milk & honey (& pepper)

Sometimes we all go on an ingredient kick...right? Well, I obviously do, and my current ingredient happens to be goat's milk.  Pretty random, I know, but would you expect anything less from me? The goat's milk panna cotta was pretty poppin' - a delicious little savory custard if I do say so myself. And I freakin' love goat cheese. (Especially Ardith Mae - gimme gimme!) Beet green crostini with goat cheese? CHECK MATE!  Ok, I think you get the point.  Anyway, I haven't made my way into the cheese making realm - I'd like to get my own goats/pygmy goats first - so I took the next best route. Goat's milk ICE CREAM! And lawd was it delicious.  

Of course, earlier in the day (before deciding to make said ice cream), I phoned my mom to see if they made SMALL ice cream machines.  1QT is even too much for me, and we all know I have too many contraptions in my kitchen, with much too little space.  I then tried to do some research to see if our good inventors of Easy Bake Oven came up with something novel. Sidenote: Easy Bake Oven? Brilliant.  Just saying.  My mom internally proceeded to question my maturity, but instead stated aloud that a small child's ice cream maker would break too quickly.  I'll just have to SEE FOR MYSELF! (Baskin-Robbins made something - $15? Worth playing with.)

Unfortunately, I was left without any ice cream maker, adult supervision required or not, BUT also came across a brilliant little post from the BA Foodist. Make ice cream with two ziploc bags and some ice? I'm in like Flynn! 

Needless to say, this was fun and the results were refreshing and well worth the mental anguish.

Honey-Peppered Goat Milk Ice Cream with White Figs and Pistachios

For the ice cream:
2 cups goats milk
3 T good honey
~1 t fresh cracker black pepper
Pinch of salt

Well, this couldn't get much easier! I didn't go the route of full on ice cream making (creme anglais style, eggs, etc.), but instead decided to make some straight up frozen milk.  The fat solids in goat milk make this do-able so it doesn't just turn to shards of milk.  Instead, it comes out as a smooth, creamy sorbet-esque texture.  Anywho. Mix all ingredients together.  If you have an ice cream maker, follow the instructions and go from there. If you're like me, follow these steps! Combine the ingredients in a ziploc bag large enough to hold the mixture.  Place in the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes.

Now the fun part! Get another larger ziploc bag and fill that puppy with ice about halfway up.  Sprinkle over a tad bit of salt (remember science class?), and toss in your goat milk bag - make sure it's properly sealed! I am not sponsored by ziploc, but by all means, get those guys with colored seal so you KNOW it's closed! Nobody has time for spilled milk. 

With oven mitts on, start tossing and turning.  And keep tossing and turning. Watch a show, pretend it's a game of hot potato with your friends, whatever.  But keep tossing! Keep it up at least 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened a bit. Toss the ice cream back (not the ice bag!) back in the freezer, and squish it around every ten or so minutes until thick enough to be cream!  Once it was ready, I ended up scooping mine out into a pint container...and expected not to make anything until the next day. And then I tasted it.  I have never whipped together a dessert so fast in my life.   The HONEY and the PEPPER!  Lord help me.

To finish the dish, I sliced a few fresh white figs (purple figs are fine as well!), placed a quenelle of the ice cream on top, and finished it with some chopped, toasted pistachios.  Add a nice drizzle of the honey that made the ice cream oh-so-delicious, and a little crack of black pepper, and you're off to the races. 

THIS my friends, is where dessert is at.  The goat milk ice cream was so subtly goat-y that it may even go by undetected if you weren't paying attention and ate too quickly - you have to let it linger on your tongue and warm up a bit for the full effect.  That flavor together with the honey and the pepper was absolutely out of this world.  It makes sense - I've had regular old goat cheese with the combination.  But add in a nice cooling effect, a velvety smoothness of ice cream, and you can't go wrong.  The white figs were a nice compliment to the ice cream as well - they weren't overly fruity, but had a subtle flavor just like the ice cream.  The big bang of flavor definitely came from the pistachios, as well as a nice added crunch.  Overall, this is one of the most refreshing, light desserts I've made in some time, and definitely perfect for a quick summertime treat.  Have at it! 


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