I made this toward the end of July, back during my blueberry recipe frenzy. I was also going to the Farmers' Market every Friday morning and getting my weekly ration of goats' milk and making my own cheese from the milk.
Then, as has happened in the past, in August, I just wasn't going to the Farmers' Market. Not because I didn't want to, but because that's what seems to happen in August. Things get busy. Our gardens tend to get crazy in August, with some vegetables giving up the last of their fruit and others just starting. Green twines with green and every garden looks like a jungle instead of the carefully tended beds they had been earlier. And as the earlier part of the summer had been spent in a frenzy of primer and paint, closely followed by family and then more family, we find ourselves, as we do every year, rolling into August with a sort of desperation to cram in all the rest of the "summer" stuff we wanted to do.
As I'd written before, we went camping for part of a week, which was something we'd planned ahead of time. And we finally, FINALLY had the kids' birthday party – two days ago. Sliding into home under the glove, so to speak.
The other thing I wanted to say, too, before actually jumping into the body of this post, was that my original intent was to post this way at the other end of this month. Why? Because I've sort of started this little pattern (broken, now) of making my monthly banner out of a photo that I then use in the first post of that month. I don't know when I started doing that, and it's probably not even been that long. But when I created the banner for this month – and it's not a lizard or other reptile, for the record – I fully intended to post this Blueberry Goat Cheese Ice Cream recipe that day. (The banner is blueberry syrup, bubbling away on the stove.) But it was not to be. And I don't even remember why.
There you have it.
Not sure what "it" is that you have…but…there…it…is. If you want it.
Back to the ice cream.
Like I said, in July I was busy with blueberries and goat cheese. I combined the two in a pizza recipe, which I really, really liked. And it just seemed to me that I should make ice cream with the goats' milk that I had…and hmmm…there are cheesecake flavors of ice cream, and that's yummy…so…goat cheese ice cream should be yummy too, right? And, by extension, blueberry goat cheese ice cream should be EVEN YUMMIER.
So first, I wanted a goats' milk ice cream. Or – no, I actually wanted a goat cheese ice cream recipe. I probably could wing it, I figured, but I just wanted to take a peek at what someone else had done. Someone like…like this fellow. The Ice Cream Fellow.
I scribbled down the recipe and set to work.
I decided to make a blueberry syrup to swirl into the ice cream mixture. So I put about 3/4 cup of blueberries and half a cup of sugar in a pot and let that cook.
I'd also set aside a cup of blueberries for the ice cream as well. I remember having multiple bowls of blueberries with little post-it notes on them telling me which blueberry recipe they were meant for.
By the way, those of you who've been reading this blog for at least the past couple of months may remember this banner from August:
A lot of people thought it looked like a close-up of a reptile's head, with that bubble on the left as the reptile's eye. Well, just to finally put all that eye-obsession (MOM) to rest, here's the original photo:
See? It's really not a reptile at all. It's my nice blueberry syrup at a full boil.
Absolutely no lizards were harmed in the making of this banner.
Now, back to our story.
While the syrup was bubbling away on the stove (I let it come to a full boil, boil away like that for a minute or two, and then shut it off.) I got everything ready to make my ice cream base. When the syrup had cooled to room temp, I put it in a bowl, covered it, and put it in the fridge.
A cup and a half of goats' milk…
2/3 cup of sugar…
8 oz (homemade!) goat cheese…
6 egg yolks…
and 1 whole egg…
Now, the directions tell you to break up the goat cheese in a medium-sized metal bowl. I did that (see bowl of goat cheese above), but in retrospect, I didn't break it up enough. Next time around, I'd probably press the goat cheese through a sieve or strainer or collander or something. I found that with the finished ice cream, there were kind of large chunks of goat cheese that just didn't thaw at the same rate as the rest of the ice cream, and in my opinion, that wasn't very desirable. Just my two cents.
Anyway. Next, you prepare to make the ice cream base:
Combine the yolks, the egg, and half of the sugar in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl.
Keep the whisk handy, and a ladle.
Prepare an ice bath – a bowl bigger than the bowl your goat cheese is currently in, with a half and half mixture of ice and water in it. Don't fill it too full. You'll be putting that bowl in the ice bath in a little while, and you don't want the water to overflow.
Pour the milk and the rest of the sugar in a pot on the stove and bring the milk to a scald (just below the boil – you'll see little bubbles around the edge of the pan, and it'll look like a skin is starting to develop on the surface of the milk. Shut off the heat.
At this point, it's time to temper the eggs, which means you want to warm them slowly and gently before combining them with the milk. If you just dump the yolks into the hot milk, you'll end up with scrambled eggs.
So you get your ladle in one hand, and your whisk in the other, and slowly ladle some milk into the eggs in the bowl, whisking quickly while you do it.
This carefully introduces increased heat to the eggs without (fingers crossed) any scrambling.
Add about half the milk, slowly, a ladleful at a time, into the eggs, whisking the whole time. At this point it's safe to pour the egg mixture into the rest of the milk in the pot.
Turn the heat back on and bring the temperature of the ice cream base up to 175 degrees F.
Try not to drop the little thermometer holder into the base if possible.
Basically the thing to keep in mind is that if you go over 180 degrees F, you'll be cooking the eggs and you'll get little bits of scrambled eggs. You want to heat it up enough to kill bacteria and thicken the mixture, but not so much that you end up with an undesired breakfast. So have an instant-read thermometer handy, stir with a wooden spoon to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the temp reaches anywhere from 175-178, IMMEDIATELY pour the mixture through a strainer (just in case there are any egg bits) over the goat cheese.
Stir to combine, and then put that bowl in the ice bath to cool down.
Give it a stir now and then to help in the cooling process.
Chill the base in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Now, when you're getting ready to make the ice cream, take the syrup out of the fridge and let it sit out to soften.
Then process the goats' milk and goat cheese base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
Once the ice cream is made, pour it into a freezer container and stir in the blueberry syrup and the blueberries.
Cover the container and put in the freezer until it firms up to the consistency you desire.
I served this when Bill's uncle and cousin were here over the summer. Bill's uncle said he liked it, and I mostly liked it, though I would have preferred smaller bits of the goat cheese. It was interesting, I'll say that. There was an earthy tang to the goat cheese, which provided an interesting contrast to the tart/sweet blueberries and syrup.
I'd like to make it again. Probably not until next summer, just so I can use fresh blueberries, rather than pay silly prices for them now. If I make it again, I'll be sure to let you know how it comes out.
And please, if you decide to give it a try, please let me know and also let The Ice Cream Fellow know, too. I bet he'd be interested.