There are some flavors of ice cream that out should be considered addictive drugs rather than food.  Those flavors include pink bubble gum (I swear I’m an adult!), cookie dough, salted caramel and panforte.  Panforte is the newest addition to the addiction list, but possibly the most dangerous of them all!

First off, you haven’t tasted homemade ice cream, stop reading and go get yourself an ice cream maker (I’m biased towards Cuisinart ice cream makers). They’re cheap. Second, pick up a copy of David Lebovitz’s book The Perfect Scoop. It contains plenty of scrumptious ice cream recipes to keep you busy for years.

OK, ready? Now make this ice cream and you will be in heaven.  The creamy flavor has hints of eggnog spices without the chalky aftertaste. Add toasted almonds and candied citrus peel to bring in warmth and a hint of sweetness. Mmmm…

Move over pumpkin pie – this Thanksgiving I’ll be making Panforte Homemade Ice Cream!

Panforte Homemade Ice Cream adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop
Makes 1 quart

You will need:
~ 1 cup half and half
~ 1 cinnamon stick
~ ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
~ ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, you can find this at a spice shop
~ 2/3 cup sugar
~ 2 cup heavy cream
~ 4 large egg yolks
~ 3 tablespoons flavorful honey

Toasted Almonds:
~ ½ cup almonds, chopped (to chop place in a plastic baggy and go to town with a meat mallet!)

Candied Citrus Peel:
~ 1 large orange
~ ¼ cup sugar
~ pinch of salt

First, you will need an ice cream maker.  There are no ways around this.

In a medium saucepan, combine half and half, sugar, and spices (break the cinnamon stick in half).  Heat over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes (mixture should feel warm not hot).  Be careful to not burn half and half.  Remove the saucepan from heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Rewarm spice mixture over low heat.  While mixture is heating, in a medium sized bowl, whisk egg yolks.  Using a ladle, slowly pour the spice mixture into the egg yolks while whisking.  I find that a bowl with a rubber bottom works best so the bowl doesn’t rotate.  Also make sure to pour the spice mixture in slowly, otherwise you will end up with Panforte scrambled eggs!

Pour heavy cream into a large bowl and put a fine mesh strainer on top of the bowl.  With a spatula, scrape the egg spice mixture back into the saucepan.  Heat the mixture over medium heat and continuously stir with a spatula.   Make sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan as you stir.  Remove from heat once the mixture coats the back of the spatula.  Or if you have a digital thermometer once the temperature reaches 168°F (no more than 170°F).

Pour the egg mixture, now custard through the strainer and into the heavy cream.  Discard the cinnamon stick.  Place the custard in an ice bath and continuously stir.  Once slightly cool, add honey.

Chill mixture in the fridge overnight.  Then follow the instructions according to your ice cream maker.  Right before the ice cream is done churning, add almonds (recipe below) and citrus candy peel (recipe below).

Toasted Almonds:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spread smashed almonds onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool before using.

Candied Citrus Peel:

Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips of the orange peel (no white pith).  The strips should be about 1 inch long.  Cut the strips into small toothpick sized slices.

Add orange peel to a small saucepan and cover (just barely) with water.  Heat over medium-high heat until a boil is reached.  Then let simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain peel, rinse with cool water and set aside.

Add remaining ingredients to the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add orange peel.  Cook the peel mixture at a very low boil for about 25 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 230°F.  Remove from heat and let cool in pan.

Once cool, use a fork to pick out the orange peel and add it to the ice cream.