Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Espresso Oreo Ice Cream

A few weeks ago, we made a special trip to a particularly good ice cream parlor in Carytown called Bev's.

It was hot. Like, over 100 degrees hot. So hot that someone came home and eaten almost all the ice cream left in our freezer.

So that someone had the pleasure of driving me into town so I could get my fix. We've been to Bev's a couple of times and I always appreciate that their ice cream is homemade and that they experiment with new flavors. On this particular trip, I sampled Sweet Corn ice cream and Strawberry Balsamic.

But I was craving chocolate so I ordered one of their signature flavors: Espresso Oreo.

I was a bit skeptical at first, because I'm not really a coffee lover. I love the smell of coffee, but I hardly ever drink it. My drug drink of choice? Diet Coke. Need it, love it, kind of want to make out with it.

I'll drink coffee if it's loaded with milk and chocolate. Sort of like chocolate milk with a little splash of coffee. But generally, I go without it, which is probably why I'm such a joy to be around in the morning.

But enough about me, let's talk about this ice cream. Because it was yummy.

Great coffee flavor, not too bitter, with those irresistible chocolatey, crunchy Oreo chunks. And yes there was a waffle cone. Really, is there any other way to eat ice cream in the summer? I think not.

You should know, Dan ordered nothing. He drove, he waited in line with me, he paid, and he walked away empty-handed. I think gorging himself on our ice cream earlier in the afternoon probably did him in. But he did sample some of mine on the way home. Luckily his hands were on the wheel so I was in charge of portion control. And believe me, I hoarded that ice cream like it was my job. 

Since I sort of fell in love with this ice cream and thus, need it in my life as much as possible (and since not everyone can live as close to Bev's as we do), I came up with a homemade version. Not a perfect replica, but a close second. Crumble an extra Oreo on top. Don't be sorry.

Espresso Oreo Ice Cream
Makes about 3 pints

1 quart heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
8 egg yolks
3 T ground coffee
2 cups Oreo pieces (or about 12 cookies, chopped)


1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot over medium to medium-low heat*, combine heavy cream, half the sugar, and ground coffee. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from the heat. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining sugar.
3. Return the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat. Working about 1/4 cup at a time, add a third of the hot cream to the egg yolks, whisking to incorporate.
4. Whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the remaining heavy cream. Return to low heat.
5. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture constantly until it thickens. Timing for this will vary; use a low heat, and be careful not to let the mixture boil again. Your custard is ready when it coats the back of the wooden spoon and you can create a definitive line down the center with your finger.
6. Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and set it over a clean bowl. Pour the custard through the lined sieve to strain. Use a ladle to help push it through if necessary. Set the bowl over an ice bath (you can later transfer it to the fridge). Allow to cool completely.
7. Process in an ice cream machine until it is the texture of soft serve. Add the Oreo pieces in the last 1-2 minutes of churning. Transfer to a sealed airtight container and place it in the freezer to set fully, about 4-6 hours or overnight.

*Don't be tempted to turn the cream up to high to get it to boil. It won't heat evenly and the cream on the bottom will burn before it boils. Watch carefully, and use a pot large enough to ensure it doesn't boil over.


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