I can just imagine your reaction when you read the title of this post. I don’t blame you if you think I might have completely lost my mind. I had the same reaction when I saw this recipe in The Eggplant Cookbook when I got it a few years back while browsing through books at the UCLA Book Festival.
I have to be honest, the recipe intrigued me. The opportunity came to give it a try and be adventurous when I attended a eggplant themed lunch earlier this month. So I went to work and I was pleasantly surprised at how good the ice cream was and at how well it was received. It is safe to say that there were no leftovers. That’s always a good sign in my book.
When I posted that I had made eggplant ice cream on My Persian Kitchen’s fan page, it created a bit of a buzz and I was asked by a couple of people if I would post the recipe.
I made it again last week and took pictures along the way. I slightly tweaked the original recipe for the better!
Eggplant and Nutmeg Ice Cream
Adapted from The Eggplant Cookbook
1 small eggplant, sliced
superfine or granulated sugar, for sprinkling
* Vanilla Syrup
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 green cardamoms, lightly crushed
* Ice Cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Sprinkle eggplant slices with a generous amount of sugar and let stand for about one hour.
In the mean time make a simple syrup by boiling sugar, water, and crushed cardamom pods together in a sauce pan until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla and let reduce for about 15-20 minutes. Cover the sauce pan to keep the syrup warm for the next step.
Rinse eggplants and dry with a paper towel. Place eggplants in the syrup sauce pan, cover and let sit for 2 hours.
Heat milk until almost to boiling point. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale.
Slowly pour warm milk drop by drop in the egg and sugar mixture while whisking. Be patient you don’t want to cook the egg yolks as you will then have to start all over.
Rinse sauce pan in cold water and place custard back in the sauce pan. Add nutmeg. Whisk the custard constantly, with a whisk or spoon, on low heat until the custard thickens. Make sure that you don’t cook the yolks. Also simmer the eggplants in the syrup for about 15 minutes making sure that each slice turns into a dark color. If the eggplants stay white, then with a fork submerge them. Remove from heat, cover and let rest over night.
The custard will be ready when it thickens and also when is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Strain custard in a bowl. I always like to strain my custards.
Cover custard with plastic wrap making sure that the plastic touches the custard. Once cool, place in the fridge and let rest over night.
When you are ready to freeze the custard, completely drain eggplant slices.
Add heavy cream to the custard and mix well.
Freeze custard in the ice cream maker.
In the mean time dice eggplant slices.
Add eggplant to custard just when it begins to freeze and take a solid shape. Place in an airtight container for at least 20 minutes in the freezer before serving.
And there you have it! A delicious ice cream. I opted to let everything rest over night to allow the flavors to come together. I have found that this really adds more flavor to the ice cream. The custard has a nice nutmegy flavor while the eggplant pieces are sweet with a nice hint of cardamom.
This ice cream will really surprise you at how good it is!