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This recipe is part of the “Celebratory Goose Dinner” miniseries. For the complete menu, timetable, and printable shopping list, see the introductory post.

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THIS. It certainly wasn’t the most difficult recipe I made for the meal, but I’m pretty sure it overshadowed all the other food we ate that night. It most certainly overshadowed the apple crostata, which is a recipe I hold in high regard in and of itself. Frankly, this ice cream is downright amazing. The brown butter and brown sugar give what, at first glance, should be a fairly simple ice cream a complexity of taste beyond its humble ingredient list. Think cake batter ice cream meets caramel ice cream meets vanilla bean ice cream. Creamy ice cream. If you make just one recipe out of this menu, this is the one.

This is the final recipe in the goose dinner miniseries — I hope you enjoyed your meal!

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Brown Butter Ice Cream
adapted from Heather Christo Cooks (great recipes on this site — check it out)

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2½ cups heavy cream
  •  ½ cup whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  ½ vanilla bean

Melt the butter in a frying pan and continue cooking it over low heat until the butter browns and small dark brown bits accumulate in the bottom of the pan, stirring regularly. Mix the cream, milk and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Using a paring knife, make a slit down the long side of the vanilla bean half, and open to reveal the seeds inside. Carefully scrape the seeds into the saucepan with your paring knife (video here), then toss the empty pod into the saucepan as well. Bring cream mixture to a simmer.

In a stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the egg yolks, brown sugar, and salt until fluffy. Whisk in the brown butter a little bit at a time; then slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Return the mixture to the sauce pan and cook over low heat until mixture thickens and forms a custard (it should coat the back of a wooden spoon). Pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled (or overnight in my case).

Run custard through your ice cream maker according to your user’s manual. Remove to a freezer-safe container and freeze until hardened, 4 hours or more.

Tips from The Hungry Crafter:

  • If you’ve never browned butter before, don’t let that intimidate you — neither had I. I was afraid of burning it, so I didn’t brown it as much as I could have (see previous pic), but the depth of flavor that my amber butter imparted was astounding nonetheless. Do use a heavy pan, though — my enameled cast iron worked brilliantly. 
  • The original recipe called for vanilla bean paste, but not having any on hand, I substituted a combination of vanilla extract and whole vanilla bean. Potentially a bit fussier my way, but anything that avoids another trip to the store is the unfussy path in my world.
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This crafter sure has been hungry! My poor computer is overflowing with photos of food, so I thought that I ought to just share some en masse. So, here goes: my summer, in food pictures:

First we have the ever delicious rice & chickpea salad from Sofra (available at the Siena Farms market stand). Must get more for lunch today as soon as I finish this post. Edit: only made it halfway through the post before running down to the farmer’s market to get some. The best part of this salad is that they play around with it a bit week to week. This week — no basil, yes broccoli!

Ah, memories… Fava bean season is long gone, of course, but at least I can reminisce about these beautiful beans sauteed in butter over toast with Ombra cheese on top. Sigh.

This here (Well, yes, it’s chocolate. Obviously.) is a base for a chocolate peanut butter ice cream I made for fourth of July. It turned out to be a disaster, actually, but tasted good nonetheless. It had the consistency of frozen fudge. Yes, I ate it anyway. With my fingers. Wouldn’t you?

On the far more successful side was this vanilla bean ice cream, midway through churning in the photo. Very very yummy. Recipe from David Lebovitz (the guru of all things ice cream). Topped it off with the salted caramel from Formaggio — amazing!

On another indulgent evening, I was craving some good old fashioned meat and potatoes, summer style. Enter steak tips, roasted red bliss potatoes with fresh herbs, and of course, some fresh corn on the cob.

And that’s just scratching the surface of my summer in food! My computer needs a break now, though. And so do I. Because I’m suddenly very hungry. Again.

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