I’ve been trying really hard.
Like, really really hard.
But I just can’t do this anymore…
I can’t keep faking it.
(I’m talking about summer, of course).
Summer and I, we’ve had a good run for the past few months. I’ve tried things that I’d never done before, survived a culinary mishap or two (or three or four), and rediscovered old friends that had long been forgotten.
I really did give it my best shot.
As such, I wanted this post to be a final tribute to the season, a touching “thanks-for- everything, you’ve-been-a-great-friend, I’ll-see-you-next-year” type deal that really reflected on my personal growth and sent summer out with the fanfare it deserves.
But you guys! My heart’s just not in it.
I’m kind of …over it.
Even though it’s still technically summer for about another week, I just couldn’t in good conscious write one more summer-themed post when all the leading indicators of autumn (i.e. pumpkins, cable knit sweaters, etc.) are infiltrating key outlets such as coffee shops, retailers, and oh, I don’t know…NATURE.
(I see you, little reddish-orange leaves in the backyard – I SEE YOU).
The signs are all there, my friends, and I can’t ignore them any longer.
It was fun while it lasted, Summer. But I’m on to bigger and better (and more fall-ish) things.
Although sweet corn is arguably a summer vegetable, it has always felt very harvest-y to me and thus quite fall-like. So I decided to have my cake and eat it too with what I’ll refer to as a Transitional Blog Post; it can be both a farewell to summer and a hello to fall.
(Hey. My ice cream blog, my rules!)
Corn and I have a long and pleasant history, which may surprise some people, given my frequent public renouncements of both fruit and vegetables (even though, as you may know, things are on the up and up with fruit).
I can tolerate most vegetables (okay, some vegetables), especially when they’re roasted at high temps with copious amounts of salt. But, there are a few vegetables that I actually like; I even, daresay, love said vegetables. Sweet corn is at the top of that list.
Corn is one vegetable that I’ve loved as far back as I can remember. I absolutely adore everything about it. I love the bright green exterior and the threads of corn “silk” that cascade from the top. I love slowly peeling back the husks to reveal the tiny tender kernels beneath, beaming like little golden nuggets in the sun. And as much as I love slathering a fresh-from-the-grill cob with gobs of butter and salt, one of my very favorite things about sweet corn is eating it raw, minus all the bells and whistles, in all of its natural glory. The simpler, the better!
I might be bias, but Ohio’s sweet corn is absolutely the best. In fact, there aren’t many things that remind me of home more than good ol’ corn on the cob.
Corn ice cream is nothing new, but I’ve known that I wanted to make this flavor for a long time now, as a shout out to my beloved home state. To show my respects, I went back to my old school method (read: Ohio egg yolks) for this ice cream, because I wanted it to be decadent and fabulous with farm-y ingredients.
Straight out of the oven, the roasted corn kernels were unbelievably sweet and juicy. When immersed into the ice cream base and churned, they adopted an extremely rich, almost buttery flavor.
But did it actually taste like corn, you ask?
Why, of course it did!
In fact, I was actually surprised at how flavorful this ice cream turned out; it had one of the most robust and distinct flavor profiles that has ever been created in my tiny kitchen.
(Note: if you want to seem like a real food blogger, use of the term “flavor profile” will help build your street cred).
Truthfully, the addition of the blueberry swirl was really an afterthought here; I knew I wanted to use some sort of berry as a final shoutout to summer, and I suspected that this earthy variety might complement the buttery corn flavor in a really nice way. Turns out, they were the perfect thing to cut through the richness of the sweet corn base.
When I let my husband sample a bite from the machine, his reaction was “Wow. That’s…weird. But it’s a good weird.”
So there you have it. Presenting my weird-in-a-good-way ice cream: it’s sweet, it’s simple it’s…corn-y.
(See what I did there?)
In the end, this is really more of a Welcome Fall blog post…but we don’t have to tell Summer that, do we?
Until next year, Summer! Happy scooping!
Roasted Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream
Yield: Just under 1 Quart
- 3 ears of sweet corn
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar (depending upon personal preference/sweetness of berries)
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the corn from the cobs (reserving cobs for later) and lay out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast in the preheated oven until corn becomes fragrant and some pieces begin to get a healthy tan (about ten minutes or so). Remove from oven.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks slightly until just broken up.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, cream, and sugar until it just begins to steam. Add the roasted corn kernels and cobs, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes longer, being careful to not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 10 or 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the kernels and cobs from the milk mixture by running it through a strainer (don’t discard those kernels – they make a great snack!). Note: you don’t have to remove all of the kernels if you’d like some added texture in your ice cream; I was nervous that they would freeze too hard, so I chose not to keep them).
- Make your custard in the usual way: a quarter or so cup at a time, begin to ladle the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, and whisk vigorously until combined. Once all of the milk has been incorporated into the eggs, add back to the pan.
- Heat over medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes a custard, about 15 minutes or so. Strain through a fine sieve and pour into a storage container, gallon ziplock bag, or large bowl. If you’re fancy, you can submerge the mixture into an ice bath until cool, because that’s the “right” way to make ice cream (but I never do, let’s be honest). Store in fridge until thoroughly chilled (probably overnight).
Make the roasted blueberry compote:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay your blueberries on a glass baking dish (I used an 8 X 8); sprinkle with salt and sugar and roast in preheated oven until soft, fragrant, and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, then mash up the berries with a fork or potato masher. Move to a glass mason jar or other container and store in the fridge until ready to use (side note: store the extras for up to a week to use on pancakes or waffles!)
- Freeze ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
- While adding to your storage container, swirl in the blueberry compote liberally, or layer between layers of ice cream.
- Freeze overnight and enjoy 🙂