The month of May is like a gift-giving extravaganza in our family. It all started with me, naturally. Well, I was the first born! ONE. And then came the little brother (who was due on my birthday, thank-you very much). Lucky for him he was born 3 days late! TWO. And of course, he happened to show up on Mother’s day. THREE. Then I went and married this crazy Aries, and with only three weeks between our birthdays, he just gets shoved into the extravaganza too. FOUR. And now look at me. Not only do I have to share with that pesky kid brother, but with my mom and husband too! Where is the love I ask you? Where is the individual attention? The doting quality time? Oy.
Well, this year, I’ve volunteered to make dessert for the aforementioned extravaganza. “You can’t make your own birthday cake!” my mom whined. But who else could possibly make it? Dad’s really just a cookie-maker. Lars, well it’s his extravaganza too. Laura’s working, and Scott…well, we’ll have a conversation about the five gallons of chocolate mousse another day… But ahh, I reminded her that I love making dessert, and with 9 people attending the extravaganza, we were pretty much guaranteed to eat it all, foregoing the possibility of having too much left-over. Truly, a great situation to be in!
So I’ve planned to make this cool strawberry pie-like, cake-like thing-a-ma-bob, accompanied by home-churned cardamon ice cream.
I made my regular ice-cream recipe, and added 4 pods-worth of mortared cardamon while it was cooking. I also threw in a “spent” vanilla bean, leftover from a different project. I’ll be churning in the morning and the pictures will follow!
Basic Ice Cream Base
yields approximately one quart
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
Before starting, prepare a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl large enough to accept the ice cream base.
Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a 2 quart saucepan. Warm the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat.
Separately, whisk the egg yolks to just mix them. Then whisk a few ladles of the warm cream mixture into the yolks (this method is called “tempering”). Pour the yolk mixture back in to the cream mixture, whisking as you pour.
Turn the heat back to low and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, cook the base until it “coats” the spoon. I always cook it until it reaches 160 degrees for safety’s sake. Cooking the base too long, or too aggressively will coagulate the egg proteins and result in scrambled eggs.
Strain the base through the mesh strainer and then pour into a storage container.
Refrigerate over-night, or until it is thoroughly chilled.
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