Heartstrings

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

I find myself longing for a different shore. It’s only been 2 months since I was last home (and certainly nothing to whine about), but home is pulling on my heartstrings. I catch myself yearning for the shallow beaches where the Pacific meets the sheer cliffs off Highway 1. I miss endless rows of grapes and berries, and the tall, majestic redwoods and all the bounty of the earth. I miss familiar smiles and warm eyes, and the crisscrossing roads and paths I’ve had many memories traveling upon. Please just bring me home.

Cardamom

Kulfi-Inspired Cardamom Pistachio Ice Cream
During my undergrad at Cal, I worked at an amazing ice cream shop called Ici, and we made this really delicious cardamom pistachio ice cream. It was an intriguing flavor combination that has roots in India. I tried to recreate the same ice cream, and ended with a much more intense flavor experience. Once toasted, the aromatic cardamom pods are crushed and steeped in the milk-cream mixture with toasted pistachios. My entire apartment smelled delicious. Once cooled, the mixture is churned and at the last step, additional roasted pistachios are mixed in for an added crunch. This ice cream is refreshing and unique, and easy enough for even a beginner like myself. Enjoy.

Ingredients
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 c milk (I used 2%, which I think helps reduce that undesirable tongue-coating feeling)
1 c sugar
3 egg yolks
25 green cardamom pods, toasted and gently crushed
3/4 c pistachios, roasted, cooled and roughly chopped; divided approx in half

Directions
In a large saucepan, add cream, milk, crushed cardamom pods, and half the roughly chopped pistachios. Bring to a simmer (but NOT boil) over medium-low heat, and allow the cardamom and pistachio to infuse into the cream mixture. This steeping process should take about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and use a sieve to discard the cardamom and pistachio. Alternately, you can also just place the cardamom and nuts in a cheesecloth and allow it to steep – much easier clean up.

Nuts

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until a light, pale yellow. If the mixture clumps and is not a flowing liquid, then add (at most) 1 tbs of water to thin it out. Slowly drizzle the hot cream mixture into the eggs, while simultaneously whisking vigorously to prevent the eggs from scrambling, until thoroughly dissolved. Return the custard mixture to the saucepan, and place on medium heat. Warm the custard mixture (BUT DO NOT LET BOIL) while gently whisking, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. If you run your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the custard and not run back in on itself. Another good clue – it should resemble melted ice cream.

At this stage, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool almost to room temperature. I usually cheat and place it in the freezer (stirring occasionally to prevent a film from developing), or you can simply place plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard to prevent filming.

Churn

Churn the ice cream according to the machine’s directions – should take no more than 30 minutes. In the last few minutes of churning, mix in the remaining roasted pistachio. The ice cream is ready, well – when it resembles ice cream. If you can wait, I recommend freezing the ice cream in an air-tight container for a few hours before consumption – but if you can’t wait (and seriously, who can??!), go ahead and consume right then and there. It will resemble a soft-serve more than ice cream, but still ridiculously delicious.

Closeup

I am thinking of buying new ice cream dishes, now that I crank out so much homemade ice cream. Any suggestions for fun/cute ice cream bowls? I am thinking about these or these or maybe these. Thoughts?

Thanks for reading,
AnhD

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