Honey Thyme Ice Cream, And A Countdown

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Christiana George
Christiana Georgehttps://www.thetarttart.com/
Welcome to The Tart Tart, my not-so-tart take on food, writing, and photography. I decided to start up this sucker after repeated nagging from Chris, my fiance, who cannot understand why the sight of a farmer’s market would send me into ecstatic convulsions (okay, total overstatement. I can be quite the histrionic at times). With that said, my interests, though chiefly in food, also span fashion, design, literature, and photography. So don’t mind the seemingly non sequitur odds and ends I toss in posts at times.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll have noticed that the activity on my Wedding board has increased lately (mostly because it used to consist of nothing). Bouquets, dresses, venues, they’re kind of the topic du jourDu année is more like it. Chris and I are supposedly getting married next summer.

I would understand if nobody believed us. After all, ‘we’re getting married… soon’ is becoming something of a party line, a slogan of sorts. It’s good for when our moms call, or when our friends inquire—although I have noticed that the asking of the question has trailed off as of late. See, nobody believes us anymore.

Though we got engaged last summer, we decided to postpone our wedding by a year because we knew that 2012 was going to be extremely tumultuous: we both quit our jobs, went on an extended backpacking trip, then moved across the country. Who has time for wedding planning among all of that action?

Anyway, we’ve agreed to start planning in September, a prospect I’m not really looking forward to. All the details and the spreadsheets (I’m a Type-A wannabe), the tracking of said details, the eventual arrival at the point where I realize I can’t stop thinking about the details. And there will be lists, and the honing of lists, and the further honing of lists. Finally, the horrifying realization that we’re probably going to spend more on this one day than the two of us did during the whole four months that we spent backpacking through South America. Times two. Or three. I won’t let it reach three, I promise.

Below is one last ice cream recipe to mark our loss of innocence. Before we become initiated to the world of on-site versus off-site catering, sweetheart versus wedding party table, sleek versus poofy (dress, of course), signature cocktail versus open bar, and much, much more. All to come, my friends, all to come… (don’t worry, I promise I won’t inundate you with wedding details.)

Or maybe this recipe just marks the end of the summer months, and a successful conclusion to our very first summer in New York City.

Thyme in a Bowl

I love the interplay of sweet and savory and this ice cream is both subtle and satisfying. I can’t decide if the thyme amplifies the honey or the honey amplifies the thyme, but it has a very distinct flavor I enjoy very much. Honey ice cream on its own tastes so pure to me: it loses its super-concentrated sweetness, and becomes creamy and floral and light. Thyme is by no means heavy-tasting, but it adds just that touch of… darkness, moodiness, a slightly off-kilter note that’s therefore more complex. An olfactory play on chiarascuro?

Here’s to the end of August, and the beginning of a countdown. 12 months, 11, 10….until I get hitched!

Honey Thyme Ice Cream

HONEY THYME ICE CREAM
From The New York Times
Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 large sprigs fresh thyme
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup honey

Directions:
Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and add the thyme. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain and return the mixture to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly pour in the cream mixture a little bit at a time, whisking constantly. After adding a cup, whisk in the honey and add the rest of the cream. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, cook over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cool, then refrigerate until cold, 2 hours to overnight. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: The type of honey you use probably matters very much because there are so few ingredients. Mine was light, kind of a general all-purpose honey. I wonder if the buckwheat honey I tried at the farmer’s market, which was a little too bitter for everyday use, might not work well in this recipe? Also, this ice cream melts quickly. Maybe the honey’s chemical composition lowers the frozen custard’s freezing point? I’m not sure, but if serving to a group, you might want to pass out the bowls as you scoop.

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