This rosemary ice cream with pine nut has an intoxicating herbal allure. The shellacked pine nuts in this recipe are coated in a simple style praline, which melts into the ice cream with each bite– creating a rich, slightly salty caramel sauce.
- 1 ½ ounce pine nuts (about ⅓ cup)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ice cubes as needed
- cold water as needed
- 2 cup whole milk divided
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 3 tablespoon cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
Make the pralines: Place the oven rack in the center position and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Combine pine nuts, brown sugar, honey, butter, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
Spread the nuts in a single layer onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Move the nuts around with a fork to keep them from clumping. Bake 2 more minutes, move the nuts around again, then cook 2 or 3 more minutes. The nuts will look bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Move them around several times during the cooling process to keep them from sticking to each other as much as possible. Once cooked break any large clumps up with your fingers. Set aside with as few of the nuts touching as possible.
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, minced rosemary, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt together until well incorporated; set aside.
Combine the remaining milk, cream, granulated sugar, and corn syrup 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 and let cool about 2 minutes then gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the medium bowl with the cream cheese mixture. Keep whisking until it’s very smooth. Allow it to cool about 5 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. Replace the ice cubes as needed to keep the water very, very cold.
Freeze the ice cream: Pour the chilled mixture through a fine mesh sieve directly into the bowl of the ice cream maker. This not only removes the minced rosemary, but it improves the texture of the ice cream. Follow the manufactures direction 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 pine nut pralines in intermittently as you go. Seal with an airtight lid. Freeze the ice cream until very firm, at least 4 hours.