March 17, 2016

Mascarpone Vanilla Ice Cream

More adventures in inspired re-purposing, which seems like the appropriate term when reducing waste is really about making the most delicious thing I can. Truthfully, there are some foods that have almost no chance of going to waste in our kitchen. Others must be carefully monitored and kept front and center so they will not stay in there long past their prime, but mascarpone, ricotta, or just plain cream will always be put to good use. And, when I say good use, I mean that I will probably  choose the most appealing option of the moment. Leftover ricotta will become gnocchi or orange ricotta cake. Cream must be whipped and eaten as soon as possible (or maybe, made into creme fraiche). Since I tend toward indulgent recipes for these spare amounts, it is probably good that these things are in our kitchen only occasionally and mascarpone may be the rarest of all. I made some mascarpone butter to put on french toast for brunch and before that I was over, I had a plan to make ice cream with the rest of it. 

It might seem silly that in using up one thing, I need more of other ingredients but this is one reason why I love the challenge of using up what you already have -- it doesn't have to be completely practical or boring. The mascarpone gives this ice cream a subtle, but welcome tang. I think substituting creme fraiche or greek yogurt would do the trick nicely as well. And if you are concerned about what to do with the leftover egg whites, look no further: these cookies are amazing.

Mascarpone Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from this recipe. I enjoyed this ice cream on its own, but it goes very well with chocolate, caramel or berry sauce. Makes about 1 quart of ice cream.

2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 pinch salt
4 egg yolks
1 cup mascarpone

Bring the milk and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla bean seeds and salt. Whisk together the eggs and slowly add 1/2-3/4 cup of the hot milk to the eggs while whisking constantly. Return the pot of milk to the stove over medium low heat. Slowly pour in the egg mixture and continue to whisk. Once it is all incorporated, stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens enough to coat the spatula. Remove from heat, pour through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in the mascarpone and refrigerate until completely chilled. Freeze in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturers instructions.

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