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Clementine Sassafras Ice Cream

This recipe was inspired by Wildman Steve Brill, who has a foraged, vegan version in his Wild Vegetarian Cookbook. The Wildman uses cashews for their creamy texture and actual sassafras roots foraged from city parks for their vivid flavor, but our civilized ovo-lacto interpretation can be made with ingredients actually purchased in stores.

It’s clementine season again, and our apartment is never without a big wooden bowl full of clementines in the middle of the dining room table. I get my sassafras extract at New York Cake Supplies, though you can easily order it online or find it in other gourmet food stores.

This ice cream tastes like melted sunlight. (Sunlight qua frozen hot chocolate, perhaps?) It has all those wonderful bright citrus notes – though maybe I’m a bit overexcited, given what a clementine addict I become every winter. And sassafras is one of the key ingredients in root beer, and it tastes like root beer without all the distractions getting in the way.

In other news, we got some press by winning the savory category of the First Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off with our muffin-sized individual saffron duck pot pies. Thank you to everyone who came out to eat and compete!

There was a big crowd with about 40 pies on the table, and we had a great time tasting as many as we could and hanging out with other food bloggers and pie enthusiasts. With such a great start, I’m awfully tempted to compete in more cook-offs from now on!

2008: Pork & Sundried Tomato Cappelletti with Pomegranate Walnut Sauce
2007: Cubed Radish Kimchi
2006: Kabocha Beef Tagine with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon

Clementine Sassafras Ice Cream
2 C heavy cream
1 C wholemilk
Juice of 3 clementines
Zest of 6 clementines (just eat the rest!)
6 large egg yolks
3/4 C granulated sugar
1/8 tsp sassafras extract
1/4 c candied clementine rind (optional)
A bit of citric acid to taste (optional)

In a medium saucepan, stir the cream, juice, and zest together with half of the sugar, reserving the other 3/8 C sugar for later.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the other 3/8 C sugar until thoroughly combined.

Bring the cream mixture to a simmer, then remove it from the heat and slowly pour it into egg yolks, whisking constantly.

Pour the mix back into the saucepan and bring to 180 degrees F, stirring constantly. When it hits the right temperature, remove it from the heat and strain into medium bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water.

Stir until it cools to 120 degrees F.

Stir in the sassafras extract. Add the candied clementine and citric acid to taste (optional).

Chill and freeze churn according to your cream maker’s instructions.

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3 Responses to “Clementine Sassafras Ice Cream”

  1. Thanks for the mention of my book and link to my site. However, if people get my book from Amazon, Amazon, the publisher, and middleman get every penny of the money for a book that took decades or work to create.

    I sign books people buy on my site, wildmanstevebrill.com. And if I ever eat a poisonous plant and die, the signed book will become very valuable!

  2. wow, look at that, I’m already drooling, I got this sweet tooth, u are just killing me

  3. [...] I love his hikes through NYC parks, where he teaches us how to identify edible and medicinal plants around the city. I love his beautiful artwork, which is all through his cookbooks and now the app. And I love his recipes (even when I adapt them to suit my ovo-lacto palate). [...]

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