Confession Wednesday- Boiling Raw Milk

If you were expecting some sort of stew, boxty, Guiness cake, or green food coloring-filled Irish dish, oops, sorry. I can’t even say I omitted it on purpose- it simply did not cross my mind that such a post would be appropriate. I have no trace of Irish blood and have not celebrated (or heard of) St. Patrick’s Day until about 8 years ago. What rock did I live under before that? Bucharest, Romania. Irish holidays were not the thing there.

The Irish seem like friendly, fun-loving, and fiery people- exactly my type! So Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! I will wear a little green- it just won’t be in my food. And I bet any of you St. Paddy’s fans out there will LOVE the recipe below.

Before the recipe, the confession- I boil raw milk. I get raw milk from Windsor Dairy and boil it ever so slightly. Doesn’t that defy the whole purpose? No- I feel that it is safer for the baby that way and just a bit tastier for me in my morning cup of coffee. Why not just get pasteurized regular (or maybe organic) milk from the store then, you say? Uh, same reason I boil it- control issues. I like to know where the stuff comes from, how it was boiled and that it doesn’t have a 6 week life in the refrigerator because it went though some weird unnecessary super ultra homogenization and pasteurization process. Plus, I love this particular whole milk- rich, creamy, silky. And it makes great ice cream.

Remember that sugared and creamed coffee post? I might have found something that satisfies that AND my sweet tooth: coffee ice cream recipe courtesy of the Bouchon cookbook. This baby has it all- coffee, cream (lots of cream!), and sugar, plus it is a fabulous and easy dessert.

Well, first some (maybe) bad news, for some- you need an ice cream maker. The not-so-bad news is that getting one is not that big of an investment. And it pays off, at least taste-wise, in just a few short uses. This is the one I have and I love it. Mine is red, but you get the idea. It is not too fancy but it does the job.

Ingredients: 2 1/3 cups heavy cream, 2 1/3 cups whole milk (or boiled raw milk), ½ cup freshly ground delicious coffee beans, ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 10 large egg yolks.

Some tools (aside from the icecream maker)- wooden spoon or small wooden flat spatula measuring cups, etc, whisk, non-reactive saucepan [Click here for more info. Your best bet is a stainless steel pan.]

More slightly bad news- the process of making this mirrors making Vanilla Ice Cream. You need to make a coffee infused custard and you will have to be just as patient and careful and thoughtful and sensitive with this one as with the Vanilla custard.

Put the fresh ground coffee in your non-reactive pan. This is the coffee I used, freshly and finely ground. Add the milk and cream in the saucepan. Gently bring to a simmer, stir until all the sugar dissolves, cover, and remove from the heat. Let infuse for 30 minutes.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
[Side note- you will not use the whites for this, but you can always save them for that very healthy egg white omelet- something I would NEVER eat, but perhaps you have a better attitude]

After the 30 min, return to a simmer and mix again to be sure the sugar is all dissolved.

Whisk the egg yolks with half of the sugar until they thicken slightly and lighten in color.

Slowly and gradually whisk into the eggs a third of the coffee/milk/cream mixture. Slowly! The point is to temper the eggs.

Return the egg mixture to the coffee/milk/cream mixture saucepan and heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens and coats the back of your spoon.

You should have this on low heat and technically, if you were to listen to the Bouchon recipe, cook and stir for about 10 minutes …or until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

Twenty minutes into this constant stiring, not only was my arm starting to get tired, but I was sure that custard was going to strike again and scramble my heart…or just itself. Two additional minutes did the trick. It was PERFECT. It coated the back of the spoon and allowed for this line to remain when I ran my finger through the custard on the spoon.

Strain the custard into a clean bowl then strain again over another bowl set over ice. You are trying to get some of the coffee grounds out. I strained three times- you decide what is right for you.

Stir occasionally until the custard cools. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or (the book says) overnight for the creamiest texture.

Your ice cream bowl will need to be frozen before you actually turn the ice cream maker on. I put it in the freezer in the evening same time I put the custard in the fridge and allowed both to get really cold overnight.

Take the cream maker bowl out and immediately place the custard mixture in it and turn on. 30 minutes (or whatever the manufacturer’s instructions say for your ice cream maker) you will have this!

Transfer into your chosen container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

P.S. I made half the quantity because I was anxious about making custard (again). It is the silkiest, creamiest, most vibrantly coffee flavored cold concoction I have ever tasted. It certainly won’t last long in the freezer!

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