It must be a very robust citrus season in Southern California this year. After making Cranberry Orange Cardamom Scones and Vanilla Orange Marmalade, I’m still looking for ways to use up oranges (in addition to snacking on them all the time). The candied orange peels were a fun way to top a bowl of ice cream, and a tasty snack on their own. Homemade ice cream isn’t too difficult, but it does require planning and patience. The ice cream base has to cool for at least four hours before churning, so I try to plan on making the base the night before I plan on churning the ice cream. After churning, the ice cream has to freeze for an additional four hours, so it’s best to start the process two days before you want to serve your ice cream. Keeping everything super cold is the best way to get the best texture.
Orange Cardamom Ice Cream with Candied Orange Peels
Recipe from “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz
1 Tbsp cardamom seeds, crushed
1 1/2 c whole milk
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 c sugar
6 large egg yolks
Heat the milk, 1/2 c of the cream, and sugar with the crushed cardamom seeds in a medium saucepan. Zest the oranges directly into the saucepan. Once warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Rewarm the cardamom infused mixture. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
CANDIED ORANGE PEELS
4 oranges, lemons or grapefruit
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
pinch of salt
With a vegetable peeler, remove strips of peel 1 inch wide from the fruit, cutting lengthwise down the fruit. Remove just the colorful outer peel, leaving behind the bitter white pith. Using a very sharp knife, slice the peel lengthwise into very thin strips no wider than a toothpick.
Put the strips of peel in a small, non-reactive saucepan, add enough water to cover them by a few inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain the peel, and rinse with fresh water.
Combine the 2 cups water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in the saucepan. Fit the pan with a candy thermometer and bring to a boil. Add the blanched peel, reduce the heat, and cook at a very low boil for about 25 minutes, until the thermometer reads 230 F. Turn off the heat and let the peel cool in the syrup. Once cool, lift the peel out of the syrup with a fork, and serve atop ice cream. Or eat as a snack!
Store the peel in the syrup.