I'm trying to make an ice cream using of home brew beer. I have found that I can make ice cream that is about 6% alcohol by volume. It will freeze just fine, it is just icy. Is there a way to reduce the water content in the alcohol without boiling (I want to keep the alcohol.) or do I just need to significantly up the fat content? — Asked by Anonymous

Freeze distillation a.k.a. freeze your beer and take out the frozen bits!

Am I remembering correctly that you mentioned making gin ice cream? I just infused some vodka to make gin, so I have all the herbs and spices to do it, and I was wondering how yours turned out... — Asked by thefulfillmentcenter

Honestly, it wasn’t that great. It was certainly edible, but even when dunked in some tonic, I felt like it wasn’t much more than a novelty item. Your view might depend on how much you like gin/juniper.

That being said, I think the problem was the bitterness the juniper berries imparted. I steeped the berries in the cream for a very very very long time. Maybe blanching them first like they were spinach or tea might have taken some of the bitterness out.

Butternut Squash
I made this with the standard ratio (2c. cream, 1c. milk, .5c sugar, w/ some cinnamon and nutmeg), and a whole mashed butternut squash. In the end though, it didn’t turn out nearly butternutty enough, so I probably should have scraped out the squash a little better or used one that was way bigger. At the very least, it’s a pretty color. 

Butternut Squash

I made this with the standard ratio (2c. cream, 1c. milk, .5c sugar, w/ some cinnamon and nutmeg), and a whole mashed butternut squash. In the end though, it didn’t turn out nearly butternutty enough, so I probably should have scraped out the squash a little better or used one that was way bigger. At the very least, it’s a pretty color. 

OH AND HEY: Brooklyn Skillshare is tomorrow! Fight your way through the madding crowds at 3:15 to hit up my ice cream class, or show up earlier to try out a thousand other free classes.

Coverage!

Recent press mentions:

Time Out New York: Covered in an article on underground foods. How edgy are we, ‘eh?

Brooklyn Paper: Right over here - which is accompanied by a picture in which I look like an incredibly rude and pompous ice cream magnate. Accompanied by a recipe for Laurel’s Ginger Blackberry (previously on the blog).

Gingered Beet: Gina rocked three flavors coming in, gingered beet is getting its own post because this picture makes it look 150% radioactive.

Gingered Beet: Gina rocked three flavors coming in, gingered beet is getting its own post because this picture makes it look 150% radioactive.

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream & Caramelized Pear Ice Cream: I went double-duty on caramel this time, even going so far as toobey recipes from the internet.

The salted butter caramel is literally the best thing to ever meet my mouth, and a lot of people agree (for their respectively mouths, of course). It’s a (gasp) custard recipe, which means it has eggs, and is sourced from this David Lebovitz blog post.

As for the caramelized pear, two things: First, it is slightly hellish to dice up 3 pears. It’s much more work than you’d ever think, and this is coming from someone who minces heads of garlic in his sleep. Secondly, make sure your strainer wasn’t stolen or some nonsense a week ago! I had to leave the pureed bits of pear in, and while other people weren’t as up in arms about it, I thought it lent the ice cream a kinda terrifying texture. The flavor was great, though, and the recipe (another David Lebovitz) is over here.

Did you know if you put sugar in a pan over heat it melts and caramelizes? No butter, no water, no cream, no nothing. It does it all by its lonesome! For all of the magic dessert things I’ve done in my life I somehow missed out on that fact.

Ginger Honey with Candied Ginger Bits
So, I’m pregnant. This recipe is for all the preggers ladies and everyone else. Ginger is a first-trimester savior, it calms your stomach and clarifies your attention. Plus, you need lots of calcium! Honey deepens the flavor, and is supposedly better than refined sugars. OK, maybe I should have made it lower fat, but I did not: my contribution to the club today will be 2 parts cream, fresh ginger-steeped and some ginger powder mixed in, 1 part whole milk, a cap-full of vanilla, a scant 1/2 cup honey, and candied ginger bits.

Ginger Honey with Candied Ginger Bits

So, I’m pregnant. This recipe is for all the preggers ladies and everyone else. Ginger is a first-trimester savior, it calms your stomach and clarifies your attention. Plus, you need lots of calcium! Honey deepens the flavor, and is supposedly better than refined sugars. OK, maybe I should have made it lower fat, but I did not: my contribution to the club today will be 2 parts cream, fresh ginger-steeped and some ginger powder mixed in, 1 part whole milk, a cap-full of vanilla, a scant 1/2 cup honey, and candied ginger bits.

Maraschino Cherries! 
For some inexplicable reason, I got the idea earlier this summer that having a jar of real maraschino cherries in the frig to top ice cream with was a really good idea. It took me a good while to round up the key ingredient, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, but I finally made a batch this week, and they are so incredibly delicious. 
The recipe is stolen from here, and it’s pretty simple: boil 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, some lemon juice and a cinnamon stick, along with some vanilla if you want. When it boils, throw in a pound of pitted cherries and cook for 5-7 minutes. Take them off the heat and add 1 cup of Luxardo. Let ‘em cool and keep ‘em in the frig. 
I never actually ate them with ice cream, but they were amazing with greek yogurt and nothing like what comes in a jar at the store. Eat enough and you might get a buzz, not that that’s a bad thing. 

Maraschino Cherries! 

For some inexplicable reason, I got the idea earlier this summer that having a jar of real maraschino cherries in the frig to top ice cream with was a really good idea. It took me a good while to round up the key ingredient, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, but I finally made a batch this week, and they are so incredibly delicious. 

The recipe is stolen from here, and it’s pretty simple: boil 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, some lemon juice and a cinnamon stick, along with some vanilla if you want. When it boils, throw in a pound of pitted cherries and cook for 5-7 minutes. Take them off the heat and add 1 cup of Luxardo. Let ‘em cool and keep ‘em in the frig. 

I never actually ate them with ice cream, but they were amazing with greek yogurt and nothing like what comes in a jar at the store. Eat enough and you might get a buzz, not that that’s a bad thing. 

What ice cream maker would you recommend for a broke novice? Thanks! — Asked by Anonymous

Honestly, I love everything by Cuisinart. This is their cheapest, and some members of ICC have had good results with it.

On the other hand, I think people have had success with absolutely every machine under the sun. Ice cream is one of those things that’s really ingredient- and process-driven, and as long as you’re using a standard base-goes-in-the-freezer machine I’m sure you can adapt your methods to any quirks your machine throws up!