Ginger Ice Cream Candied Orange: Pain and Pleasure

Ginger Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peel

I have a thing for both candied orange peel and preserved lemon. I realize one is sweet (candied) and one is salty (preserved). But heck, to me they have the same sort of bitter going on. You know– the kind of bitter that makes your saliva glands ache a little. The kind of bitter that actually makes them squirt just thinking about biting into something that bitter. It’s like you don’t want to eat it because you’re afraid it’s too bitter, but you can’t stop yourself either. Well, the bad boy in me made this Ginger Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peel just so you could experience that pleasant little shiver. The one that runs all the way down your spine. The kind of shiver you can’t quite decide if it comes from pain or pleasure. You see I also added ginger, because I can be a good boy too.

I did this horribly, wonderful little experiment with Ginger Ice Cream to prove a point. When it comes to pleasure and pain. I’m no longer a novice.

You do know I’m talking about ice cream, right?

Good, because one of my dirty little kitchen secrets is I spent years making crappy ice cream. I could never understand why I made crappy ice cream. I mean I came up with some fantastic flavor combinations. I bubbled and boiled and broke new ground. I came up with culinary concoctions that would make any self-obsessed foodie proud. But it turns out being a self-obsessed foodie was exactly why I made crappy ice cream. I spent more time and energy coming up with the ideas for my frozen oddities than I did concentrating on making good ice cream.

What I’ve learned is that my artistic sensibilities are not enough. I need to understand ice cream. I need to know the science behind the magic of transforming cream into a lusciously lickable frozen confection. So I went to Columbus, OH as the guest of Experience Columbus and met Jeni Britton Bauer. She set me straight on all the science I needed to conduct my bad boy exercises.

Ginger Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peel

The base of this Ginger Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peel comes from Jeni. But the painfully delicious candied orange peel– well, that’s all me. I wonder what I could do with preserved lemon. Are you crying yet? GREG

candies orange peelGinger Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peelcandied

Ginger Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peel 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 1 quartPublished

Candied orange peels adapted from Martha Stewart. Ice cream base adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer.

Ginger Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peel


  • 3 oranges
  • 4 2/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
  • 4 cup water
  • 2 cup whole milk divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoon cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 (4‑inch) piece fresh ginger (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the candied orange peels: Using a paring knife, make 6 slits along curve from top to bottom of each orange, cutting through peel but not into fruit. Using your fingers, gently remove peel. Reserve fruit for another use. Slice each piece of peel lengthwise into ¼‑inch-wide strips. Using a paring knife, remove excess white pith from each strip and discard.

Place strips in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat twice.

Bring 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Add strips to boiling syrup, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until strips are translucent, about 1 hour. Remove from heat, and let strips cool in syrup. (Strips in syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks).

Using a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe off excess syrup with paper towels, then roll strips in sugar. Arrange in a single layer on a wire rack, and let dry for at least 30 minutes. Once dry chop 10 or 12 strips crosswise into ¼‑inch dice (or to taste); set these aside for the ice cream. The remaining sugared strips may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.

Make the ice cream: Half fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside.

Mix 2 ounces milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir until completely and smoothly incorporated; set aside.

In a separate medium bowl whisk the cream cheese and salt together until well incorporated; set aside.

Combine the remaining milk, cream, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, corn syrup, and ginger slices in a 4‑quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Remove from heat and gradually mix in the cornstarch mixture. Return to the heat and allow it to come back to a boil, whisking the entire time. Remove from heat gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the medium bowl with the cream cheese mixture. Keep whisking until it’s very smooth, cover and let the flavors infuse for 15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a 1‑gallon Ziplock freezer bag. Seal the bag and submerge it in the bowl of ice water. Let the bag become well-chilled, about ½ hour. Add the vanilla to the chilled mixture.

Freeze the ice cream: Pour the chilled mixture through a fine mesh sieve directly into the bowl of the ice cream maker. Discard the ginger slices. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the machine until the ice cream is smooth, thick and creamy. It should be pulling from the sides just a bit as it churns.

Pack the ice cream into a 1‑quart storage container, folding the candied orange peel dice in intermittently as you go. Seal with an airtight lid. Freeze the ice cream until very firm, at least 4 hours.