Chestnut Espresso Caramel-Swirl Ice Cream
Remove ice cream from the freezer, and let stand at room temperature for ten to fifteen minutes before serving. You will have extra caramel sauce after making the ice cream. Store it covered in the refrigerator for future use, up to one month. It can be served warm or at room temperature over ice cream or with other desserts.
- Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2001
- 12 ounces fresh chestnuts
- 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup freshly brewed espresso or very strong freshly brewed coffee
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a chestnut knife or a small paring knife, make an incision about 1/8 inch deep through the shell and into the flesh of each chestnut almost all the way around the circumference of the nut. Transfer to a chestnut pan or rimmed baking pan. Roast in the oven until the chestnuts are tender, about 35 minutes. Turn the oven off. Leaving the pan with the chestnuts in the oven, remove several at a time. Working quickly, place 1 chestnut in a towel, and, holding both, peel the chestnut while still hot. Remove and discard the shells and inner skin; set aside.
Combine 2 cups cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla bean, and chestnuts in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chestnuts are falling-apart tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. In a large bowl, using a whisk, beat together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until mixture is pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Pour 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, and whisk to combine well. Pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot mixture, and whisk to combine. Return saucepan to medium heat, and, using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the mixture thickens and holds a line when a finger is drawn across the back of a wooden spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in 1 cup cream.
Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender, filling no more than halfway full, and puree, in batches, until smooth. Pass mixture through a fine sieve, pressing down on the chestnuts to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids, pour the mixture into a large bowl, and set in the ice bath, stirring occasionally, until cold.
Stir together espresso and the remaining 1/2 cup cream; set aside. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the water in a small saucepan, and place over medium-high heat, brushing the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystals from forming. Cook until the mixture turns a dark golden color, 13 to 15 minutes. To gauge the color of the caramel, dip a small piece of white paper into the mixture. Carefully add the espresso and cream. It will boil and sputter. Do not stir. When bubbling has subsided, about 1 minute, add butter. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Transfer to the ice bath to cool.
Freeze ice cream in an ice-cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions. Quickly transfer half the ice cream to a 1 1/2-quart container. Drizzle 4 or 5 tablespoons of caramel over the ice cream. Cover with remaining half of ice cream, and drizzle with 4 or 5 tablespoons of caramel. Drag a knife through the caramel and ice cream to create a swirl effect. Cover and place in freezer, about 6 hours or overnight.