Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spiced Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Houston, we have sunflowers.

Future sunflowers.
When we got back from the mountains, we had sunflower sproutlings everywhere.  I'm hoping these little guys are tougher than my basil.  My basil never did quite make it. 

So the only reason I'm not posting my vacation photos is because I haven't been motivated to edit them.

(Did I just hear someone breathe a sigh of relief? 'Cause I thought I just heard someone breathe a sigh of relief.)

I was, however, very motivated to edit these ice cream pictures.  It's that tricky time of year when all I can think of is fall, but it's still summer.  So, this sweet potato ice cream is perfect.  It has the warm autumn  flavors of sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, but in a cool and creamy ice cream.  To top it off, and you simply must make this butterscotch sauce from Smitten Kitchen.  It's easy and super delicious.  In fact, the day I made it, I made a quadruple batch and filled up some jelly jars.  I overdo things like butterscotch sauce.

Here are my notes:

-I cooked my sweet potatoes quickly in the microwave, then scooped out the insides and mashed them up with a hand mixer.

-The ice cream will have some sweet potato lumps, but you will strain those out, so no worries.

Discard the pulp that's left.
-I pour some of the ice cream mixture into a fine wire mesh strainer placed over a large pitcher.  Then I take a wooden spoon and press the mixture through the strainer.  This takes a little bit of work, but it's worth it for a nice smooth ice cream.  I discard the pulp that's left.  You might have to do this several times.

-You will know the ice cream base is done cooking when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and leaves a clear path when you run your finger over it.  This is after you have added the egg mixture back in.

-The ice cream will have a much better texture if you let it chill overnight.

-I used dark brown sugar, but you could use light brown too, or a combination of the two.

-I also topped mine with some toasted pecans.

Spiced Sweet Potato Ice Cream

3-1/4 cups half and half       
1-3/4 cups heavy cream           
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups cup dark brown sugar, divided               
8 large egg yolks                   
2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.      Combine half and half, the cream, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup brown sugar in a large heavy sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often until mixture reaches 175 degrees on a candy thermometer (just below scalding), about 15 min.  Remove from heat 
2.      Meanwhile, beat egg yolks on medium speed with a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add remaining brown sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and eggs are thick.
3.      Temper the eggs by adding about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture slowly to egg mixture, a 1/4 cup at a time, whisking egg mixture constantly. 
4.      Slowly add egg mixture back to cream mixture on stove, stirring constantly.  Turn heat back on medium.  Beat in sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger on medium speed with a hand mixer until blended.  Heat mixture for about 10-12 minutes, stirring often, or until mixture thickens and leaves a path on the back of a wooden spoon when you run your finger across it. (There will be sweet potato lumps, but this is okay.)
5.      Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Strain mixture into large pitcher through a fine mesh strainer, mashing the pulp with the back of a spoon.  Discard pulp.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or better yet, overnight.  Pour mixture into the cylinder of an ice cream maker and freeze in ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s instructions.  When done, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for 4 hours or overnight or until firm.  

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  1. This is such a creative ice cream flavor, Lorie! Makes me nostaligic for Autumn... :)

  2. Gorgeous photos! Oh...I am so excited for fall!!!

  3. Oh my, this looks absolutely divine!

  4. I am really liking the sound of a sweet potato ice cream!

  5. Everytime I see this ice cream, I think wow this is really incredible! I added it to my Thanksgiving desserts round up!