In my never-ending summer quest to make the oddest and awesomest ice creams ever, I’m adding jalapeño lime to the line up. What? You don’t know about jalapeño lime ice cream? Weird. It might be a Central Texas thing, but it’s definitely a thing. You should look into it. Now.
For starters, as weird as it seems, it’s surprisingly good. And when you’re cooking it up, it makes your whole house smell good…so that’s a plus too. Sweet, spicy, all mixed up into one fragrant icy dessert. And really, there’s something so odd, so wrong about spicy hot ice cream that’s it’s really so very right. You know what I’m talking about.
Now, I should tell you, I’m pretty hard core on this spicy ice cream issue. I’m thinking, if you’re going to do it, do it. So I add an entire large jalapeño to the mix…seeds and all…and this results in a super spicy ice cream concoction. This is not something that most people eat up with a spoon like it’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. (Although, if you know a real spice lover, hand him this and a spoon and you might have just made a new BFF.) But I prefer to keep a couple of jars of this in the freezer for the odd spoonful here an there…a good/weird side to a super sweet cake or pie…or a tiny scoop on a plate for some unexpected BAM! And overall, it’s a crowd pleaser.
So here’s what I would do.
What You’ll Need:
2 cups heavy cream
1 and a half cups whole milk (I actually have used skim milk and it’s fine too)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 to 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of granulated honey (This is optional, so if you don’t have it, don’t sweat…it just sweetens the final product a bit. But you can totally make this ice cream without it. But if you have it, use it. You won’t be disappointed.)
A few dashes of table salt
1 Jalapeño pepper, very finely chopped (seeds optional…I keep the seeds in, but it makes it pretty darn hot)
6 large egg yolks
Juice of one lime + zest of 3 limes
What You’ll Do :
In a saucepan, mix 1 and 1/2 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and salt until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, which typically takes 3 to 4 minutes or so.
Stir in the chopped jalapeño pepper.
(You might start with a smaller pepper or just 3/4 of the pepper without the seeds and work your way up to BAM spicy. But it’s totally up to you.)
Stir in the granulated honey. I put in up to 2 tablespoons, depending on how spicy things are. Peppers vary…so sometimes you get a really hot one. If that’s that case, I add more honey. Taste it and see what you think.
Your kitchen starts to smell amazing right about now.
Cover your mixture, remove it from the heat, and let it sit for an hour or so. Taste it and let it sit longer if you want a stronger flavor.
In that hour or so of waiting, go do something fun and/or productive. Then in the last few minutes of that waiting time, make an ice bath with two bowls (fill the bottom larger bowl halfway with ice and set the smaller bowl on top of it). Pour the last 1/2 cup of cream in this top bowl. You are going to pour the other hot mixture into this in a few minutes.
But first, whisk the egg yolks and then add them to the heated mixture that sat in its own jalapeñoness for an hour or so.
Put the heated mixture back on the stove and heat it up again … this time only to 180 degrees. It doesn’t take long, and don’t let it get above 180 because your egg will cook and that’s gross. Unless you like sweet ice cream jalapeño eggs. Which actually could be good to someone somewhere I’m sure.
Once it hits 180, immediately take it off the heat and pour the mixture into your double ice bowl of cream and through a strainer. Again, I use a flour sifter as a strainer because it works. Strain out the jalapeño bits and any possible scrambled egg bits that you just accidentally created.
Add the lime juice now. This is key.
Then take the top bowl off the ice bottom bowl, cover it with wrap and put it in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or so. I have left it in there for only 2 hours before an no one died.
While these hours are passing, finely zest 3 limes with a zester. Your kitchen will smell good again.
Then, after the refrigerator hours have passed, place your ice cream in the ice cream maker, follow directions, let your ice cream maker do its thing. And make it. Make it good.
Once its churned, add your lime zest.
This makes it real good.
Put all the ice cream you’ve made in small mason jars (or whatever), seal it up and freeze for at least a few hours or up to 3 weeks. You will delightfully freak people out with this awesome weird ice cream. I’d say that’s a success.
Again, this ice cream isn’t for everyone…but it is soo for many. Again, I recommend starting less spicy and working your way up. It is really great as a side (think, melon ball scoop size) to a dessert … or it’s great topped with cajeta.
Wait, you don’t know about cajeta?
Okay. We’ll talk about that next.
In the meantime, enjoy.