In light of these hot summer months and to celebrate National Ice Cream Month, I decided to “brew” something different with some friends this past week.
While perusing the St. Louis FEAST magazine (a great monthly periodical highlighting St. Louis’ food culture) I found an intriguing article about food collaborations. Now we all know beer and dairy go well together and both share similar creative processes like the aging of cheese. I’ve had my fair share of Irish Stout cheddar and other fanciful beer cheese’s but never beer ice cream.
The very thought made me think root beer float. Maybe a heavy Russian imperial stout or porter served with some vanilla bean ice cream. Not so in this case.
I Scream Cakes Pear Saison ice cream inspired this endeavor to create something I’ve never tried before. I contacted them via Facebook and was given a rough cut of their recipe for a small batch. (Their normal recipe makes 5 gallons, not sure where I would put all of that.) They collaborated with 4 Hands Brewing Co. by utilizing their Pyrus, a fall saison brewed with pear juice.
Light bulbs went off, I had to try this. I contacted some friends who have an ice cream maker and similar passion for beer and off we went.
Basically all you need for this is a good vanilla ice cream recipe…minus the vanilla. Makes sense when you’re looking to get the flavor from the beer and fruit. I decided to go with Prairie Standard as our beer and use dried apricots instead of pears. We boiled a few bottles of the beer, then added the dry apricots to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. We then pureed the mixture until smooth. On the side we combined 2 oz of almond paste and 1/4 cup of honey. Once the ice cream mixture was prepared we drizzled the almond/honey paste throughout, then mixed the now chilled apricot beer mixture into the ice cream. Let that freeze overnight and enjoy.
Sounds perfect, right? Unfortunately our ice cream mixture was a bit on the soupy side and after it froze it did not have the ice cream texture we normally expect. It still worked but seems to have more ice and not enough cream. Instead of half n half we may use milk next time.
The overall flavor was good in my opinion. You got plenty of beer flavor and the apricots complemented it well with a slight tart yet sweet flavor. This is definitely something to experiment with. I’d really like to combine a chocolate stout with some fresh raspberry ice cream…but I’d better finish this batch first.
Where’s my spoon?