A few weeks ago in Germany, I found myself on my bicycle every day just to work off the jet lag. Since our place is near the Dutch border, there was the inevitable wandering over it.
Biking the back roads around the Rur river, I came upon this darling little house in Holland with a table in front selling fresh red currants and jam. There was a jar to put money in. I love the honor system.
So I snagged a box of these red jewels and pedaled home to make ice cream to serve at the final family barbecue of our trip home.
We have a ton of Melisse (Lemon Balm in English) in the garden. It's a mint herb with a very strong lemon flavor.
I plucked a handful, chopped it up and infused it into the custard cream. While in the final mixing phase of the ice cream, I added the fresh currants.
The result was studded with the tartness of the currants and the refreshing sting of the lemon balm. Potentially, a lot going on for the taste buds but wrapped in creamy custard, the flavor mellowed out like a lazy summer afternoon.
The result was fantastic. A perfect summer ice cream. The memory of bright summer bike rides of German home lingering on my tongue with every spoonful.
Red Currant Lemon Balm Ice Cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 +1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh lemon balm
- 2 cups fresh red currants rinsed and plucked off the stem
- Whisk the egg yolks together in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
- Heat the cream, milk and sugar together in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- When mixture starts to become warm stir in the lemon balm.
- Remove mixture just before boiling and slowly pour into the egg yolks whisking constantly.
- Cover and set side for at least 1 hour.
- Heat mixture until it thickens, pour back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap so the wrap is touching the mixture and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
- Remove the plastic wrap, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- When ice cream reaches soft serve consistency, add in the red currants.
- Place in a freezer proof container, secure a cover on the container and place in the freezer for a few hours or until ready to serve.