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Creme Fraiche and Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream

Pepper Ice Cream 5

I have reached the pinnacle of dessert making awesomeness: I own an ice cream maker.  I have wanted to make ice cream since I was a little kid.  My mom always told this story about her grandfather who would make homemade strawberry ice cream, and eat it wearing his winter coat.  I remember a recipe for snow ice cream in my old Boxcar Children cookbook which fascinated me.  But, up until now, I had never made ice cream myself.  That has changed.

Pepper Ice Cream 1

Since I got my KichenAid ice cream maker, I have made ice cream 4 times: chocolate peanutbutter, homemade Cherry Garcia (intended for my sister, but my parents got to it first), toasted coconut and caramel (for my dad’s birthday), and this one: creme fraiche and pink peppercorn.

Pepper Ice Cream 4

I have had this recipe rolling around in my head for months.  The tart creme fraiche with the bite of the peppercorn.  I’ve had creme fraiche ice cream, and peppercorn ice cream, but never the two combined.  Experimentation was definitely in the cards on this one.

Pepper Ice Cream 2

First, you start with the creme fraiche.  Most high-end grocers have this, and usually charge an arm and a leg, but did you know you can make it at home?  A little cream a little buttermilk, and a little bit of time and you’re in business.  I keep a jar in the fridge most of the time; it’s a great substitute for sour cream; tart but subtle, more mild and a much creamier texture.  I used cream, milk, and the creme fraiche in this recipe; rich and indulgent, but delicious none the less.  This is definitely not an ice cream you scarf down in a huge cereal bowl; this ice cream is best in single scoop servings, eaten slowly and decadently.  Definitely fancy ice cre

Have you made any ice cream lately?  What’s your go-to flavor? THG

Pepper Ice Cream 3

Creme Fraiche

2 cups heavy cream (unpasturized if possible)

2 Tbsp. buttermilk (unpasturized if possible)

In a mason jar, gently mix together cream and buttermilk.  Cover opening with cheesecloth and let stand out in a cool, dry space for 24 hours.  Seal and refrigerate.  Creme fraiche lasts about 10 days.

Creme Fraiche and Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream

1 Tbsp. pink peppercorns, crushed

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup creme fraiche

3/4 cup low-fat milk

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. sea salt

In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream and peppercorns to a simmer.  Let sit and infuse for 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until thick and ribboned.  Slowly whisk in warm cream mixture.  Add creme fraiche, milk, vanilla and sea salt and whisk to combine.  Place mixture back on stovetop and bring to a simmer.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and refrigerate until cooled thoroughly, about 4-5 hours or overnight.

Add cold mixture to ice cream maker and set to manufacturer’s instructions.  Serve or freeze immediately.

Makes 1 quart