For years I’ve wanted to make Sweet Corn Ice Cream. It sounds kind of weird at first, but think about it. Corn is sweet, it tastes a little like sunshine; what better flavor to fold into creamy, sweet, cold cream. Also, years ago I saw a recipe in a magazine for caramel corn ice cream that featured a base of sweet corn ice cream. So, when I was browsing through Genius recipes and saw this, I thought, “now is the time, Marilee. MAKE THE CARAMEL CORN ICE CREAM!” So I did. And it was delicious. I used the ice cream base from this book, then swirled in some caramel sauce and store-bought toffee popcorn (i.e. Crunch ‘n Munch or Cracker Jack) before freezing it overnight. It was very yummy, but in hindsight, I wish I would have just made the ice cream and served it with the blackberry sauce included in Genius Recipes. That tart berry flavor would be the perfect counterpoint to the rich, sweet ice cream. In any case, I do recommend you give this one a try. It’s a great alternative to the classic vanilla for a special summertime treat.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
1 ear sweet corn, husked
2 c whole milk
1 T plus 1 t cornstarch
1 ½ oz cream cheese, softened
¼ t fine sea salt
1 ¼ c heavy cream
⅔ c sugar
2 T light corn syrup
Slice the kernels from the corn cob, then milk the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife to extract the liquid; reserve the kernels and liquid. Mix about 2 T of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn and juices and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and force the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, keeping the corn cases behind. Return the mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.