Lemon Ginger Ice Cream

This is a great ice cream recipe especially if you don't like separating eggs or worry about curdling them. Instead you use the whole egg, and for the thickening agent, you make a quick and simple lemon curd in the microwave instead of on the stove top.

I also love the added dimension of ginger and that's saying a lot for someone who grew up ginger-phobic. I blame it on my mom's well-meaning, but to a child's taste buds, nasty, ginger-cold remedy-concoction. Fortunately, my tastebuds evolved and now I can appreciate ginger's bite and heat complementing lemon's acidity.

If you have lemon curd on hand, you can use 2 cups of it in place of the microwave lemon curd, then carry on with the rest of the recipe. Lastly, plan ahead to allow at least 2 days for the ginger to infuse the creme fraiche.

Lemon Ginger Ice Cream 
Adapted from Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook by Aki Kamozawa and Alexander H. Talbot
Makes approx. one quart

Make Ginger Creme Fraiche:

At least 48 hours before you want to make the ice cream, prepare the ginger-infused creme fraiche.

In a 2-cup capacity glass jar with lid, shake together:
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
6 Tbs cultured buttermilk (store-bought is fine)
3 oz/85g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Set on countertop at room temperature. After 48 hours, strain out ginger and store creme fraiche in lidded jar in refrigerator for up to one week.

Make Microwave Lemon Curd:

In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave on high for 45 seconds, until melted, but not hot:
4 Tbs unsalted butter (56g)

Add to the melted butter and whisk until well-combined:
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs fresh, strained lemon juice, about 4 lemons (150g) 
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar (200g)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Put the bowl in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on high power. Remove bowl from microwave and whisk until uniform. As you whisk, it should not sound or feel as gritty as the sugar begins to dissolve.

Microwave for another minute (minute #2). The mixture will be hot, but still thin. Whisk gently.

Microwave for another minute (minute #3). At this point, the mixture will have thickened a bit on the sides. Whisk again.

Microwave for another minute (minute #4). The mixture should have thickened and might look scrambly. Whisk and it will smooth out. You may see some small bits of solidified egg whites (egg whites cook at a lower temperature than yolks). They won't affect the taste of your curd, but for the smoothest texture, you can use a sieve and strain them out before proceeding to the next step.

Make Ice Cream:

Into the warm microwave lemon curd, add and stir to dissolve:
6.5 Tbs sugar (80g)
1/4 tsp sea salt

If you are using cold or room temperature lemon curd, add the above sugar and sea salt to the creme fraiche instead. You may need to warm the creme fraiche slightly in order to dissolve the sugar.

When the sugar is dissolved, combine lemon curd and creme fraiche and blend thoroughly. Place a paper towel over the bowl (to absorb any water vapor) and then cover with plastic wrap. Use a rubber band if necessary to hold the paper towel and plastic wrap in place. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-proof container. Cover ice cream with a sheet of parchment paper before putting the lid on. Harden in freezer for 4 hours before serving.

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