This homemade concord grape ice cream recipe captures the essence and bold flavors of concord grapes beautifully.
Where the blueberry ice cream was austere, this is audacious. Vivid color with an explosion of impossibly saturated grape flavor, it is tempered only slightly by cream and lemon zest. Like Willy Wonka, but real. I love this ice cream for being seasonal and surprising. A clear light in the fall sea of orange, green and yellow foods.
I know what you’re going to say–you don’t have an ice cream maker. I suggest you pick one up before grape season is over.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, for more grown up flavor, use only 1 1/4 cups
- 1 cup concord grapes, halved with seeds removed
- 4 egg yolks
- a big pinch sea salt
- zest of one lemon
To meld the flavor of the skins and flesh, roast grapes a bit. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While you are waiting rinse and de-seed the grapes. Sharpen your knife, and I promise that this takes only 12 minutes. Put grape halves in a gratin dish or cake pan, and roast 8 minutes or even less – just until the juices are bubbling out of the grapes.
Meanwhile, combine the cream, milk, honey, salt, and half the sugar in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat. Put yolks in a heat-proof bowl and whisk in the other half of the sugar and the zest. When cream mixture is starting to steam, whisk a cup or so, 1/4 cup at a time, into the yolks. The goal is the raise the heat of the eggs so they won't curdle when added to cream. When yolks are tempered, add them to the cream and, stirring constantly, cook mixture over low heat for five minutes until it has thickened to a thin custard. Then whisk in the grapes and all of their juices. At this point my cream separated a bit and I think it had something to do with the acidity of the grapes. I ignored it since it didn't seem to affect the flavor or texture of the cream.
Pour into a large bowl and chill for a long time – 4 hours at least. Then process according to your ice-cream maker's instructions, remove from ice cream maker and freeze for as long as you can. 3 hours is ideal.