Sunday, March 13, 2011

Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream

When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I got my first job.  Illegal, I know.  My mom was the manager for the local farmer's market.  I would go with her to the Wednesday night farmer's market (left school early!).  At first, I just went for fun.  I'd run errands for people or just help the different vender's with various things.  Or played with another one of the younger girls.  

At one point, one of the farmers, Gene, asked me to work for him behind the stand.  Gene's Green Thumb.  He sold all sorts of veggies, apples, and honey.  And, at first, he paid me in honey sticks.  I LOVED honey sticks.  They are just honey.  In a stick.  After enough work, I was well stocked with honey and he had to supplement the payment with real cash.  

Growing up on Gene's honey sticks, I always laughed at the sight of "flavored" honey sticks, I would see at touristy places.  Why would you need to flavor honey?  It is perfect just the way it is.  Especially the honey from Gene's farm.  Although, the color would vary because the bees would get the nectar from a variety of plants on the farm, my favorite was always the lighter honeys.  I am no expert on which plant makes the darker or lighter honeys, but all I know is what I like.  

I ended up working for Gene, off and on, in the summers, for about 9 some years.  It is the best job I have ever had.  I usually worked at the stand, selling produce.  My teenage self giving people advice on how to prepare the different produce.  Which apple to use for what.  "Don't feed honey to your baby."  "Yeah, that is how brussels sprouts really grow."

So, honey brings me back.  I love (and often prefer) any dessert with honey in it.  When I saw this honey-cinnamon ice cream recipe in my awesome new cookbook, flour, it was like a match made in heaven.  Cinnamon ice cream is MY ice cream of choice.  Sweeten it with honey instead of sugar?  Please.  She mentions that honey often contributes to a exceptionally smooth ice cream and I agree.  And have you ever eaten like 10 honey sticks in a row?  No?  Weird.  Well, if you do, you get this kind of coating in the back of your throat.  In fact, your entire mouth has a similar feeling.  It is great.  This is what happens while eating this ice cream, as well.  I haven't had that feeling since I used to eat 10 honey sticks in a row.  And I love it.  

Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream
from flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson

2 cups (480 grams) milk
2 cups (480 grams) heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches long
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup (255 grams) honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Break up the cinnamon stick into several pieces and toss them into the pan. Scald the milk mixture over medium-high heat (bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, but the liquid is not boiling). Remove from the heat and let the cinnamon steep in the milk mixture for about 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, and then slowly whisk in the honey, sugar, and ground cinnamon until combined. Return the milk mixture to medium-high heat and scald again. Slowly add the hot milk mixture to the egghoney
mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly. When all of the hot milk mixture has been incorporated, return the contents of the bowl to the saucepan, and return the saucepan to medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. The mixture will seem watery at first, then it will start to steam, and then it will start to develop a little body and get thicker. Remove from the heat and immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve into an airtight container. Whisk in the salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until cold, or up to overnight.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. When the ice cream has finished churning, freeze it for at least 2 hours to allow it to ripen. During the ripening process, the ice cream becomes harder and smoother and the flavors more fully develop. The ice cream can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.

(Servings: 1 1/4 qts, Prep time: 1 hrs., In active prep time: 5 hrs., Chill time: 30 min., Difficulty: Intermediate)

foodforscot Ratings:  

Shanon (taste):  8/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Effort:  3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5


  1. I am going to attempt to make this ice cream. Gene's honey sticks are the best. Cindy and I went to the home show last weekend and she got honey sticks from one of the vendors and they weren't as good as Gene's. I am looking forward to the Farmers Market opening in May and I am going to it more this year - it's my goal, so I can make more of your recipes.

  2. I've become quite the honey lover myself and the combination of that with cinnamon sounds just wonderful! Loving this ice cream.

    I think working at a Farmer's Market would be my ULTIMATE job. Would make me SO happy.

  3. Haha love this post. Remember when Gene would give me honey sticks like every week? And remember how you made him pay me in all 1's because you thought I would like it better? Yeah. Haha. And speaking of honey sticks, what happened to them? Did you eat them, Mom????