We first came across this ice cream on the cobblestone streets of Antigua, Guatemala. Without knowing it, we had sampled a bite of corn ice cream amongst a series of other flavors. However, it was this sample that caused us pause. At the time, we felt like our taste buds were playing tricks on us. Surely we could recognize a familiar taste but somehow couldn't place our finger on the main ingredient. We were both shocked and amused to discover the mystery flavor was helado de maiz. Corn? Really? Well, we supposed it was one way to get your kids to consume more vegetables. Since then we need only one bite of this stuff to transport us back in time to a place we hold dear to our hearts. After testing and tweaking several recipes out there trying to recreate this unusually delightful dish at home, this is the one that finally stuck and made its way into the Official Little Red Bike Recipe Book (a shoddy blue binder stuffed behind an electrical PVC pipe by the kitchen window). Please enjoy.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream Recipe
recipe tweaked and adapted from Claudia Fleming, Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY.
4 ears fresh corn, shucked
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
10 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1. Remove the kernels off the corn cobs and place in a large saucepan. Break the cobs into halves and add them to the pot along with the milk, 2 cups of cream, and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, then turn off the heat. Let mixture infuse for 1 hour.
2. After an hour remove the cobs from the mixture and using an immersion mixer or a blender, puree until the corn kernels are all broken up.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Slowly bring the corn mixture back to a simmer. Add a cup of the hot corn mixture to the yolks to temper, then add the yolk mixture to the saucepan stirring constantly. Cook over medium-low heat, continuing to stir until the custard thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon, or reaches 170 degrees.
4. Pass the custard through a fine sieve, pressing down hard on the pulp and solids, discard solids. Add the remaining cup of cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Allow the custard cool, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.