While thinking of this year’s Christmas dinner, I wanted a dessert befitting the grand scale of the meal. Firstly, I ordered a cake from one of my neighbourhood bakeries, but I also wanted something to go with it. Nothing goes better with cake than ice cream, so I decided on a cranberry infused ice cream since I was making my own cranberry sauce to accompany the meal.
With the usual egg yolk-thickened custard base, I also thought the added richness and different tartness of cream cheese would compliment the cranberry flavour beautifully. It was certainly a magical combination. And since this winter so far has been much warmer, by Canadian standards (that is, it’s not -40 degrees outside haha), the ice cream was a refreshing end to a big meal.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Ice Cream:
330g/12 oz whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk (2% or whole milk)
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup white sugar
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cream cheese
In a medium pot, add the cranberries and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook until the cranberries soften and burst (about 10 minutes). Purée until smooth, strain through a fine strainer. It should yield about 1 cup of maple cranberry purée. Set aside.
In a medium pot over medium heat, add the milk, cream and 1/3 cup of sugar. Whisk together to dissolve the sugar and when the edges just start to froth and bubble, shy of boiling, take off the heat.
While the milk mixture is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth and slightly thickened. When the milk mixture is warmed, ladle a quarter of it into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk until smooth. Add this egg yolk-milk mixture to the rest of the warmed milk mixture in the pot. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium low heat until it thickens to a custard. It should just coat the spoon with a thick glaze of custard. Take off the heat, transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the maple cranberry purée, vanilla and cream cheese until it is smooth and uniformly combined. Chill for at least an hour before churning it in an ice cream machine. Most domestic, countertop ice cream machines say to churn for about 20-25 minutes. It’ll have the texture of soft serve ice cream. Transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid and freeze until firm (about 4 hours). Serves 4.