Taro Ice Cream
Here is the ideal summer day.
It would begin with waking up at 9:30 feeling refreshed and glowing. I would curl up on the couch by the window, with the Seattle Times, a warm cinnamon roll (prepared the night before, of course,) and a warm cup of jasmine tea. This leisurely breakfast would be followed by a quick shower, before heading to the park with The Canon.
At the park, I would sit on the sunniest bench and watch the cute kids and the cute dogs go by, photographing every leaf and swing and discarded soccer ball that strikes inspiration. I’d stop at the frozen yogurt place and eat it slowly with the little tester spoon as I walked back home. Mom would come home, we’d make and eat a lovely dinner, and watch Iron Chef before bed.
Well, okay. Here’s how my actual summer days have been going.
I am currently working at my mom’s office, which means I am waking up at 5 in the morning. Breakfast is a bowl of cereal (pretty much inhaled, not eaten) and a record-speed shower before driving to her office. This is followed by a full 8 hour work day of office work, before driving back home and collapsing in a tired heap on the bed. But everything is better at 10 PM, watching Iron Chef and eating homemade taro ice cream.
Taro roots are sometimes called the potatoes of the tropics. Steamed, they’re creamy and starchy and similar to a baked yam. My mom and her brothers used to eat taro as a treat when they were growing up – steamed and then dipped in sugar. My mom requested this ice cream out of the blue. When she came home with taro and steamed it herself, I knew she was serious. I tried to find a recipe online but couldn’t, so I improvised. It’s one of my first experimental recipes and I think it was a success.
On another note, I’d like to announce the winner of the Mojito Jelly Giveaway… Comment #3, Nutmeg Nanny. (Sorry Dad, no luck.) Congratulations, I’ll be sending you a jar shortly!
I didn’t skimp on milk, cream, or eggs, so the taro ice cream came out really rich and creamy. This ice cream uses steamed taro – use a vegetable steamer and cook until tender. Then use a potato masher or fork to mash the taro into as smooth and creamy a paste as you can. I couldn’t get it smooth as I wanted, so I threw it into my food processor for a while too.
Taro Ice Cream
Makes about a quart
1 cup mashed steamed taro
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
6 egg yolks
Heat heavy cream, whole milk, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat.
Beat egg yolks until light, then add in a ladle-ful of the hot cream mixture, tempering the eggs. Keep adding the hot cream bit by bit until the egg mixture is warmed, then pour the egg-cream mixture back into the sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. (You should be able to drag a finger through the coated spoon and have the line stay.)
Pour the custard through a strainer and then whisk in the mashed taro. I couldn’t get rid of all the lumps, so I pulsed it in the food processor. Cover the custard with plastic wrap and chill until cold, then churn in an ice cream maker using the manufacturer’s instructions.
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PS: I applied for a job at Starbucks. I’ve had my interviews and they’ll let me know this week!