For many sweet-toothed West Coasters, a visit to Salt & Straw ice cream shop is a must. Now, you can recreate the shop’s Sea Salt With Caramel Ribbons, Arbequina Olive Oil, and other inventive flavors at home with the new Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook ($25) by head ice cream maker Tyler Malek and writer JJ Goode. That might sound complicated, but the book proves that it’s as simple as pouring a six-ingredient base into an ice cream maker and letting time do the rest. Don’t believe us? Try Salt & Straw’s famous Honey Lavender ice cream (recipe below), which reels you in with its purple hue and keeps you coming back for its sweet floral flavor.
You’ll learn in Salt & Straw that each ice cream starts with a simple base of dairy, sugar, corn syrup, and xanthan gum, which is easy to find (it often replaces gluten’s stickiness in gluten-free desserts). You’ll also realize that you don’t have to invest a ton of money in an ice cream maker (Malek spent $16 on his first four machines at Goodwill!). And best of all, the book teaches you how to make sorbet, gelato, and dairy-free bases in addition to the classic, so you can get in on the creamy creativity no matter your diet or cravings. If you still have doubts, Malek eases them in the preface by writing, “When you start with a good ingredient, add cream and sugar, then churn it, the result, no matter how badly you screw up the process, will taste pretty great.” Now warm up that churning arm for Salt and Straw’s Honey Lavender ice cream.
salt & straw’s honey lavender ice cream
(Makes about 2 pints)
1. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water and the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then take it off the heat. Stir in the lavender, cover the saucepan, and let steep at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Pour the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a container, pressing on the flower buds to extract as much liquid as possible. Chill until cold and use it right away, or refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
3. Put the lavender syrup, ice cream base, and food coloring (if you’re using it) into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and turn on the machine. Churn just until the mixture has the texture of soft-serve (depending on the machine).
4. Transfer the ice cream, scraping every last delicious drop from the machine, into freezer-friendly containers. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, then cover with a lid. It’s okay if the parchment hangs over the rim. Store it in the coldest part of your freezer (farthest from the door) until firm, at least 6 hours. It will keep for up to 3 months.
SALT & STRAW’S ice cream base
(Makes about 3 cups)
1. Combine the sugar, dry milk, and xanthan gum in a small bowl and stir well.
2. Pour the corn syrup into a medium pot and stir in the whole milk. Add the sugar mixture and immediately whisk vigorously until smooth. Set the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
3. Add the cream and whisk until fully combined. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours, or for even better texture and flavor, 24 hours. Stir the base back together if it separates during the resting time. The base can be further stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. (Just be sure to fully thaw the frozen base before using it.)
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(Reprinted from Salt & Straw. Copyright © 2019 by Salt & Straw, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Andrew Thomas Lee. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.)