After sharing the Hibiscus Beet Ice Cream from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book (Chronicle Books, April 2012) by Jake Godby and Sean Vahey of Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco, I picked a recipe that will add a Japanese flair to your summer parties.
White Miso Peach Ice Cream
We make White Miso ice cream in the summer with peaches, in the fall with apples, and in the winter with pears. Alice Waters would be so proud of us . . . you know, if she knew who we were.
Doing a flavor with miso was a natural and logical extension of our love for savory elements in our ice creams. Miso is a thick traditional Japanese soy paste that’s often used as a condiment or a flavor ingredient in cooking, and it’s been growing in popularity as an ingredient in desserts. Since miso is so salty, this is one of the few recipes in the book that doesn’t call for added salt or vinegar.
In his search to get the flavors right, Jake went to a Japanese supermarket and bought pretty much every kind of miso in the joint: red miso, mixed miso, rice miso, purple miso, soy-only miso, miso-horny, and so on. He eventually settled on a white style. White miso is much more delicate than its counterparts. It’s mellow. He still doesn’t know what the label says, but boy, it sure gets the job done.
White Miso is another “Wow” flavor, with distinct umami undertones that pair well with the seasonal tree fruits. It also goes secretly well with a scoop of Guinness Gingerbread, or simply a little splash of olive oil on top.
Inspiration: Jake used to serve miso apple butter with crepes and olive oil ice cream.
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 large peaches, apples, or pears (we like Anjou), pitted or cored and cut into chunks. Pears and apples should be peeled, but the peaches don’t have to be. (Note: If you’re using out-of-season fruit – which is often less flavorful – feel free to toss in an extra one to coax out more flavor.)
2 tbsp white miso
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 egg yolks
Makes 1 quart
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt 3/4 cup of the sugar, stirring often, until it takes on a nice sandy color and is a smooth liquid, 10 to 15 minutes.
Quickly add the fruit and stir to coat with the sugar; this will prevent the sugar from caramelizing any further and/or burning. Cook until the fruit is soft, about 10 minutes or so, depending on which fruit you’re using and its ripeness.
Transfer the caramelized fruit to a blender. Add the miso and process to a smooth purée. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl or pan with ice and water. Place a large, clean bowl in the ice bath and fit the bowl with a fine-mesh strainer.
In a large, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1 cup sugar until well blended.
Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Slowly pour about half of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Transfer the yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture and return it to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula and being sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan so it doesn’t scorch, until the liquid begins to steam and you can feel the spatula scrape against the bottom of the pan, about 2–3 minutes.
Remove the custard from the heat. Add the fruit-miso mixture and stir to mix completely. Pour the custard through the strainer into the clean bowl you set up in the ice bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Taste for sweetness; add a little more sugar if needed.
When the custard has totally cooled, cover the bowl tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight. When you are ready to freeze the custard, transfer it to an ice cream maker and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Eat immediately, or transfer to an airtight container, cover, and freeze for up to 1 week.
Scooping White Miso Ice Cream for Tokyo Thursdays # 234
(* Recipe from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book by Jake Godby and Sean Vahey with Paolo Lucchesi Photographs by Frankie Frankeny-Chronicle Books, April 2012, reprinted with permission of the publisher)