Naturally – Scented Rose Ice Cream is like eating with a spoon freshly-cut roses, covered with dew drops and picked at dawn . Most recipes for Rose Ice Cream use rose water to flavour. The problem is that rose water varies in aroma strength, which means that there is a great risk of over-scenting the ice cream. Furthermore, most rose waters are made with artificial aromas, giving your final ice cream their plastic taste.
The solution for a perfectly scented ice cream, which does not taste like a rose bubble-gum, is to use dried rose buds to infuse the milk. This gives the ice cream a natural, subtle rose taste which you should definitely enjoy.
Colouring it pink or not is up to you. Do not feel guilty, though, if you want it to be bright and pink. A little colouring goes a long way and your homemade, bright pink Rose Ice Cream is fresh, lovely; and made with everyday fresh ingredients, not with laboratory ones.
Naturally – Scented Rose Ice Cream
You will need dried Rose Buds for Tea for this recipe. You will easily find them on-line or in tea shops that sell good-quality herbal tea varieties. I used the pink variety.
Special Equipment needed:
Ice Cream Machine
- Freeze your ice cream machine’s Removable Freezer Bowl at least 24 hours before the time you plan to churn the ice cream.
- Make the Ice Cream Mix 12 hours before the time you plan to churn the ice cream.
- Let the freshly churned ice cream sit in the freezer for 3-4 hours after churning, before you serve it.
This batch is for an ice cream maker of 1.5 liter/quart capacity.
- 500 ml fresh whole milk ( about 17 oz.; 2 cups )
- 220 ml + 250 gr •total 470 gr• heavy cream ( about 7.5 oz+8.5 oz. •total 15.5 oz.•; 1+1 cups )
- 200 gr regular white sugar ( about 7 ounces; 7/8 cup )
- 40 dried rose buds for tea ( about 15 gr; 0.5 ounces; 1/4 to 1/2 cup )
- 2 large egg yolks ( about 36 gr, 1.2 ounces )
- 2 Tbs. corn starch (a.k.a. corn flour, to thicken )
- 1 tsp. rose water or vanilla extract ( optional; to taste )
- 1/8 tsp. red paste food colour ( or pink, if available )
Step 1 – Prepare the Ice Cream Mix
In a medium saucepan, put the milk, 220 gr (7.5 fl.oz) heavy cream, sugar, rose buds and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring often with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves and the milk is hot and steamy. Cover with a lid and let infuse at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour in the infused milk. tap and shake the strainer to extract as much milk, that is absorbed by the roses, as possible. Discard the roses left in the mesh strainer and return the infused milk to the saucepan.
Put the egg yolks in a large bowl, and whisk them lightly to break them down. Then put in the corn starch. Whisk and pour in some of the infused milk to dissolve (around 2-3 Tbs.). Set bowl near you, leaving the whisk in.
Increase the heat to medium-high, stirring often with a silicone spatula. When it starts bubbling, count 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Immediately pour it in a steady stream into the egg yolks, holding the sauce pan with one hand, while whisking the egg yolks vigorously with the other.
Give a good wipe to the inside and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula. Pour everything back to the saucepan and return it to the heat. Keep stirring it constantly with a silicone spatula for 1 minute, while it thickens, and pour back into the large bowl.
Add the 250 gr ( 8.5 fl.oz. ) heavy cream and stir to combine.
Step 2 – Colour the Ice Cream mix
If you want to colour the Ice Cream mix, put the paste food colour in a cup. Add 1 teaspoon of the ice cream mix and mix with a fork to dissolve the colouring. Continue adding 2-3 teaspoons until you have the paste colour fully dissolved. Take extra care in dissolving, checking the bottom of the glass for solid pieces of colour. If any undissolved colour is left, you will have a hard time dissolving it when you put it in the ice cream mix.
Pour half of the coloured slurry in the ice cream mix and mix well with a silicone spatula. Check the colour of the ice cream mix, if it is to your liking, you may not wish to add the rest of the slurry. To estimate the desired colour of the ice cream mix, remember that the ice cream gets pale as it fluffs up and churns. The colour of the final ice cream will be two shades brighter than the one of your initial ice cream mix. With this in mind, adjust the colour of your ice cream mix accordingly.
Note: If using another form of food colour, like powder or liquid, it is still best to first dilute it in a small quantity of the ice cream mix, before gradually adding it to the rest. This helps you control the shade of the colour.
Step 3 – Cool the Rose Ice Cream Mix
It helps to keep stirring the ice cream mix with the spatula for 7-8 minutes after removing it from the heat. This will help release the steam and cool it down faster. When it is not too hot to the touch anymore, put it in an ice bath to cool it down completely.
How to prepare an ice bath
You will need a large bowl, larger than the bowl with the prepared ice cream mix. Put in some ice cubes and cold water. Carefully nest the bowl with the ice cream base in it. Pour more cold water from the sides, till it reaches the ice cream base in the inner bowl in height. Take extra care not to spill any water into the ice cream base.
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When the ice cream mix has cooled, put a mesh strainer over a container and pour it through the mesh strainer into the container.
Add the rose water (or vanilla extract, if using) and stir well. Cover with a lid and leave in the refrigerator overnight to cool. Or up to 3 days.
In a hurry? Here is how to speed things up:
If you want to bypass the overnight refrigeration process and churn the ice cream immediately, you can put the tepid ice cream in a sealable bag, place it in a large container, fully cover it with ice and let it chill for a few hours ( it may take up to 3 hours to properly cool ).
The downside of this method is that you will need lots of ice. And you will definitely need a thermometer to check if the temperature has reached the desired 4º C ( about 39º F ).
Step 4 – Churn the Rose Ice Cream
Prepare the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Give the ice cream mix a stir. With the machine running, pour the chilled ice cream base through the canister and into the ice cream machine. Leave to churn until nice and fluffy.
Remove the machine from the container and place the container, covered with a lid, into the freezer. Leave for 3-4 hours for the ice cream to set properly, before serving or removing to another container and store.
Storing the Rose Ice Cream
This Rose Ice Cream, like all artisanal ice creams, freezes hard in the long term.
To soften it before serving, remove from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
It is at its best for one week in the freezer. After this, its texture starts to deteriorate. Discard after one month.