Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone
My Thyme Ice-cream, flavoured with honey and mascarpone, is rich and sweet. Although many of the ingredients that I use are local to where I now live in south-west England – fresh thyme from my garden, honey from the man down the road who keeps bees – the flavours take me back to many happy summers in Italy.
I think my Thyme Ice-cream makes an excellent dessert after a summer meal – cooling and creamy but with a herby twist! The taste of thyme is quite subtle in this recipe and is balanced by the other flavours, so this a good introduction to herb ice-cream for those who may be a little unsure about it. If I am serving this at a dinner party, I will usually serve it paired with another ice-cream with a less unusual flavour and let people choose which one they want!
I love herb-flavoured ice-creams. I think the cream or custard base provides the perfect vehicle for many herbs and allows their flavours to sing out. Herbs are the stars of the show and not just a supporting act! Many herbs, which may be considered mainly of use in savoury dishes, make excellent ice-cream. In addition to thyme, I think basil, bay, sorrel all make excellent ice-creams. There are also, of course, other herbs such as lavender and lemon verbena, which are used in many sweet dishes and make fantastic flavourings for ice-cream.
Whisk and bowl. This recipe is a breeze using an but you can still make it if you don’t have one (see instructions under point 12 of Method)Print
Try a sweet twist on thyme with this creamy Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone.
- 200 ml double cream
- A large bunch of fresh thyme
- 4 egg yolks
- 100 ml honey
- 250 g mascarpone
- Wash your thyme and crush it gently using the back of a spoon to release its flavour. There is no need to remove the leaves from the woody stalks.
- Put the thyme into a saucepan with the cream. At this stage, if you have time (as well as thyme..) you can leave the mixture overnight to allow the flavour to infuse.
- Next, heat the cream and thyme mixture gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
- Strain the cream through a sieve to remove the thyme.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
- Pour the thyme-flavoured cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks.
- Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
- The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is). Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
- Add the honey to the custard.
- Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
- Add the mascarpone to the chilled custard.
- When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions. If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen. Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
There are many varieties of thyme and any are fine in this ice-cream. I used lemon thyme as I particularly love its flavour.
Keywords: thyme, ice-cream, honey, mascarpone
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