Arroz con leche (rice pudding) Ice cream

After raving in my last few ice cream posts about the recipes on the Ice Cream Ireland website, I decided to mix it up a little and try something new.  Whilst searching for ice cream recipes on the internet, I noticed that the vast majority of recipes on blogs was attributed to one man and one book, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. I decided to give it a try.

This man knows his ice cream.  The book is packed full with different and delicious recipes for ice creams, sorbets and gelato, as well as detailed information about different ice cream making techniques.  Each recipe is accompanied by ‘perfect parings’ such as mix-ins, sauces or serving suggestions.  There is also an excellent range of recipes for cones.

Arroz con leche (Spanish rice pudding) is very popular, and often seen on dessert menus in the North of Spain.  Unlike the English pudding, it is usually served cold and is generally made on the stove top-more like a sweet risotto than a baked pudding. I have wanted to make this ice cream flavour for some time, so when I saw that The Perfect Scoop featured a rice pudding gelato, this was obvious choice for my first recipe from the book.

The recipe involved making a traditional baked English pudding and therefore required some time, but the process itself is extremely simple as there is no call for making a custard.  The egg yolks and cream are simply mixed into the cooked pudding whilst still hot.   Half the pudding is blitzed in a food processor or blender, leaving just the right amount of whole rice pieces to give an excellent texture.   The ice cream was fantastic, creamy, with flavours of orange and cinnamon from the pudding.

The perfect pairing for this recipe was sour cherries with Grand Mariner, which sounded delicious.  However, as I had none of these ingredients in stock I went down the more British route and served it with a little heated strawberry jam. As David says, the ice cream is best straight from the ice cream maker, or allowed to defrost a little before serving so that the rice is not frozen too solid.

Rice Gelato (from David Lebovitzs’ The Perfect Scoop)

‘/2 cup Italian Arborio rice
3 cups  whole milk (i used skim and it worked fine!)
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
I vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise ( I used essence)
Two I·inch·wide (3-cm) strips of orange zest
5 large egg yolks
I cup cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

To make rice pudding:

  •  preheat the oven to175 °C.
  • In a 2-liter baking dish, stir together the rice, milk, 1/4 cup  of the sugar, and the salt.
  • Add the vanilla bean and strips of orange zest.
  • Cover the dish  with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil
  •  Stir in the remaining 1/ 2 cup  sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered, for another 30 minutes
  •  There should be a bout 2cm of milk covering the rice and rice should be completely cooked.
  • Remove the rice from oven,nd briskly whisk in the egg yolks all at once.
  • Then whisk in the cream and nutmeg.
  • Puree half of the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth, then stir it back into the cooked rice.
  • Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I also tried my hand at making ice cream cones, following another recipe from this book.  Unfortunately, I don’t think my oven was really hot enough and I didn’t roll the dough thin enough as they ended up more chewy that crispy.  Delicious, but not really like ice cream cones! I used a glass as a mould in my first attempt and the end of a rolling pin in the second, so they were never really going to be cone shaped.

David Lebovitzs’ Ice Cream Cones (also from The Perfect Scoop)
1/4 cup  egg whites (about 2 large egg whites)
7 tablespoons  sugar
1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2/3 cup  flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  • In a small mixing bowl, stir together the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Stir in the salt and half of the flour, then mix in the melted butter.
  • Beat in the rest of the flour until smooth.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper spread 2 level tablespoons of the batter into a circle 15cm across.
  • Put the baking sheet in the over and begin checking the cones after about 10minutes. They may take anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes.
  • The circles should be a deep golden brown . Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  • Loosen the edge of one disk with a spatula. Slide the spatula under the disk, flip it over, and immediately roll it around a cone·rolling form, or small coffee cup. You need to be quick as the cones firm up very quickly.  Return to the oven to soften slightly if it gets to firm to shape.
  • Let the cone cool slightly on the mold until it feels firm, then slide it off cool.
  • Repeat, using the remaining batter.

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