Coriander-Rose Ice Cream

One of my first memories of ice cream (actually, one of my first memories, period) was prostrating myself before the cold case of a Chapel Hill, NC ice cream parlor called Francesca’s. My cousin and I bowed our heads and extended our arms in mock reverence, chanting “I worship strawberry, I love strawberry, I marry strawberry!”

I still love good strawberry ice cream, though I wouldn’t call it my favorite: My love of ice cream is too wide-ranging to choose just one. What hasn’t changed, though, is ice cream’s power to inspire in me goofy displays of unfettered excitement and devotion. Ice cream is my go-to celebration food, comfort food, stress food, reward food. I crave ice cream, often so fiercely that I will go to embarrassing lengths to get it. There’s something about that harmonious meeting of fat and sugar, the unctuous cold sweetness dissolving on my tongue: It scrambles my brain’s pleasure centers, stripping away logic, causing me to lose my relationship with reality ever-so-slightly.

I love ice cream flavors with nuts and pieces and chunks of all descriptions. I also love pure, simple flavors. Dense, firm, American-style ice cream with no eggs, rich frozen custards, smooth, slippery gelato: I like it all. For my latest ice cream experiment, I used one of my all-time favorite spices, coriander, combined with dried rose petals. I started with David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice cream as my base recipe, omitting the vanilla and infusing the milk with a generous tablespoon of toasted coriander and a small handful of dried rose petals.

ingredients (yeah, there's five egg yolks in there)
ingredients (yeah, there’s five egg yolks in there)

The coriander flavor ended up being very pronounced (just how I wanted it) with bright notes of citrus and pine, and deep toasty underpinnings of earth and wood; the rose flavor was very subtle. I also added a teaspoon of Bulleit bourbon to prevent the ice cream from becoming too hard; next time, I’d use a neutral-flavored spirit, like vodka, or an orange liqueur like Cointreau, or – better still – a rose liqueur.

Although the ice cream’s good on its own, I’m planning to pair it with something – maybe an orange pound cake or some type of fruit crisp or tart.

a favorite toy
a favorite toy
ice cream.
ice cream.

One thought on “Coriander-Rose Ice Cream

  1. Thank you for reminding me of Francesca’s. Mmmmmm. Sweet memory. The coriander rose ice cream looks divine. Would be only to happy to be one of your tasters.

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