For my birthday last January, I decided to make a chocolate-orange birthday cake with orange ice cream. This is a recipe I adapted from Gourmet. I've made it with both allspice and ground cardamom, and I love the flavor and fragrance of the cardamom--and it goes particularly well with my chocolate-orange birthday cake. The Cointreau ups the orange flavor and keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard. January may be too cold for ice cream, but it's a great time for citrus. —drbabs
large oranges, preferably organic
half and half (or 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk)
Cointreau or other orange flavored liqueur
Finely grate 2 tablespoons zest from oranges, then halve oranges and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/2 cup.
Bring half and half, agave nectar, a pinch of salt, and orange zest to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes.
Beat together yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add half and half mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until combined well. Pour mixture into same saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on thermometer (Don't let it boil). Remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Refrigerate till cold.
Stir in orange juice and ground cardamom and freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Freeze for 2 hours before serving. (Or soft-serve it right away!)