Now that we have a second freezer, I finally have the space to keep the bowl from my ice-cream maker chilled and at the ready.
I have had my eye on this recipe since I first spotted it in David Lebovitz’s ‘The Perfect Scoop’ and finally got the chance to make it.
I added the vanilla bean just because I had a few lying around, and I love the result. The pepper gives this ice-cream a nice warming quality, making it perfect for winter. Even though it has the pepper, it’s definitely not a savoury tasting dish. We ate it with strawberries.
Black Pepper and Vanilla Ice Cream
makes about 1 litre
1 cup milk
130g caster sugar
2 tbsp black peppercorns, cracked in a mortar and pestle
1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt
2 cups thickened cream
6 egg yolks
Add the milk, sugar, peppercorns, salt, and 1 cup of the cream to a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds into the saucepan. Throw the pod in too. Warm over medium heat until you can see steam rising from it, but do not let it boil. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for about an hour.
Rewarm the peppercorn-infused mixture. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and rest a mesh strainer on top. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer, pressing on the peppercorns to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the peppercorns and vanilla bean and stir the custard into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.