This week the ice cream selection was Panforte Ice Cream. For those who may not know, Panforte is an Italian cake, very dense, and flavored with spices, toasted almonds and candied orange peel. These same flavors are in this ice cream, and it is delicious. It is a very rich and creamy ice cream. The only change I made from the recipe was to add 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier. This added a little extra flavor and kept the ice cream from freezing too hard. Give this ice cream a try-especially around holiday time when the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are especially welcoming. I paired my ice cream with the Zucchini Olive Oil Cake from Dolce Italiano, which you can find on an earlier posting in my blog.
PANFORTE ICE CREAM Makes about 1 quart
1 cup half and half
2/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons full-flavored honey
1/4 cup candied citrus peel (see note below)
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and coursely chopped
Warm the half and half, sugar, and spices in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temp. for 30 minutes.
Rewarm the spice-infused mixture. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scraped the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the stainer and mix it into the cream. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir the custard until cool over an ice bath. While it's cooling, warm the honey in a small saucepan, then stir it into the custard.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the candied citrus peel and almonds.
Note: You can use good-quality candied peel or you can use the recipe below for Candied Citrus Peel.
CANDIED CITRUS PEEL Makes about 1 cup
4 large lemons or oranges, preferably unsprayed
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
Wtih a vegetable peeler, remove strips of peel 1 inch wide from the lemons or oranges, cutting lengthwise down the fruit. Remove just the colorful outer peel, leaving behind the bitter white pith. Using a very sharp chef's knife, slice the peel lengthwilse into very thin strips no wider than a toothpick.
Put the stips into a small, nonreactive saucepan, add enough water to cover them by a few inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain the peel, and rinse with fresh water.
Combine the 2 cups water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in the saucepan. Fit the pan with a candy thermometer and bring to a boil. Add the blanched peel, reduce the heat, and cook at a very low boil for about 25 minutes, until the thermometer reads 230 degrees F. Turn off the heat and let the peel cool in the syrup.
Once cool, lift the peel out of the syrup with a fork, letting the syrup drain away, and serve atop ice cream or sorbet.
Storage: Store the peel in the syrup, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.
SLICING THE ORANGE PEEL INTO THIN PIECES
COMPLETED CANDIED ORANGE PEEL