When you bring the best ingredients to your kitchen, you will be rewarded at your table. The truth about cooking is that it is not the technique that makes one a star, but the decision one makes long before the food hits your kitchen door. Where possible, buy the best quality ingredients you can put your hands on. Note, we did not say ‘afford’ becaue there is a false notion that anything epicurean must be expensive. In fact, many gourmet retailers exploit that notion, overcharging to make their products/produce look “more elite.” This is a sad fact, so prudent shoppers will shop around to get the best deal. Some items have seasons and in fact are actually cheaper to buy in their season as nature supplies them in bounty. However, some staple pantry items are indeed expensive and stay so-year round. We suggest that you splurge on those things that make your life taste just a little better and balance the budget by shopping for produce in their season.
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Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is one of those premium items that never go on sale. It is just in too much demand and has a finite supply. While there is no shortage in Jamaica, it is very expensive, but worth every penny. We wanted a creamy, accessible homemade ice-cream recipe to showcase this famous product of our beloved homeland. While chefs often makes ice cream in highly expensive commercial ice cream machines, there is no such gadget in our home. At home, we use a KitchenAid stand mixer with an ice cream maker attachment. We figure that you do too or at least some other home machine so this recipe will work well in whatever equipment you have.
We know one of the sons of the farm that produces this Coffee Traders coffee. Run by the Sharp brothers, it has blossomed with the opening of their boutique coffee shop brand Cafe Blue, with our favourite branch perched on the hills of the Blue Mountains themselves. Jason is a fun organizer of the Red Stripe mound at Sabina Park cricket matches in Kingston and their Blue Mountain coffee takes us back to the sweetness of Jamaica, Land We Love. Blue Mountain coffee is regulated in Jamaica the same way that cheese and ham are in Europe. There is also high mountain coffee, which is still fabulous but not equal to the Blue Mountain variety. We take our coffee seriously.
With all this pride in our cool beans, we had to find a recipe that did them justice. We loved that this one actually uses whole beans. We took the recipe for this ice cream from Elise of Simply Recipes, who was guided by David Leibowitz, author of “The Perfect Scoop,” which you NEED to add to your essential cookbook collection. We did a few things differently, but as a creator, I believe strongly in giving credit, where credit is due.
- We used Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
- We infused the coffee in the cream for 3x longer, warming up and cooling off (but only till warm).
- We topped our ice cream with tempered 75% dark chocolate ganache for added texture and an even more intense coffee flavour.
- This recipe was adapted from here.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Ice Cream
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups whole Blue Mountain coffee beans decaf unless you want the caffeine in your ice cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 + ½ cups heavy cream
- 5 large egg yolks
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground coffee, that have been through a fine mesh sieve
Freeze your ice cream maker bowl from 24 hours before starting this recipe
Steep the Coffee Beans
In a medium saucepan, heat milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and ½ cup of the cream until it starts to steam, but not boiling. Remove from stove Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 90 minutes, warming up around the 1 hour mark to steaming but not boiling.
Temper the Egg Yolks
To temper your eggs, you will have to reheat the milk and coffee mixture a third time until steamy but make certain not to let it boil. Do not leave it unattended.
Grab another of your nesting bowls and beat the egg yolks well with a whisk.
While continuously whisking briskly, gently and slowly pour the hot mil and coffee beans into the egg yolks a bit at a time so that the eggs yolks are warmed up slowly by the milk (or what we call “tempered” in chef speak, which heats eggs without actually cooking them. This process is critical to prevent creating scrambled eggs so take great care. Pour the warmed egg yolks in the saucepan.
Gently heeat egg milk coffee mixture until it thickens, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula with a flat bottom that allows you to scrape the bottoms and sides. For about 10 minutues, continue to stir while heating the mixture until the it thickens enough into a custard to coat and stick to the spatula so that you can run your finger through the custard mixture on the spatula and the line your finger leaves remains.
Strain the Custard
At this point, the custard is ready to poured through the the strainer over the bowl of cream in the ice bath, pressing the coffee in the strainer to get as much of the custard out as possible. You can set beans aside to grind and add to your garden compost or discard.
Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.
Add the finely ground coffee and vanilla and stir until cool.
Chill and Churn with Icre Cream Machine
Once cooled, chill the mixture thoroughly the refrigerator, preferably overnight. Then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Freeze as recommended by manufacturer to create nice balls of the most delicious, creamy coffee ice cream you will ever have! I used my trusty Kitchen Aid Standmixer with Ice Cream Maker attachment.
Add chocolate covered coffee beans (optional)
Take a few coffee beans and cover with a ganache made of 75 percent chocolate for an intense burst of coffe and garnish your ice cream.
CHEF AND STEWARD NOTE: To make this dinner party compatible, serve a single small scoop with a small square of a chocolate cake, or drizzle with a cherry sauce for a compatible flavour profile. I do not advise that serve non-decaf coffee ice cream to children because I will not be responsible for them breaking your things and dancing on the ceiling all night.