Oh the lazy hazy days of summer…
And nothing cools off a hot summer day like the refreshing flavor of ice cream. During this time of the year, my garden is overflowing with sage, which means I get to create delicious new recipes in order to take advantage of the abundance.
When most people think of sage, they immediately think of savory dishes such as stuffing at Thanksgiving. However, being the kind of cook who likes to explore the possibilities of different flavors, I am naturally drawn to the unexpected.
Hence, one of my latest creations for Honey Lemon Sage Ice Cream Custard. This recipe combines the natural sweetness of honey with the tart flavor of lemon, and to take it over the top, the amazing pungent note of sage.
Be sure to harvest the sage just before you plan to use it in order to capture the juices that run freely when first cut. This will release the flavor when it is most intense.
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup honey
juice of two large lemons, strained
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
5 fresh sage leaves
1 vanilla bean
Combine half and half and cream in a medium pot. Heat until hot. Turn off stove. Add sage leaves and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Add honey and vanilla bean to mixture. Stir to combine completely. Add sea salt. Return flame under pot and simmer. Pour a little of hot milk to egg yolks in order to raise the temperature of the yolks to avoid scrambling the eggs. Pour egg mixture into pot and cook on low for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not burn. Pour custard into a large glass bowl and allow to cool completely.
Remove sage leaves from the milk mixture. When completely cooled, cover bowl and place in freezer. Allow to freeze for 1 hour. Remove bowl from freezer. Mixture should be freezing around the edges. Using a wire whisk, stir the custard to blend completely. Return to the freezer and over the course of a few hours, repeat the process of removing mixture the from freezer and blending to combine the frozen custard into the mixture. When the entire mixture freezes to a soft set, cover the bowl and allow to complete freezing process. The final custard will be a little firmer than a soft serve when completed.