So remember my rant on Butterbeer? Well, it turns out that Universal Studios also does a butterbeer soft-serve ice cream, and it occurred to me that this could be a great vehicle for my own version of the drink.
Happily, this time my online searching indicated that at least one person has gotten the recipe right and added actual beer to the mix. I decided to make the recipe from the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book to see what all the fuss was about.
This ice cream was pretty fantastic– the oatmeal stout provided a nice backdrop to the main flavor, which was a deep molasses-y caramel, and the salt really brought out the buttery, almost pretzel-like notes of the brown butter. The texture, even after completely frozen, is soft and scoopable, and very rich on the tongue.
Butter Beer Ice Cream (from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle oatmeal stout
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar*
1. In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until the solids at the bottom are lightly browned.
2. Immediately add stout and brown sugar to saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced by half and slightly sticky.
3. Add molasses; stir until well blended. Add cream, milk, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a bare simmer.
4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and granulated sugar* until well blended. Remove cream mixture from heat. Temper the egg mixture with the cream (slowly and carefully drizzle in about a cup of the hot cream into the eggs, whisking constantly, then pour the egg-cream mix back into the saucepan) and return to medium heat.
5. Cook, stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until mixture thickens.
6. Remove custard from heat; immediately pour through strainer into a glass or metal bowl (or a plastic gallon-sized freezer bag) set up in an ice bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally.
7. When custard has cooled, press plastic wrap over the surface (if it’s in a bowl) and refrigerate until cold– at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
8. When ready to freeze custard, transfer to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1 quart.
* Just a note: I realized too late that I didn’t have enough granulated sugar on hand for this recipe. Since the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of molasses, and brown sugar is basically just white sugar with molasses mixed in (about 1 tablespoon of molasses per cup of white sugar), I just used all brown sugar and omitted a tablespoon of the molasses in the recipe. It turned out fine, and you could easily do something similar if you happen to be out of white sugar. Conversely, you could substitute all white sugar for the brown, just adding more molasses to make up for it.