It is officially ice cream season in my house. Not that we don’t eat ice cream year round but any weather over 65º calls for an excuse for daily consumption of it. So I’ve dusted off the ice cream maker and started playing around with different recipes. I prefer an ice cream that’s not too creamy or overly sweet. I also try to incorporate a bitter or savory quality to make things more interesting. Which a lot of the times is not welcomed by my brood of ice cream traditionalists.
There was a sorbet company in Oakland who closed their shop a few years back but had the most amazing pink peppercorn almond sorbet. It was refreshing and interesting and rich and nutty and sweet all at the same time. Thinking it may be nice to mix a little dairy free options into our ice cream diet I thought I’d try recreating the recipe.
I’m a big fan of ice milks. I love how refreshing yet satisfying they are so I decided to start there with the basis of the recipe. The base of this ice milk is going to be almond milk which I prefer to make myself. It’s ridiculously easy and well worth the effort. Plus, there aren’t a lot of commercial almond milks on the market that I’ve found compare to the incredibly creamy milky flavor you get from home made. Essentially you just soak almonds in water (from 1-2 days depending on how creamy you want it) then drain, blend with fresh water and strain out the almond meal. It only lasts in the fridge for a couple of days so you want to make only as much as you will use but I’m not bothered since the process only takes a few minutes. If you want to bypass this step, the one brand I have found that closely resembles home made is from The New Barn which you can find at Whole Foods.
The rest of the recipe is simple, a little sugar, a little vanilla and some pink peppercorns to give it a subtle spicy fruitiness. I really love pink peppercorns. They have a more delicate, well rounded heat than black peppercorns and a dried berry like flavor that make them so versatile. they are very fragile and their papery skins fall right off when gently crushed. I like to use the skins as a garnish to give added, color and a little crunch.