Endless Ice Cream: Toasted Brown Rice
I have had the joy of working in a coffee shop for almost 11 out of the last 12 years. One of the many, many highlights of this job is the sheer number of teas and coffees I have been privileged enough to taste along the way. A steadfast favorite tea is The Republic of Tea’s Tea of Inquiry. It’s a classic genmaicha, green tea with toasted rice. The depth and warmth the toasted rice lends to the tea is what made me fall so quickly in love with it. After going through several tins I decided to try my hand at toasted rice and mixing it with different types of tea. Oolong, black, white, pu-erh — all have been made better with a small handful of toasty brown rice.
The last time a brewed a cup, I wondered how toasted brown rice would fare in ice cream form. My first instinct was to steep the rice with tea leaves for an ice cream take on genmaicha, but I have a handful of other tea-themed ice creams already up my sleeve. So I decided to pair it with the sweet molasses flavor of brown sugar. The results were beyond my expectations. Dark, toasty, creamy and sweet, this ice cream has a subtle depth that keeps your spoon going back for more.
Toasted Brown Rice Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
- 6 Tbs/80g brown rice
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup/180g brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 egg yolks
- Toast the brown rice: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Toss in the rice and shake the pan so it forms an even layer. Keep over medium heat for several minutes, stirring and redistributing the rice occasionally, until the rice is dark brown and fragrant. If any of the rice burns, throw it out and start over again, over slightly lower heat.
- In a medium saucepan, dissolve the salt and sugar in the milk and 1 cup of the cream over medium heat. Stir in the rice. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.
- Set up your ice bath: Throw a couple of handfuls of ice and a couple cups of cold tap water into a large bowl. Place a medium-sized bowl over the ice and set a mesh strainer on top. Put the remaining cup of cream into the medium-sized bowl.
- Re-warm the milk/rice mixture over medium heat. Very slowly drizzle the warmed mixture into the egg yolks, whisking furiously so as not make scrambled eggs of it all. Return the egg/milk/rice mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom constantly until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
- Pour the custard base through the sieve and into the chilled cup of cream. Discard the rice and eggy bits remaining in the sieve. Stir the mixture over the ice bath until cool. Cover and chill in the fridge 2 hours or overnight. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Store in a shallow container, covered with plastic wrap and an airtight lid. Keeps frozen for up to 2 months.