Life in New Orleans has been pretty laid back the last couple of weeks. I think it is primarily due to the heat. The pace of life in New Orleans is already as slow as molasses, but add heat and humidity on top of it and the pace slows to a near halt. I have started to become accustomed to this pace and in some ways enjoy it. I come from a family of “do-ers,” as my mom would say, who feel that we should always be doing something. New Orleans has forced me to get over this notion, which is probably a good thing. I still tend to keep myself busy with small projects, but I’m getting better at taking breaks. Aside from a recent beer-tasting party my husband and I threw (so fun!), we’ve been taking it easy.
So my scoop this week – Cinnamon Honey Vanilla – is a spin on a classic scoop, perfect for the slow summer days. I was inspired to make this scoop during my last trip to Bloom’s Broom Dairy in Maryland. Adding cinnamon and honey makes a scoop of plain old vanilla much more exciting. My experimentation resulted in a scoop that tastes much like a graham cracker, which makes sense given that graham crackers are flavored with honey and vanilla (and sometimes cinnamon).
Take a break and enjoy!
Cinnamon Honey Vanilla
Recipe made using adapted ice cream base recipe from Jeni Britton Bauer
Makes 1 quart
2 cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 ½ oz. cream cheese, softened (3 Tbsp.)
2/3 cup honey
1/8 cup light corn syrup
1 8″ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (I prefer Madagascar vanilla)
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
Combine the remaining milk with heavy cream, honey, corn syrup, vanilla bean and seeds, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring milk mixture to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 4 minutes (must be exact for correct consistency).
Remove from heat and off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute. Carefully remove the vanilla bean. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
Once chilled, pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.