I’ve long been a fan of Tim Mazurek’s blog Lottie + Doof, which is a very thoughtful series on food, culture, and how we talk about eating in the U.S. His style was in some ways an inspiration for my own tone here, and I frequently make his recipes (in particular, the ginger beer, which is a staple in my refrigerator). He also has a great eye, as demonstrated by Lottie + Doof’s photography, and the black bowls pictured below were recommended by him in a gift guide.
There aren’t a ton of ice cream recipes on Lottie + Doof, but the burnt orange recipe caught my eye. I’m a sucker for that flavor (my favorite bar in D.C., Room 11, does an amazing burnt sugar old fashioned which I make at home a fair amount), but I wanted to play around with it a bit. Step one was to use blood oranges instead of regular oranges for a different flavor — and, I had hoped, a purplish color, although that ended up not happening. The second was adding a note of almond as well, just to contrast the orange a bit.
My friend Jason was visiting yesterday and was the first to try it. I have to say I wasn’t totally satisfied (was there enough almond coming through), but he quickly assuaged my concerns. Given that Jason is an equally ambitious home cook — he makes his own sausage, people! — who is quickly outpacing me in our Master of None-inspired pasta making project, I just chose to take his word for it. Thanks for validating me, brah. I’ll even give you the flavor.
This is a more complicated recipe than most of mine, with two different sauces, but the unusual, addictive flavor of the final product makes it well worth it. With citrus in season right now, it’s a great time to try it out.
Jason’s Burnt Blood Orange and Almond
adapted from Lottie + Doof
2 cups cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar, divided into half cups
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons blood orange zest
½ cup blood orange juice
½ cup ground toasted almonds
Put one cup of milk in a large bowl and position a strainer above it.
Combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup of water in a small pot over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Cook until sugar is dissolved, then add ground almonds. Stir under simmering, then remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour.
Whisk to combine 2 cups cream, 1 cup milk, blood orange zest, and salt in a medium pot. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, but don’t let it boil.
Combine remaining half cup of sugar and blood orange juice in a small pot over medium heat, stirring until combined. Continue to cook until liquid had reduced to a syrup, but is still pourable. Add to cream mixture and whisk to combine.
Whisk three egg yolks in a medium bowl. It’s OK if there are some traces of egg white — no need to be a perfectionist — but try to minimize that.
When the dairy mixture is hot but not yet simmering (honestly, if it starts to simmer a little, you’ll be OK), remove from heat. Slowly ladle about a cup into the egg yolks, whisking with one hand while ladling with the other to temper the yolks.
Once complete, transfer the yolk mixture to the pot, and then return to medium heat. Add the almond mixture. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom at times. Once the custard is thick enough to slightly coat the back of the spatula (another sign: you will start to notice that scraping the bottom of the pot encounters some solid residue), remove from heat and pour through the strainer.
I whisk the base as it strains to speed up the process a bit — this is particularly useful for this base, which will have a lot of ground almonds straining out. Wash the whisk off. Once the base has strained, add the almond extract and whisk the base with the milk mixture that’s at the bottom until combined. Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool for thirty minutes (if you’re too lazy, it’s ok to just do this on the counter). Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least two hours before churning.
When ready to churn, whisk the mixture briefly to reincorporate. Pour into the ice cream maker and follow the instructions. Transfer to a container and freeze for eight hours.