Rosemary Honey Walnut Ice Cream

rosemary honey walnut ice cream

As snow fell throughout a large swath of the country last week, I watched snow fall outside my window for the first time in years.  When I lived down South, I would honestly and frequently say that I did not miss the cold weather or wet snow I grew up with in Maryland.  But now that I am back in Maryland, and I once again experienced sitting inside by a warm fire, drinking hot chocolate and watching the fluffy white snow fall around my new home, I had to admit that I may have missed the snow just a little bit.

Despite the snowy weather, I still like to make ice cream.  If you haven’t noticed, ice cream is a year round dessert in my world.  Soon I will share some of my recent flavor creations, but now it is time for another cookbook preview recipe!  Fresh rosemary, sweet honey, and toasty walnuts flavor this wintery scoop that is a perfect dessert to celebrate the holidays.

During this busy holiday season, I hope that you take an opportunity to make and share some ice cream with your loved ones.  Time with family is the most important part of the holidays.  Food is a close second:)  Enjoy.

Rosemary Honey Walnut Ice Cream
Recipe found in Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States
Makes 1 quart

One day during my ice cream adventures, I came upon an ice cream flavored with balsam fir extract.  It was probably one of the most interesting flavors I have ever tasted, but I could not get past the woody flavor of the ice cream.  It was delicious after one spoonful, but hard to eat after a few more.  I set out to make a similar, herby tasting ice cream but one that was a little more tolerable to my palate.  Rosemary was the perfect alternative, with a distinctive sweet pine taste that is complimented by golden honey and toasted, buttery walnuts.  I could eat a whole bowl of this flavor.

¾ cup (87g) raw walnuts
1 ½ cups (355ml) whole milk, divided
1 tbsp (9g) cornstarch
1 ¾ cups (414ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (67g) sugar
1/3 cup (79ml) mild honey
1 tsp minced rosemary
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Spread walnuts on a parchment or silicone-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until walnuts are toasted and fragrant, stirring every 5 minutes.  Check walnuts every few minutes to prevent burning.  Cool to room temperature and chop.  Store in a covered container until ready to use.

Fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons milk with cornstarch, whisk and set aside.  Combine remaining milk with heavy cream, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Bring milk mixture to a low boil.  Cook until the sugar and honey dissolve, 3 minutes.

Remove milk mixture from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Pour into a medium bowl. Whisk in salt and rosemary.  Set bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, pour ice cream base through a fine mesh sieve to remove rosemary pieces.  Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When churning is complete, gently fold in walnut pieces.  Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

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