It is Sweet Corn season in Minnesota and this year it’s incredible. My friend’s family has an organic corn farm and he delivered dozens of ears to me, which I have made into corn chowder and this brilliant Sweet Corn Ice Cream. The taste of corn can be easily overpowered, so keep it simple. Nothing more than a bit of sugar, a touch of honey, lots of cream and a dash of vanilla.
To get the right consistency I make a custard base and add a blob (technical term) of cream cheese. The most important ingredient is the corn, of course. Pick the sweetest corn you can find, and if your friend delivers straight from the farm even better. The ice cream is perfect on a cone, covered in caramel sauce, sandwiched between cookies or scooped over apple crisp.
Thank you Patrick and the growers at Rodning Heirloom Farms who grew the corn and made this ice cream so delicious!
You can watch me make this ice cream in my Instagram Video and recipe below.
Caramel makes everything better!
Caramel Recipe If you make ahead, you may need to warm it slightly to pour over the ice cream.
I suggest you pour it over a bowl! 😉
Ice Cream Base
- 4 BIG ears of corn shucked and kernels cut from cob (about 3 cups of kernels)
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar, divided
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 cups (480ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 sprigs lemon thyme (optional)
- 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 7 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (113g) cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- I followed the directions Melissa Clark published for her corn ice cream in the New York Times, but made a couple of changes (because that's how I roll). I used cream cheese instead of sour cream, to make the consistency a bit smoother. For the same reason I added an extra egg yolk to the mix. Lastly, I love the taste of honey with corn, so I substituted a portion of the sugar with a mild honey, so as not to overpower the corn flavor. Lastly, I let the corn cobs and kernels sit in the milk/cream mixture for several hours before blending and straining to make my ice cream base.
- I added a couple of sprigs of lemon thyme, because it was growing in my garden and it sounded interesting. It was subtle, but a nice addition.
- Bakers NOTE: scoop the ice cream while it is still slightly soft from the ice cream maker or let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before scooping, so it is really creamy. Dip your ice cream scoop in hot water between scoops.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, corn syrup, honey and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture starts to boil. This can take about 10 minutes.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 238°F on a Candy Thermometer.
- Once the caramel reaches the right temperature, remove from the heat and allow it to cool. It will begin to thicken as it cools.
- If you make ahead, you may need to warm it slightly to pour over the ice cream. I suggest you pour it over a bowl!