It appears as though I only ever make themed ice creams for HBO shows that air on Sunday nights! This ice cream is to commemorate the season finale of Westworld. I started watching the show, mostly out of intrigue, not thinking that it would become so engaging and so interesting. I love the complex themes, the questions regarding the nature of humanity, and the complex narrative that has been going throughout this season. So naturally, now that this season is coming to a close, I had to commemorate with an ice cream flavor. Srini came up with the brilliant flavor name: Arnold’s Maize, thus I built my flavor around it. This ice cream is made from an intriguing sweet corn custard base and has a slightly salted, vanilla caramel swirl, and its complex flavor is a fitting match for this gripping series.
This ice cream is made from a custard base that has been infused with the flavor of sweet corn. I used two small ears of corn, stripped of their kernels, and milked to coax all of the flavor from the cob, to flavor the milk. This mixture was brought to a boil and left to steep for about one hour. Then, using the egg yolks that I had leftover from my chai sweet potato pie’s vanilla-cardamom meringue, I made the custard. After that, it went to chill in the fridge overnight. I knew I wanted an addition to this recipe, and thought that the classic caramel corn flavoring would be ideal. However, I have never had much success with caramel in the past. Too often, I end up with a scorched spot, with crystallization, or with a greasy sheen. This time, I borrowed from the pastry genius of Stella Parks and used her recipe for caramel sauce, and was left with an utterly delicious, silky smooth caramel. I highly recommend all of her recipes, as thus far, they have been amazing! I made the caramel sauce, bumping up the salt, to use as a salted caramel swirl. Her recipe, happily, makes quite a lot of caramel, so there is plenty left over to drizzle on top of ice cream, apples, or just eat straight out of a spoon. I hope you enjoy this ice cream combination, we’re looking forward to eating it while we watch the last episode of Westworld!
Arnold's Maize ~ Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirl
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 1 qt||Total:|
Make this intriguingly flavored ice cream to celebrate the finale of Westworld: it's a sweet corn custard ice cream with a salted vanilla caramel swirl.
- For the sweet corn custard:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 small ears of corn, or 1 large ear of corn
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For the caramel swirl:
- 1/2 cup water
- 240 g sugar
- 4 g kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the ice cream base
- Using a paring knife, carefully remove all of the kernels of corn from the cob, and place into a large saucepan. Using a dull, butter knife, "milk" the remaining juice from the corn cobs directly into the saucepan. Place the cobs into the saucepan once all of the liquid has been coaxed out. Add the 2 cups of milk, sugar, and salt to the saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat until very steamy, but not quite boiling. Maintain at that temperature for about 5 minutes. Cover, and set aside to steep for about 1 hour. Set the heavy cream in a large bowl and place in the fridge to chill thoroughly.
- Once the hour has passed, remove the cobs from the milk, being sure to squeeze them to allow all of the milk out of the cob. Blend the remaining mixture coarsely with an immersion blender. Place the 5 egg yolks into a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Set a strainer over the bowl containing the egg yolks, and carefully strain the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks. You do not need to temper the yolks, as the mixture should not be too hot at this point. Push down on all of the corn in the strainer to fully extract all of the liquid. Discard the corn. Whisk the egg yolk and warm corn milk together, and return to the cleaned saucepan. Place over medium heat and using a heatproof spatula, stir constantly until the mixture thickens and hits about 170-175F. Remove the bowl of chilled cream from the fridge. Place a fine mesh strainer over the cream, and strain the custard into the cool cream. Whisk to combine. Cool, using an ice bath, or place in the fridge overnight.
- For the caramel:
- Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan, at least 3 qt in size. Place over medium heat and allow to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once all of the sugar and salt has dissolved, continue to swirl the pan to allow for even boiling.
- Continue to boil until the mixture turn a golden-yellow color, about 10 minutes. Once this happens, watch carefully and ready your cream. Once the sugar turns a very light golden brown, another 3-4 minutes, add the cream, and immediately start to stir with a heatproof spatula. Be very careful as the mixture will bubble and foam vigorously.
- Continue to stir until the mixture registers 225, about 5 minutes, on an instant read thermometer. Transfer into a heat proof bowl, add the vanilla extract, and stir to combine. Set aside to allow to come to room temperature.
- Make the ice cream:
- Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container, alternating large scoops of ice cream with spoonfuls of drizzled caramel. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours, and serve, drizzled with more caramel on top.
Caramel adapted from Stella Park's Caramel Sauce Recipe