“Yam ice cream”
“You mean, like, yam?”
“As in, real yam?”
“What’s in it?”
“Well, there’s yam…”
This was the conversation at dinner last night with Mr Gander’s cousin. Thankfully the conversation for the rest of the evening was more erudite.
It was an evening of mildly experimental dishes – being cousin-in-law and a good friend, I could expose him to my wilder flights of fancy without (too much) repercussion. Other close friends have come to expect a menu of surprises whenever they come around. As in, ‘miso surprise!’, ‘stuff with plums’, or, ‘so I wondered what would happen if I did this…’
The evening started with a gorgeous savoury plum tart, with mascarpone, mille-feuille puff pastry, and a plum-Chinkiang*-coconut-sugar drizzle (because we ran out of balsamic vinegar, but actually was so good I want to make it again). Then, gnudi – made with a mixture of ricotta and goats milk fetta – in a parmesan-enriched broth and a swirl of fresh pesto.
* Chinkiang vinegar: a black vinegar made from glutinous rice. Good quality mature Chingkiang has a complex flavour somewhat like balsamic vinegar.
And then, yam ice cream.
Some time in late January, I got the ice cream making bug. I saw ice creams with goat cheese and honey and pear swirls, popcorn and salted caramel, lamington (on Australia Day). I looked for pure, creamy, black-flecked vanilla, and gelato that was like pure dark chocolate except colder and more ephemeral. Australia was going through a heat wave, people were flocking to the beach, and my mind was buzzing with ice creamy possibilities.
There was a slight snag: we don’t have an ice cream maker. This was a kitchen gadget I never could justify buying. So I began to look for no-churn ice cream recipes.
Many of the no-churn recipes use condensed milk: I think the idea is with enough sugar and fat, the mixture would freeze without forming large ice crystals. But condensed milk has quite a strong flavour, so I needed equally strong or distinctive flavours to counter it. (I also found other varieties of no churn ice cream using different ingredients, some of them are at the end of the post after the recipe)