Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Turmeric Mint Ice Cream

My yearly harvest of turmeric yielded more than the usual amount that I need for my kitchen. So for the excess yellow treasures that I have dug from the earth,  I sliced them up as thinly as I can manage and dried them under the sun. I was thinking of pounding them so that they would turn into powder but halfway through the process, I felt a little lazy so I never really bothered doing anything further to my sun-dried turmeric.

Turmeric is a popular medicinal plant in the Philippines and most people make tea out of it. Unfortunately, I am not such a big fan of its earthy taste. The first time I tasted turmeric tea was a few years ago when I almost embarrassed myself in front of a colleague for almost puking the concoction she has prepared for me. Although this may be the case, I still love turmeric but I only use them in small amounts when preparing savory dishes. Anyway, I was thinking of using them to make curry and beef rendang in the future but I still want to try something else. I often wondered how turmeric would taste like if I put it in ice cream? So I have a weird palate but I am not alone. Turmeric has been made into semifreddo or ice cream by many people all over the world. If you have an adventurous palate, then you should try making one for yourself.

Making turmeric ice cream does not require you to own an ice cream maker. For this recipe, I tried to use my muscle power to mix the ice cream every two or four hours so that I would get the same airy and silky consistency that homemade ice creams have.  

Turmeric Ice Cream Recipe

1 tbsp chopped sun-dried or fresh turmeric* 
A sprig of peppermint leaves
1 cup whole milk
1 cup all purpose cream
¼ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 pinch of salt

whichever is available

Set the stove on low heat. In a double boiler, mix together, salt, sugar, whole milk and egg yolk. Add the turmeric and mint leaves and let the mixture boil slowly. Use a whisk or a spatula to incorporate the mixture. Stirring constantly avoids the mixture from sticking and burning on the side of the boiler.

Stir the mixture constantly until the mixture becomes thick. You would know that it is ready when you see a membrane forming at the back of the spatula when you lift it. The membrane can easily be scraped off if you run a finger through it.

Strain the mixture to a deep bowl using  a mesh strainer to remove any clumps from the mixture. Let it cool by submerging half of the bowl in iced water. Mix the all purpose cream and stir the mixture.

Place the mixture in a container and place it inside the fridge. Since I do not have an ice cream maker, I have to manually mix everything every two hours. Do this five times or until the ice cream has doubled in volume.

Note: And 12 hours or so after a grueling task of mixing the ice cream, it was finally ready. I was hesitant to taste it at first but after a few spoonfuls of semifreddo was so delicious that I regretted not making this ice cream before.

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