Sunday, October 28, 2012

Great Lakes Porter Ice Cream

It's the weekend. That means beer by night, ice cream by day... but why not both — by night and day? Why not have the best of both worlds? Why not make beer ice cream?

So here we go.

This is crafted with my all-time favorite beer — the rich, smoky, dark, coffee-infused, chocolate-esque porter by Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland: Edmund Fitzgerald. For all you fellow beer geeks, this one's for you.

{Great Lakes Porter Ice Cream}

12 oz. bottle of Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, or any other strong dark beer
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 cups frosted almonds (recipe to follow)

In a large 4-quart saucepan, combine the beer and brown sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 15-20 minutes until reduced by half.
Add the molasses and salt and stir to dissolve. Add the cream and milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a bare simmer (small bubbles form along edges of pan). Do not boil.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until just blended.
Remove the cream mixture from heat and slowly pour a half cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat with another half cup. Then transfer the yolk mixture to the remaining cream mixture and return to medium heat.
Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Place a large clean bowl in the ice bath and fit the bowl with a fine-mesh strainer.
Pour custard mixture through the strainer into the bowl in the ice bath. Let cook, stirring occassionally. When cooled, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Freeze according to ice cream instructions.

While chilling, melt chocolate over a double boiler. Set aside. When ice cream is almost finished, add chocolate to form stracciatella. Transfer to a air-tight container. To serve, top with frosted almonds. Or, if you're feeling daring, toss a scoop in a pint of your favorite porter for a beer float!

{Frosted Almonds}
Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup sugar
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups whole, unsalted almonds 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whisk together ingredients. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spread out the coated almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a plate to cool.