Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cold, but Cozy

My ice cream maker is sadly underused during these winter months (aside from a batch of sherbet when we were mending from the flu). I decided to change that, though, with fantastic results. I had originally planned on making cinnamon ice cream, only to find that I fell far short of the number of cinnamon sticks needed. On the other hand, I had a surplus of whole nutmegs. The result really could be called eggnog ice cream (especially with a boozy sauce). The bread pudding makes this a lovely dessert indeed for cozying up to the fireplace or a snuggle on the couch. Enjoy!

Nutmeg Ice Cream (adapted from Saveur)
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 whole nutmeg, cracked*
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
Toast grated nutmeg in a skillet over medium heat, 1–2 minutes; set aside. Heat milk, 1 cup cream and cracked nutmeg in a 4-qt. saucepan until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep for 10 minutes or more; strain out nutmeg. In a bowl, whisk together sugar and yolks. While whisking, slowly pour in milk mixture. Return mixture to pan; cook, stirring, until mixture thickens, 8–10 minutes. Whisk in toasted nutmeg and remaining cream; cover custard and chill. Freeze custard in an ice cream maker; transfer to an airtight container. Freeze until set before serving.

*A nutcracker would work fine; lacking that, I wrapped it in a clean towel and used pliers.

Bread Pudding (adapted from The Silver Spoon)
  • 3½ ounces day-old bread
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 T butter
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur
  • 1 egg, plus one egg yolk*
Tear the bread into pieces and place in a bowl. Bring the milk to a boil, remove from heat, and stir in sugar until dissolved; pour over the bread and leave until cooled. Place the raisins in another bowl, cover with warm water, and let soak about 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly, then dust with flour, shaking off any excess.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease small baking casserole with butter and dust with sugar. Combine bread with raisins, liqueur, and eggs, mixing well. Spoon into prepared pan, dot the surface with butter and bake for 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 350° and bake 10 minutes more.

*I used 3 egg whites, since I had them in spades. I wouldn't normally recommend this, but the ice cream more than made up what was lacking.

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