Within minutes of polishing off the last of our stupendously good homemade coffee ice cream, my wife and I were back to pouring through Jeni Britton Bauer's Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook for another inspired recipe of hers to try. I fell hard for the "Salted Caramel", while my wife was drawn to the "Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Cherries".
Guess which one we made?
Well….neither actually, because what intrigued my wife most about her choice was the concept of a "cheesecakey" ice cream more than the thought of a cherry flavored one, so we used this recipe as a jumping off point for something entirely new. After a few minutes of noodling on the cheese based idea she proclaimed that what she REALLY wanted was an ice cream version of a key lime cheesecake. Sadly, Jeni doesn't have a key lime ice cream in her book so we were relegated to doing a little internet research, ultimately pulling inspiration from a few spots and reworking parts of a couple of recipes to work within Jeni's standard method for crafting homemade frozen perfection.
The end result was nothing short of outstanding (if I do say so myself) and everything my wife was looking for. We made it with regular old lime juice because we didn't have any key lime juice handy, but if you've got some feel free to go that route. The ice cream is impossibly smooth, bright with the pucker of lime juice, and made irresistible by the creamy tang of the goat cheese. The addition of the candied lime zest, my wife's idea, is key…..you may be tempted to skip this step but don't, you'll be sorry if you do.
We served ours up with some crumbled graham crackers over the top for a little crunch and as a nod to a graham cracker cheesecake crust, but it's delicious naked as well.
I think Jeni would be proud.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- zest of 4 limes
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 4 limes worth
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- roughly chopped graham crackers for topping (optional)
- Zest 4 limes with a zester and place the zest in a small saucepan. Juice the limes, measure out 1/2 cup of the juice and add it to the pot with the zest along with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Heat over a low-medium flame, stirring until the sugar is completely melted. Remove from the heat and pour the syrup through a fine meshed sieve into a small bowl to remove the zests. Place the zests on a paper towel to cool and dry slightly, then toss them in a bowl with the superfine sugar and toss to coat. remove from the sugar, shaking off any excess, finely mince and reserve.
- Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
- Whisk the cream cheese, the goat cheese and the salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water
- Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot cream mixture into the cream and goat cheese mix until smooth. Add the lime syrup and pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- When fully chilled, pour the ice cream base into your ice cream machine and process per the manufacturers instructions. Add the minced lime zest just before the ice cream is done churning, then pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.