Mark Dunleavy showed me this process. He’s kind of a dick. Since he created the Chorizo Burger however, I’ve paid attention when he talks about food. Except for that one time with the Consomme, when I wasn’t paying attention at all. Anyway, he’s a keeper. He told me he learned the following technique from the pastry chef at Blue Hour, where he worked as a pastry cook. I respect Mark’s resume. I mean here he was, grinding herbs for ice cream down the street, making desserts, then he simply wheels around the block, and starts working saute at the restaurant. Y’know…cooking happy hour and shit.
So here’s what you do weigh the sugar and the herb you want to use into the Robo-Coupe and grind it into a paste. Place this paste in your sauce pot and add the dairy product. Bring to a boil and cover the pot, killing the heat. Steep for thirty minutes. Temper in your yolks cook to nape, stirring, scraping often with a spat. Pour the base into a hotel pan to cool in the fridge. I usually ripen the base overnight in a cambro. It’s not imperative but does increase the flavor. Next day strain that shit into your Gelatoo-D2 unit and spin to a stiff sour cream consistency. The base recipe was adapted from AB’s, but Mark taught me the herb-paste bit. I imagine it works so well because it really opens up the herbs, and prepares to steep. You also achieve a bright, herby color this way. I want to say something about surface area but I don’t know if that’s right. It works great for Mint Chip and any other herb you might like to try. I’ve also used this herb grinding to make a Rosemary Pine Nut Tart for TXGV, but that’s another story.
Herb Ice Cream
yields 2 qts.
6 cups half & half
2 cups heavy cream
18 oz sugar
2-3 bunches herbs (sage, mint, basil, etc.)
16 egg yolks
1. Grind the sugar and herbs to a paste, and place them in a sauce pot with the dairy products. Bring to a boil and cover, kill the heat and steep for thirty minutes.
3. Seperate the eggs into a bowl, whisk vigorously.**
4. Temper the hot liquid into the yolks. Cook over medium heat unit it thickens up, or about 165 F, if you want to get fancy. Scrape and stir often with a rubber spatula. It should coat the back of a spoon when its ready.
5. Pour the base out into a shallow pan to cool rapidly under refrigeration.
6. Once thoroghly chilled, trasfer to a storage vessel for overnite ripening.
7. Next day strain into your ice cream machine and spin accordingly. Serve with a famous dessert.
**In the original AB recipe, he whisks the sugar with the yolks, thick and pale. This created a really good texture in the finished ice cream. I remember that Good Eats episode now, and it was something about protein. Next time I make this, I think I’ll use a portion of the sugar to do this.