This is an interesting fusion of flavors. The chipotle chiles give a deep smoky background to the bright citrus flavor of the limes, which is tempered by the floral and slightly citrusy notes of the Szechuan peppercorns. You can adjust the heat to your liking by adjusting the amount of chipotle and adobo sauce used. —Derek Laughren
about a quart
chipotle in adobo, not drained
sugar, divided use
Zest of two small limes or one large
chopped 82% dark chocolate, no chunks larger than 1/4" (optional)
Combine the milk, cream, chipotle in adobo, Szechuan peppercorns, 1/4 cup of the sugar, salt, lime zest and annatto seeds in a heavy bottomed 2 quart sauce pan. Bring to just below a simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a blender and puree for 60 seconds. Return to the sauce pan and place over med-low heat.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. Add the yolk mixture back into the pot, stirring constantly. Continue to stir the mixture until it reaches nappé consistency. (It should coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a clear streak in the sauce when you run your finger through it on the spoon.)
Strain the mixture through a chinois into a stainless steel bowl and cool with an ice bath. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker.
When it reaches soft serve consistency, you can opt to fold in chopped dark chocolate.