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Desserts, Vegetarian

Bitter Almond Ice Cream

Bitter Almond Ice Cream
Los Angeles Times

To meet Paul Schrade, a tall, white-haired 77-year-old with a gently bemused smile, you'd never suspect that he's obsessed with a poisonous nut. Mention the bitter almond, however, and the retired union organizer won't stop talking about how--on a culinary ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour plus 1 hour chilling | Serves 8
  • 15 bitter almonds, or 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg yolks

Step 1Grind the almonds in a blender or food processor, then place them in a saucepan with the half-and-half. Heat to just under a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a very fine strainer or cheesecloth. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan. If using extract, add it to the custard after it's been cooked with the eggs.

Step 2In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and lemon-colored. With a whisk, mix the yolk and sugar mixture into the half-and-half. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until custard coats a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Chill for 1 hour, add the almond extract and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Note: Tim Woods, chef and co-owner of Echo restaurant in Fresno, delights in the use of local ingredients. He gathers bitter almonds from a few old trees in his neighborhood, both for his own use and for other chefs. Serve this ice cream with cherries, peaches, nectarines or apricots.

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