Summer sweet corn is a treat, and this simple ice cream makes the most of sweet corn’s rich, gentle flavors. I love sweet corn sautéed in butter — the heat and fat coax depth of flavor as the natural sugars caramelize in the pan and the starches gel in the kernels. I use this simple cooking technique in this ice cream, creating deep, buttery corn flavor. It’s sort of like vanilla ice cream and buttered sweet corn had an ice cream baby!
This ice cream captures the flavor of caramel corn or kettle corn — you choose the flavor you want by how much brown and/or white sugar you use. Pairing this ice cream with macerated fresh bing cherries takes the flavor up a notch.
This is a custard style ice cream, using egg yolks to make this a rich, creamy ice cream. My Vitamix blender makes quick work of getting this ice cream base smooth and creamy. Adding reserved corn kernel mixed in just before freezing bring pops of texture and fresh corn flavor to the final ice cream. Enjoy!
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
4 ears sweet corn
1 TB butter
3 cups 1/2 & 1/2
3/4 cup sugar (brown sugar, white sugar, or a mixture)
1/2 tsp sea salt
three egg yolks
Using a sharp thin knife, cut the kernels off the corn cobs. Measure three cups kernels, setting aside extra kernels.
Heat a frying pay over high heat until moderately hot. Add the butter and stir until melted, then add the corn kernels. Sauté the corn kernels in the butter for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the corn deepens in color, release a lovely fragrance, and just begin to brown. Remove pan from the heat and scrape the corn kernels into the pitcher of a mixer.
To the sautéed kernels, add the 1/2 & 1/2, salt, and sugar. Blend on high until smooth. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to release the liquid. Off the stove, pour the strained mixture back into the sauté pan,then whisk in the three egg yolks. Put the pan on the stove, flame set to medium. Stir the mixture as it heats, then allow to cook until it is slightly thickened, but not quite boiling. Remove from heat, and cool completely in the fridge.
When thoroughly chilled, add back in any remaining fresh corn kernels. Freeze coin ice cream maker until soft frozen, then transfer ice cream to a container and freeze for at least two hours or until firm.