Waste Not, Want Not

As it turns out, I find myself often lacking the motivation to cook the thing I originally intended. Naturally, this tends to happen well after I’ve already purchased all of my ingredients.

All of this is a long way of saying, that I won’t be sharing a recipe for salted caramels with you today. Trust me, I’m as upset as you are about this. They sounded amazing—chewy, flecked with vanilla and finished with a crunch of salt. And, I still have high hopes that I’ll make them one day.

I could tell you about how this chai vanilla ice cream is perfect for this time of year, despite the snow on the ground and intense cold because the spices are both warming and comforting. But, we’d both know that I was lying, or more accurately, being just the slightest bit self serving. Make no mistake, the ice cream has warming spices and will make your house smell wonderful—like somewhere you should stay put—as you cook, but that’s not why I made it.

In all honesty: I had heavy cream that was about to go bad, and I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste.

The ice cream comes together fairly easily, thanks to the use of a blender, which makes tempering the egg yolks a snap. And, the almond milk isn’t necessary. Regular would work well, I just didn’t have any. But, I think it lends the desert a mellowing layer. Work with whatever you have on hand.

Or, at risk of being presumptious, go out and buy it. Who knows what wonderful food you’ll come up with as the ingredients are about to go to waste.

Vanilla Chai Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream, divided into 2 1-cup portions
1 cup almond milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla pod, with seeds scraped out and pod reserved
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Heat 1 cup of heavy cream, one cup of almond milk, vanilla pods and seeds and the rest of the spices over a low flame until it comes to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the sugar and allow the mixture to continue heating until the sugar is dissolved and the spices have infused, about 10-15 minutes. Take care that your mixture does not boil.

Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.

Place the egg yolks in a blender and mix, streaming in infused cream slowly until both are well incorporated.

Add the rest of the heavy cream to the blender and mix.

Chill your ice cream base until is has completely cooled, then churn according to your ice cream maker instructions.


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