Coffee Ice Cream with Rosemary Shortbread

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m a dedicated coffee drinker. I was very loyal to illy for a time, while Costco carried it, but now my heart belongs to LavAzza. Many of you recommended it to me, but honestly I never tried it until I went to my friend’s bakery. At the Salty Tart Michelle creates pastries that inspired Andrew Zimmern to say it is the “best bakery in the World!” The coffee she serves is LavAzza. The coffee is excellent, worthy of her treats and good enough to make me switch from illy!

So when I wanted to make coffee ice cream I used Lavazza beans and a recipe from David Lebovitz, which I found in a recent copy of Fine Cooking magazine. The coffee flavor is so deep and intense that it almost has a bittersweet chocolate taste to it. If you’ve ever had Vietnamese ice coffee, this ice cream is reminiscent. That rich flavor just begged for something bright, so I paired it with a rosemary shortbread cookie. A new addiction is born!

Coffee Ice Cream by David Lebovitz from Perfect Scoop:

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans, slightly crushed, but not ground fine. (I put them in the coffee grinder and pulsed several times just to break them up. If they are too fine they will absorb too much of the cream and the ice cream may be bitter.)

5 egg yolks

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies, inspired by Emily Luchetti’s recipe in A Passion for Desserts:

4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons rice flour (rice flour has no gluten so it would make the cookies more tender. If you don’t have rice flour, you could substitute cake flour.)

pinch salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped Rosemary, more whole needles for the top of the cookies.

1 teaspoon orange zest

To make the ice cream:

Prepare an ice bath to cool your ice cream custard. Place ice in a large bowl, fill that bowl 1/2 way with cold water. Place another bowl into the ice water. Make sure the bowl is big enough to hold all of the ice cream custard.

In a medium sauce pan gently heat 1 cup of the cream, whole milk, sugar, vanilla bean and coffee beans. Allow to simmer for a moment and then remove from heat and cover. Let the coffee and vanilla steep in the cream for at least an hour, but up to 6 hours. I let mine go a long time to get a really intense flavor. It worked!!!

Once you’ve allowed the coffee to steep long enough, bring the mixture back to a gentle simmer. Place your yolks in a medium sized bowl and whisk so they are smooth. While whisking, slowly drizzle a cup of the hot cream over the yolks.

When the yolks feel warm add them back to the pot of cream and cook on low heat, just until

the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of your spoon. Immediately remove from heat.

Place the remaining cup of cream in the bowl over your ice bath. Strain the custard into the cream. This will help to cool it down quickly.

Push the cream out of the coffee beans with a rubber spatula. Cool the custard in the ice bath until well chilled. Transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is even better to achieve the smoothest texture.

Freeze the custard according to the Ice Cream Maker manufacturer’s directions.

The ice cream should be set up, but still soft like ice cream from Dairy Queen. In other words don’t let it spin so long that it is hard enough to scoop. If you let it go that far it may get grainy and a little bit greasy tasting. Transfer it back to the lidded container and freeze for another couple of hours. This may seem like a long time to wait, but the texture of ice cream you get will bring you to your knees! 😉

While the ice cream is setting up you can prepare the rosemary shortbread!

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment place the cold butter, sugar, flours, salt, rosemary and zest. Mix until the dough just comes together in a smooth dough. This can take 5-8 minutes, more if your butter is very cold.

Form the dough into a 2-inch thick log and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Can be made the day before.

Cut the dough 1/8th-inch thick slices.

Press more rosemary in the cookies that are placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Bake for 10-15 minutes, just until the edges are golden brown.

Serve the ice cream and cookies together, but be warned that you will become addicted! The ice cream would also be amazing with cajeta or chocolate cake!

On July 30th I will be making desserts for a fabulous dinner at the Walker Art Center, on the field over looking the city. The challenge is for local chefs to create a meal using only local ingredients. I mean local, all from the Twin Cities and surrounding towns. Come find out more and join me for dinner!