Football season is upon us. I have to admit that I am typically not a loyal fan. I really enjoy watching football games and the comradery among fans, but I’m usually loyal to the teams in the cities in which I live. Things changed when I moved to New Orleans. Being a Saints fans in the New Orleans is kind of a requirement of residency. Saints fever spreads through the city each Fall despite the lack of cool temperatures. My first football season in New Orleans the Saints won the Super Bowl, so it was pretty easy for me to get sucked into the Who Dat nation. And since moving away from the city my Saints fan status has not changed. Don’t get me wrong, I have some love for the Ravens (Go Purple!) but the Saints and New Orleans still have a special place in my heart.
One of the best parts of football season in New Orleans was finding the seasonal Black & Gold Crunch flavor at Creole Creamery – vanilla custard flavored with a hint of chicory and swirled with pieces of Oreos and chocolate chips. Along with Peanut Butter Fudge Pie and Steen’s Molasses Oatmeal Cookie (in the cookbook!), Black & Gold Crunch was one of my favorite flavors. To celebrate football season, I decided to attempt to recreate the flavor. The ice cream turned out pretty darn close, if I do say so myself! Enjoy.
Black & Gold Crunch Ice Cream
Makes 1 generous quart
4 eggs yolks
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon ground chicory
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or 2 ounces chopped chocolate
1/2 cup Oreo pieces
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Whisk eggs and sugar in a medium bowl until pale in color and set aside. Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Cut open vanilla bean and scrape all vanilla seeds and into milk mixture, adding pod as well. Set over medium heat and warm until bubbles begin to form (180F). Temper the eggs by slowly pouring ½ cup of the warmed cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly until combined. Return the warmed yolks to the pan with the remaining cream mixture. Heat the custard over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spatula. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Set bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add chicory and whisk to combine. 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 chicory granules. Pour base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is complete, gently fold in chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) and Oreo pieces. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.