Thursday, January 14, 2016

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Wild Hibiscus and Strawberry Swirl

When I first received the Wild Hibiscus Flower Extract from the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company, I started exploring what would pair with the hibiscus flavor. Goat cheese kept coming up in my searches...and then it hit me! Goat cheese ice cream with a wild hibiscus and strawberry swirl.

I first heard of goat cheese ice cream from a friend that was visiting a boutique ice creamery in Maine. Hearing about it, I was intrigued. I love goat cheese, and I love ice cream. Mix them together? Yes, please! This ice cream is all about the goat cheese. If you use a cheese with a bite to it, your ice cream will have that same bite. This is the time to go to your local farmer's market and buy a mild, fresh goat cheese. You will be happy that you did. In my search for a mild goat cheese, I discovered The Pure Luck Farm, who have been making award winning cheeses since 1998. Their goat cheese is a treat.

Let's talk about the extract. It's the end of strawberry season and they are looking pretty tired in the market. The taste is not much better than they look. It's pretty flat. Adding the Wild Hibiscus Flower Extract from The Wild Hibiscus Company brought out that bright, sweet, juicy, peak of summer, strawberry taste to the berries and made this jam outstanding. This recipe does not make a firm jam. However, the loose consistency is perfect for swirling into the ice cream. If you are not into goat cheese ice cream, just make the jam. Spread it on toast, top some vanilla ice cream with it, or eat it straight out of the jar. It's that good.

Wild Hibiscus and Strawberry Jam

by Tonda
Adapted from Love & Olive Oil's Strawberry Hibiscus Jam
Yields 3 half pint jars

1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 Tablespoons Wild Hibiscus Flower Extract
1 teaspoon butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Wash, hull and quarter the strawberries. Add the strawberries to a medium-sized bowl and toss with 3/4 cup of sugar. Cover and chill overnight to bring out the strawberry juices. Pour the berries, scraping out all of the yummy syrup and sugar from the bottom of the bowl, into a medium sized saucepan and add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, Wild Hibiscus Flower Extract, and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Turn the heat down to medium or medium-low to simmer until the jam reaches 220°F. Once the jam reaches 220°F, add the lemon juice and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Wild Hibiscus and Strawberry Swirl
by Tonda
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop

8 ounces fresh goat cheese (I used the fresh Chèvre from The Pure Luck Farm)
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Bourbon vanilla

Crumble the goat cheese into a bowl (that will eventually sit in an ice bath) and allow to come to room temperature. Add the egg yolks to a separate bowl and whisk. Prepare an ice bath. Set aside.

Warm the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. While stirring, warm until it just starts to bubble around the edges of the pan. Turn the heat down to low. Temper the eggs by slowly adding five tablespoons of the warmed milk/sugar mixture to the bowl. Whisk after each tablespoon addition. Slowly mix the egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk and sugar. Turn the heat up to medium-low to medium heat and constantly stir the mixture until it starts to thicken, approximately 5-7 minutes. It will just start to coat the back of your spatula.

Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it through a mesh strainer (to catch any bits of egg that started to cook) into the goat cheese. Add the vanilla to the goat cheese/milk/egg mixture. Stir until the goat cheese completely melts and is nice and smooth. Place the bowl over and ice bath and continue to stir until the mixture is cool. Cover the mixture, making sure that the plastic wrap touches the surface of the custard to avoid a film from forming. Place it in the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours, up to overnight.

Churn the custard in your ice cream machine according to the manufacture's specifications. Once done, add a few tablespoons of the jam to the container that you will store the ice cream in, and then add a layer of the ice cream. Continue to alternate the jam and ice cream while swirling the jam into the layer of ice cream below. Freeze until firm.


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