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If you didn’t know, I take one week per year to create five different ice cream flavors. I started doing this Ice Cream Week five years ago, more as an ode to my love for ice cream, but also as a way of introducing and experimenting with unique flavors. Every year, I push myself to create a different theme, and 2019 is all about fruit and herb pairings. And if you ask me, it’s the perfect match. I love how fresh fruit makes anything taste fresh and bright. This brown butter orange sage ice cream brings together both the warmth of butter and the bright, fruity flavors for a comforting treat.
Let’s talk about brown butter
It’s a fact: brown butter makes everything better. When used in a sauce, it imparts a warm, nutty flavor. When used in a favorite cookie, there’s an indescribable butter flavor that you love so much. Since I can’t get enough brown butter, I felt it a necessity to add the flavor to one of my ice cream recipes this year.
Have you had the incredible experience that is brown butter? I promise you, it’s worth it. When my mom was growing up, her grandma would always serve homemade noodles drizzled with brown butter. This really was a fairly normal dish in the rural and Mennonite communities in which she was raised.
As I grew up, brown butter was not used as frequently since the ’90s were all about leaving fat out of… everything. Let’s not even talk about the margarine phase. Thankfully, we are once again embracing the flavor that certain fats add and that even extends to my ice creams!
What is brown butter?
Brown butter is simply regular butter that is melted over medium heat. Once melted, the butter begins to separate, and eventually the milk solids that are within the butter cook and turn brown. When browned, the solids become full of nutty flavor. Sounds delish, right?
To ensure the brown butter is emulsified into the ice cream base, it needs to be blended with an immersion or countertop blender. This creates a smooth, creamy consistency, and prevents and pockets of butter in the frozen ice cream.
Why add citrus to this ice cream?
Citrus, in general, is bright and sharp, and orange is often associated with warmth. In the fall, we tend to pair orange with clove for a comforting combination. Adding orange to brown butter also creates a comforting pair. The nuttiness of the brown butter tones down the sharpness of citrus, revealing a clean orange flavor.
Sage mellows the flavors from the citrus and adds additional warmth. Herbs can easily overpower anything they’re added to, so steeping the leaves in the ice cream base adds just the right amount of flavor without adding too much.
The extra fat in this ice cream makes it one of the most scrumptious, creamy ice creams I’ve ever had. You can thank me in advance. ?
Watch how to make this brown butter orange sage ice cream
I’ve been using these Tovolo ice cream containers to store my ice creams and I love them!
Brown Butter Orange Sage Ice Cream
- To brown the butter, melt 2 sticks butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once melted, continue to slowly cook until the butter begins to bubble. Allow butter to bubble until the foam subsides, the milk solids have turned an amber color, and the butter has a nutty smell, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the 2 cups milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Whisk to combine and place over medium heat.
- While the milk mixture is heating, in a separate bowl combine the reserved 2 tablespoons milk and Mira-Cleer. Then whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Bring the milk mixture to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the Mira-Cleer slurry. Return to heat and bring back to a rolling boil. It is essential the mixture comes back to a rolling boil to activate the thickener.
- Remove from heat and add the prepared browned butter. Use an immersion blender or countertop blender to emulsify the butter and ice cream base.
- Add the vanilla extract, orange extract, orange zest, and sage leaves. Stir to combine and steep for 20 minutes.
- Strain the ice cream base into an airtight container, removing all the sage leaves. Cover and chill 6-8 hours. The ice cream base can be stored for up to 48 hours.
- Once ready to chill, follow the manufacturer’s instructions with the ice cream maker. Churn approximately 25 minutes. Enjoy immediately as soft serve or pour into an airtight container and place in freezer 4-6 hours for a hard serve.