Cucumber ice cream.
When I first read those words on Miles Thompson's menu at a recent Beard House dinner, I thought the young L.A. chef of acclaimed (albiet now shuttered) Echo Park restaurant Allumette might be off his rocker.
I was wrong to rebuke the cuke. One bite in, and I was hooked.
Turns out that cucumber juice blended into a rich, eggless ice cream base is unexpectedly sweet, cool, creamy and refreshing--and more subtle than mint chip.
Thompson was happy to share his recipe with us. His notes: You must use Persian cucumbers, and don't be afraid to salt the ice cream heavily. Add more than you might think you need.
Get ready for this ice cream to cuke it out with other flavors to become your favorite. It's definitely mine.
Cucumber Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Miles Thompson, Allumette, Los Angeles
Yield: 2 quarts
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 45 minutes
3½ cups sweetened condensed milk
3 cups evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
Salt, to taste (approximately 1 tablespoon)
1. Pass the cucumbers through a juicer and discard the solids. Strain the juice through a fine strainer into a bowl. Measure one scant cup of the juice and set aside the rest for another use.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, cucumber juice and salt. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
3. Chill the bowl of your ice cream maker. Pour the cucumber mixture into the bowl and follow the manufacturer's instructions to churn the base into a soft-serve ice cream consistency, about 30 minutes.
4. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Cover and freeze until the ice cream is firm, 2 to 3 hours, then serve.