Vanilla-Black Pepper Ice Cream

Vanilla-Black Pepper Ice Cream

Sometime ago, I read a post about black pepper ice cream at the sassy radish, which reminded me that I'd earmarked a similar recipe in A Homemade Life. This yields a nice variation of the classic of classics ice cream. When adding the pepper to taste, aim at overdoing it as the pepper taste gets less pronounced after chilling.

Vanilla-Black Pepper Ice Cream

Source: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg


1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract *
1 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper, or more to taste

* Substituted with a vanilla bean. The bean gets scraped and is infused in the milk until churning.


In a heavy medium saupepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of cream, sugar and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and steaming; it should be just barely too hot to touch. Do not boil.
Meanwhile, pour the remaining cream into a large bowl. Set a mesh strainer across the top. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Prepare an ice bath, using a bowl which can accommodate the one with the yolks. When the milk mixture is hot, remove it from the heat. Let it sit for about 30 seconds, then gradually, slowly pour about half of it into the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan slowly and constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens slightly, just enough to very lightly coat the spatula. If you draw a line up the spatula with the tip of your finger, the custard on either side should not run back together. Immediately pour the custard through the strainer, and stir well to combine with the cream. Place the bowl carefully in the ice bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Chill custard completely, preferrably overnight. Before churning, add the vanilla and the pepper. Adjust the amount of pepper to taste. Churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to the freezer for about 2 hours for final firming up.

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