We made it through Thanksgiving! I never doubted us for a second. Give me a holiday where all that is expected of me is to eat like I’m about to hibernate in the tundra with nothing but my wits and a wild caribou named Bertha at my side (partially true), and perhaps make a pie, and I will dominate that holiday. I have a feeling you’re the same way.
Maybe you didn’t come home and immediately make ice cream, though. I had no reason to, other than that this idea has been sitting in my brain forever and it just needs to get out. Fly like a little baby bird into the Internet, sherry cobbler ice cream! You’re free!
A sherry cobbler, if you are not familiar, is a classic old-school drink consisting of sherry, sugar, a little orange slice, and a lot of crushed ice. It may be tall and frosty, but the nutty, rich sherry and citrus combination makes for some fine fall/winter drinking.
As for how to turn it into an ice cream, well. Let’s chat! My favorite boozy ice cream tip is a little something I like to call the three R’s: Reduce, Reduce, Reduce. Too much liquid will mess with your texture and make your ice cream icy; that’s not so great. That, above, is a full 1/2 cup of delicious oloroso sherry, down to about 1/4 cup.
And because there are at least two edible/potable things named “cobbler,” I smooshed them together because nonsense like that makes me happy.
In this particular case, I did that with chunks of cobbler topping mixed in throughout the ice cream base. I always like texture in my ice cream, and while I was afraid the cobbler bits would be rock-hard and wholly unpleasant in there, the opposite was true. When frozen solid, they’re just sweet, buttery, and crunchy — in a good way. It’s an extra step, but it’s an easy one. I mean, what else would you do while your custard is chilling? It’s not like we can just forget that we have ice cream happening, so let’s just spend 20 minutes trying to make it a little better.
Now, let the madness of December begin. We are basically about to dive headfirst into a tub of butter and sugar and not come up for air until MLK Jr. Day, correct? I think I just answered my own question with this ice cream. Throw a little nip of sherry in there once in a while, and that’s my agenda for the next few weeks.
Happy weekend and the rest of the month to YOU sassy things. xo
- 1/2 cup oloroso sherry (this is important; you want the sweet, rich, nutty kind, not dry)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and orange zest. Mix in the butter until a dough forms. It will be crumbly, but it should still hold itself together when squeezed.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pat the dough into a rough disk about 1/2-inch thick on the sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. Let it cool before crumbling into bits.
- Bring the sherry to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes or so, until reduced by about half (I know this is a "duh," but keep a close eye on it in case of flare-ups. Probably won't happen at this ABV, but you never know).
- Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch until smooth and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream along with the sugar, corn syrup, orange zest, sherry reduction, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes, then stir in cornstarch mixture.
- Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into a small bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth, then whisk this into the rest of the milk mixture. Cover and chill thoroughly.
- When mixture is completely chilled, strain to get rid of the orange zest and churn ice cream according to manufacturer instructions, then fold in the cobbler chunks (there might be too much--reserve some for topping) and transfer to a storage container before freezing. Makes a quart.