Buddha’s Hand and Lemon Verbena Ice-Cream-Fall

citron, buddha's hand, nasturtium, mint, candied fruit, lemon verbena

Buddha's Hand and Lemon Verbena Ice-Cream
Buddha’s Hand is a in the citron family and is available in the winter. The flavor is complex a little like lemon with a hint of lime and there is no bitterness. This seems strange since it is all skin and pith. I use the "fingers" to infuse creams, vodka and syrups, buerre blanc, marmalade, “buddhacello” and salad dressing. The Chinese adore it for its fragrance and use it as an amulet to bring prosperity.

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups whole organic milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 fingers from a Buddha’s Hand fruit (don't peel), cut into chunks
10 lemon verbena leaves
1 cup sugar
6 organic egg yolks, from large eggs
1 cup organic heavy cream
Pinch of kosher salt

1. Place milk in a 2-cup glass measure. Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean and place the scrapings along with the pod into the milk, add the "fingers" and lemon verbena leaves. Microwave 2-3 minutes until hot. Cover and let the flavors infuse with into the milk for 10 minutes.

2. Off the heat in a heavy-bottom enameled pan (such as Le Crueset), whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until the yolks turn pale yellow and are fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk, to temper the eggs and mix well with a whisk. Gradually whisk in the rest of the milk along with the Buddha "fingers", lemon verbena, vanilla pod and salt. Change to a wooden spoon stir constantly over medium heat, and cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon (175F). Do not let the mixture boil. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a metal bowl.

3. Stir in the heavy cream and chill until 50F or colder by placing the bowl with the mixture into an ice and water bath, and stirring the ice cream constantly until it is very cold about 50F.

4. Place in an ice-cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions until it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Keeps 2 weeks in the freezer.

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie