11 February, 2010

Don't drive after you try my Absinthe Gelato

The tasting notes put out by St. George Spirits for their Absinthe Verte lists "fine brandy, star anise, mint, wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, basil, fennel, tarragon and stinging nettles. This infamous liquor reveals seductive flavors of anise complimented with sweet grassy tones, light citrus, white pepper, and light menthol notes."  Why that says "Gelato!" to me, I will never know but if you like (okay really, really like...it's an acquired taste) absinthe, this is an alchemical sweet you should try.

Liza's Absinthe Gelato
3 egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar separated into 1 tbs and 4 tbs
2 tablespoons St. George Absinthe Verte
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Over a double boiler, with water on a low simmer, beat 3 eggs yolks with 1 tbs sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is pale yellow and very thick...about 3 minutes.  Be careful not to overheat as yolks will cook.  Then, remove from heat and very, very slowly while whisking vigorously with a wire whisk, dribble the absinthe into the egg yolk mixture a few drops at a time taking care not to pour the liquor in too quickly as mixture will seize.  When absinthe is mixed into egg yolk mixture, set aside.

In separate bowl, whip cream into soft peaks.  Add remaining sugar and continue beating until well mixed but stop before the cream gets too stiff or turns to butter (hey, it happens).  Once sugar is mixed in,  fold in egg yolk/absinthe mix.  Once the two mixtures are loosely incorporated, pour into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturers direction.  I usually take it out of the ice cream maker at a soft stage and place it in a freezer container to set.  The alcohol in the absinthe will prevent it from freezing all the way.  Makes about a cup and a half of gelato, which is either a little too much or not quite enough depending on how much you like the taste of absinthe.  It ends up being exotic, licoricey with a hint of the medicinal contrasted against the silky rich frozen cream. 
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