***BTW, don't eat whole cardamom pods and don't serve the ice cream with pods as a garnish like photographed above. It would be nasty to bite into a cardamom pod. I did it because I wanted to be an angsty artist who didn't do logical things and only followed the beauty and my gut, you know what I mean? It's ok, neither do I.***
If you're not familiar with cardamom this dessert is a great introduction to the spice and if you already know and love cardamom then I don't really need to say anything. Just scroll down to the recipe card and make it happen.
To make an ice cream base, that you can flavor any way you like, all you need are a few pantry staples:
Milk, cream, eggs and sugar.
As long as you have these things, you have ice cream!
Add some cardamom and you have some serious gourmet shit. (If you get that reference, comment below and I will have found my spirit animal in you.)
You need about 8-10 whole green cardamom pods, crushed so that the inner seeds are released because that's where most of the flavor is.
Add the cardamom pods to a pot with milk and cream and place it on medium/low heat.
You want the dairy mixture to scald, not boil.
So keep an eye on it and take it off the heat when it looks like it's about to start boiling.
While the dairy mix heats up, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale and ribbony.
At this point, your dairy mix should be hot enough.
Place the two mixtures side by side and grab a small ladle.
You want to combine the two but you want to make sure the egg yolks don't get too hot too soon, so you have to "temper" them.
Basically, slowly add about 1/3 of the hot dairy mix into the egg and sugar mixture a ladle-full at a time. Make sure you are constantly whisking to combine and cool down the mixture.
Once about 1/3 of the dairy mix has been added to the egg mixture, add the egg mixture back to the dairy mix in the pot.
Place the pot back on low heat.
As you can see in the photo above, the mixture becomes quite foamy from all the whisking, as you heat the mixture the foam will subside and the mixture will thicken.
Make sure to stir the mixture constantly to prevent the eggs from overcooking. The bottom and edges of the pot are the hottest and will be the first indicators of weather the pot is getting too hot so keep scraping them with a spatula as you stir. If you see egg starting to coagulate take the pot off the heat and keep stirring to cool down.
If you scramble the eggs then you kind of fucked up, but you can do a restaurant trick and blend the mixture in a blender and then strain it and try to forget what just happened.
Also, at this point add some ground cardamom if you want to enhance the flavor and give the illusion of vanilla bean specs, which I find quite whimsical. I also find that saying whimsical makes me feel like I am a better version of myself; which is a person who says things like whimsical and irons their laundry and washes the dishes right away instead of letting them soak for a little bit (i.e. overnight).
(Also, I added about two times more cardamom than is shown below)
You will know the ice cream base has cooked enough when the foam has dissipated and it coats the back of a spoon and holds a line made with your finger.
Once thickened, strain the ice cream base.
Make sure not to wake up your sleeping husky.
Also make sure to chill your mixture before churning, preferably overnight.
Cover with plastic directly on the mixture to prevent a milk-skin from forming.
Once chilled completely, churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
If you don't have an ice cream machine I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but making ice cream ain't one.
That was douchey but I couldn't resist.
You could always get some ice, salt and a bucket and do it the old school way.
Grandma didn't need an ice cream maker now, did she?
Yummyyyyy ... at this stage it's like soft serve ice cream, which is always a pleasure and a delight, thank you.
To set it like regular ice cream that you buy from the grocery store, freeze it overnight.
The next morning it should look like this:
Add hot coffee or chai for an insanely good affogato!
Google affogato if you don't know what I'm talking about.
You're welcome, in advance.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
8 egg yolks
8-10 whole green cardamom pods
1/2-1 tsp of ground cardamom (depending on how strong you want the cardamom flavor)
pinch of salt
Crush cardamom pods to release the seeds inside, add the crushed pods and seeds to a pot with the milk and cream and place on medium heat until scalding (or just about to boil). Don't let it come to a boil.
While the dairy mix heats up, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until they are combined and the mixture is pale yellow and creamy.
Once the dairy mix is heated up, remove from heat and slowly add a small ladle-full of the hot dairy mixture into the egg and sugar mixture while whisking it constantly, do that a few times until the egg and sugar mixture is warm/hot to the touch.
Then add the sugar and egg mixture to the remaining dairy mix in the pot and return it to low/medium heat.
Add the cardamom powder to taste and using a spatula, slowly stir the mixture on low/medium heat until it thickens, do not turn the heat too high or the eggs may curdle. Scrape the bottom and sides most often because those are the hottest parts of the pot, if you see the egg almost starting to scramble, remove from heat immediately and stir rapidly to cool down, then resume until thickened.
Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line made with you finger (refer to photos in post), it is ready to cool.
Pour the ice cream base in a container and cover with plastic wrap directly on the ice cream base to prevent a milk skin from forming.
Chill in the fridge over night for best results.
The next day churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions and freeze to set.
Once the ice cream has set (a few hours or overnight for best results), scoop into a bowl and enjoy!