-cream maker.
- Optional - finely chop crystallized ginger and fold into the ice cream.
- Enjoy immediately or transfer the ice cream to air-tight plastic containers and place in the freezer until desired consistency is achieved.