I spend an inordinate amount of time flipping through cookbooks and food magazines. I salivate over glossy photos of peach pie and slices of too-moist-to-be-true double-decker chocolate cake. I lick my fingers while staring at gorgeous close-ups of glazed chicken wings, imagining the tingle of sweet heat on my tongue. All that beautifully styled food draws me in, but then I’ll read the recipe and say, “no way.”
What sets me off? A mile-long ingredient list, overly complicated instructions and too much hands-on cooking time, for starters. The one that really rubs me wrong: recipes that require special equipment.
That’s probably the reason why I don’t make ice cream at home. Only recently did I acquire a machine, but the end result came out tasting like cardboard. It’s a treat best left to the pros.
But then came along Diana Henry’s new cookbook, “How to Eat a Peach” (Octopus Books, $34.99). Among the recipes is Turkish Coffee Ice Cream, a no-churn ice cream that requires only four ingredients – five, if you count water. Active prep time is 10 minutes at most. Then, the freezer does the rest.
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I like this recipe not only because it’s simple to prepare but because it has character, which comes from freshly ground cardamom seeds steeped in espresso. If you don’t have cardamom pods, skip that step and just add the espresso, but don’t try to fast-track with a spice jar of already ground cardamom; the freshly ground seeds are what enhance the aroma and flavor of this frozen treat.
The crushed black seeds also lend this ice cream the speckled look of one made with real vanilla beans. But if a smoother texture is what you’re after, strain them by pouring the espresso through a fine-mesh sieve when adding it to the whipped heavy cream and condensed milk.
This dessert is admittedly more suited for adult taste buds, so next time you’re entertaining, dish this one out to the grown-ups and let the kids dig into the store-bought stuff.
Turkish Coffee Ice Cream
Yield: Makes about 1 pint
“This is not a Turkish recipe, but an ice cream inspired by the flavors of the thick coffee you’re served in Istanbul,” writes Diana Henry in her new cookbook, “How to Eat a Peach” (Octopus Books, $34.99).
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
Ground seeds from 10 green cardamom pods
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
Mix the coffee, 2 tablespoons boiling water and the ground cardamom together. Let cool.
Beat the cream and condensed milk together using an electric hand mixer until the mixture is quite thick, then stir in the spiced coffee.
Scrape into a container, cover with plastic wrap or a lid, and freeze. The ice cream doesn’t need to be churned. It does becomes very firm, however, so you need to take it out of the freezer about 20 minutes before you want to serve it.
Nutrition | Per 1/2-cup serving: 339 calories (percent of calories from fat, 50), 6 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 19 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 62 milligrams cholesterol, 983 milligrams sodium