Crème Fraîche Ice Cream with Nutella Swirls

Summer, Sweet Recipes • 28 Jul 2009

Nutella Ice Cream

The summer weather hasn’t yet reached its peak, but the humidity has been nestling in my pores and showering my skin with an impenetrable layer of ick. There’s little to cool a body down without plunging head first into a crispy-cold pool or setting up a cot in the icy frozen isle of the supermarket.

Ice cream is one of the few foods that brings reprieve from the heat, whether it be from your block’s Mister Softee-in-residence or a fancy gelateria. Ice cream tickles the tongue and penetrates body heat like the ephemeral sting of a slap in the face.

Since my stove and oven get little air time during the summer months, I need to get my kitchen fix in other ways. My ice cream maker is one lucky appliance, doing double duty in bringing existential satisfaction and physical relief.

Though I often prefer sorbets and fruit-based ices on hot days, I went with crème fraîche and buttermilk as my primary ingredients, rendering an ice cream that was slightly tart, delicately tangy and subtly sweet. Building on the richness of the silken crème fraîche, I used four eggs to create a custard base, though the finished product was less full bodied and more clean and crisp.

Of course, being the fun loving youngsters that we are, we added Nutella swirls to give the otherwise sophisticated recipe a cheerful facelift, yielding a sleek dessert with a playful twist.

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream with Nutella Swirls

1 cup crème fraîche
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean pod
Pinch of salt

1. Place the heavy cream with the sugar, salt and vanilla pod, sliced lengthwise, over medium-high heat until the milk just begins to foam. Remove from heat, extract the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the pod with a knife. Mix the seeds back into the cream. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly add the warm cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.

3. In a bowl, mix crème fraiche, evaporated milk and buttermilk. Pour into blender and whip until well combined and very smooth, scraping down the sides.

4. Pass custard through a strainer into a clean bowl. Chill both custard and crème fraiche mixture until cold, about an hour.

5. Combine custard and crème fraiche and mix well. Transfer the cold mixture to the container of ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Layer about one third of the ice cream into a storage container. Gently swirl spoonfuls of Nutella over the ice cream and repeat with another layer. Top the second layer of Nutella with remaining ice cream and store in the freezer prior to serving.

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