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Orange and Honey Caramel Ice Cream

June 30, 2006

Orange and honey ice cream

Sometimes I develop a taste for something I've never actually tasted, something that lives only in my imagination. Sometimes my attempts to create this imagined taste go well; sometimes my taste proves to be entirely imaginary, unruled by the laws and actualities of kitchen chemistry.

The other day, possessed of a drawerful of oranges, a mirage of oranges and honey shivered through my mind - smooth, rich, custard with the flavor of citrus and deep caramel honey. I could almost taste the sweetness.

However, my first attempt at creating this taste ran head-on into a down and dirty fistfight with the natural tendency of citrus to curdle dairy into small gritty bits of orange cheese. Cooking the fresh orange juice down into a syrup did not hamper this tendency, as I had hoped it would, and I thoroughly lost the fight. I was beaten soundly, knocked into the ropes, and left with a teeth-squeaking cheesy custard of orange and curdled milk.

I couldn't believe that this taste was an illusion; I still had this idea of a grownup Dreamsicle, a cool and rich orange custard with the deep notes of honey. Then I came across a couple recipes online for orange and caramel ice cream, and tried to work in the honey, with help from another caramel ice cream that I like a lot. Tada! My imagination came to life.

Orange and honey ice cream

The recipe below turned out the rich custard I had been dreaming of, with the deep, unmistakable flavor of caramelized honey. If you don't like honey, you probably won't like this ice cream. The orange flavor was muted by the caramel, but deepened, still with its citrus and orange notes. I also took one recipe's recommendation and added a few shakes of fresh ground pepper, which heightened the orange flavor even more.

Orange and Honey Caramel Ice Cream

1.25 cups fresh sqeezed orange juice
2 cups cream
0.5 cup sugar
0.5 cup honey
1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
0.5 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)

1. Simmer the orange juice down to half in a small saucepan. Set aside and keep warm.
2. Put the honey and sugar in a separate large saucepan and add 0.25 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring, then boil until it turns color and begins to caramelize.
3. Meanwhile, warm the milk and cream in a separate small sauce pan over low heat. Also, have the six egg yolks beaten and ready in a medium bowl.
4. When the sugar has developed a deep amber color, slowly add the reduced orange juice. Be careful - it will boil up violently. Stir energetically.
5. Add the warmed milk and cream to the orange caramel and continue stirring carefully.
6. Temper the egg yolks with small ladlefuls of the cream and caramel, stirring thoroughly, then add all the egg yolks to the cream.
7. Stir over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let it boil.
8. Let the custard cool to room temperature, then chill for at least four hours, or overnight.
9. After it is completely cold, freeze in an ice cream maker.

Posted by Faith at 30 June 2006

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Comments

This sounds & looks so delicious! Just bought a new ice cream maker so I am looking for recipes. Question--do you think I could use egg substitute in the recipe?

Posted by: Fran at July 3, 2006 06:31 PM

Thanks, Fran! I have no idea about the egg substitute. I have never used it before, so I don't even want to hazard a guess. The only thing I can say is that if you can find other custard ice cream recipes that use it, then I would adapt one to include the orange caramel here.

Posted by: faith at July 5, 2006 05:19 PM

Oh wow this looks so creamy and delicious!
How could I have not stumbled upon your blog earlier, its so wonderful and your photographs are excellent and the way they are styled are just beautiful. Well done, I am definitely comiing back!

Posted by: jenjen at July 11, 2006 04:26 AM

Thank you Jenjen! That is funny, too - just yesterday I happened on your blog for the first time and wanted to say all the same things about it! I just haven't left a comment yet. I want to try some of the recipes you've got going on over there....

Posted by: faith at July 11, 2006 11:26 AM

ooh. very interesting. I love reading about the trials and tribulations of us cooks. So glad you were succesful.

Posted by: Gabriella at July 23, 2006 12:22 AM

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