Monday, March 3, 2008

Rosemary Honey Ice Cream, meet the Dinner Club. Howdoyoudo?

So last week I create what I personally thought was a brilliant, delicious, unique, adventurous, and high-brow Italian dessert for the weekly dinner club, this time hosted by moi. Creating this dessert was an interesting feat, because it was my first time to do many things. It was my first time using our new KitchenAid ice cream bowl, my first time using egg yolk to make a custard, and my first time combining sweet and savory flavors into a dessert. The recipe was an exciting culinary moment for me, and one that I expected to be met with kudos and dinner club acclaim.

Unfortunately, the dessert was not met with the enthusiasm I expected. Rather, the unveiling and first tastes went something like this:

Kate (proudly):
"Dinner club, I have a special guest I would like you to meet. Don't be shy, come on out. Rosemary Honey Ice Cream, I would like you to meet the Dinner Club."

Rosemary Honey Ice Cream:
"(friendly silence)" is only ice cream after all.

Dinner Club (aghast):
"This ice cream taste like... um, like... herbs? This ice cream tastes like ROSEMARY!?!?!?!"
(spoons hit the plate, not to return to mouths again)

Kate (a bit devastated):
"Yes, that is why it is called Rosemary Honey Ice Cream. Don't you like it?"

Dinner Club (averting eye contact):

The silent verdict was actually a loud vote of "no" on the Rosemary Honey Ice Cream. In fact, a number of the diners did not even eat their ice cream beyond the first bite. I was sorely dissapointed. I expected the adventure of a sweet and savory ice cream to be met with greater enthusiasm and perhaps a token bit of gushing compliments. While the response was at best disappointingly, Sam and I covered our hurt feelings by eating their portions of the melting ice cream straight off of their plates to prevent any waste of the precious frozen concoction.

I am resassuring myself that the disappointing response to the recipe is more reflective of the mood of the diners that evening, and not necessarily a reflecting on my menu. After all, we prepared a Gorgonzola and wild greens salad with homemade vinaigrette, wild mushroom and Italian sausage risotto (honestly one of the best things I have EVER put in my mouth, ever), and finally polenta cake with the aforementioned rosemary ice cream. I mean, I know it's not your usual "Italian" dinner of spaghetti and store bought meat sauce, but if wild mushroom risotto and rosemary ice cream doesn't make your inner mama mia salivate, then you must not care for good ol' fashioned Italian food.

Salute! to you delicious custard ice cream.



  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 32 to 42 rosemary sprigs
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar


In heavy saucepan combine the cream, half and half, and the rosemary. Bring mixture just to a boil and remove the pan from heat. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, honey, and sugar. Add the cream mixture in a stream, whisking, and pour the mixture back into pan. Cook the custard over moderately low heat, stirring until it registers 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Strain through a fine sieve set over another bowl and let cool completely.

Freeze the custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's direction.

Makes about 1-1/2 quarts

Recipe Source: Charlie Trotter's Restaurant, Chicago, Illinois


Unknown said...

I both enjoyed and ate my rosemary ice cream. It was delicious :-)

I thought it was odd too, though, when the others commented that it tasted like herbs... she said it's rosemary ice cream, I'd be shocked if it didn't taste like herbs.

Oh well. Excellent job Kate!

Katy G. said...

Oh, Kate. You can make rosemary honey ice cream for me anytime!!! I promise to lavish you with praise and adoration. :)