Sunday morning breakfast.
Cardamom Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1 Tbs. vanilla bean paste (I -love- this stuff), or 1 vanilla bean
6 whole cardamom pods, smashed
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Put the milk, or light cream, vanilla bean paste and crushed cardamom pods into a heavy pan and bring slowly to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let infuse for 20 minutes. Take out the vanilla bean and scape the seeds into the liquid. Strain out cardamom pods.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Gently reheat the milk or cream and beat a little of it into the egg yolks. Pour the egg mixture into the cream and return the pan to a low heat. Stir until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; it will take several minutes. Do not let it boil, or you'll get pieces of scrambled egg.
Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir until it has almost cooled. Whip the whipping cream lightly and fold it into the custard. Add the 1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom. Freeze in an ice cream maker.
I originally made this ice cream with 8 smashed cardamom pods and 3/4 a cup sugar. It was delicious. However, it was as sweet as typical store-bought icecream, and I generally prefer desserts more nuanced. Tweak as you please!
So what next? I've had spectacular rose- or lavendar-flavored ice creams; a jasmine green or black tea ice cream would be divine; and I've heard intriguingly positive feedback about avocado or olive oil ice cream. So much room to play! Thank goodness the weather is getting warm and a constant supply of (deviant) flavors is prerequisite.