Last night, I was perusing a cookbook called Cherry Home Companion. Not only did every recipe call for cherries, but the word “cherry” was highlighted in red everywhere it appeared. I eventually got bored with all those cherries — and then this ice cream, which was supposed to be served on the side of some cherry dish, jumped out at me.
2 C heavy cream
2 C half and half
1/3 C coarsely chopped fresh sage
4 strips lemon zest (2-in. x 1/2-in.)
9 large egg yolks
3/4 granulated sugar
1/4 t salt
Bring the cream, half and half, sage, and zest to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Remove from heat and steep, covered, for 10 minutes.
Whisk together the yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in half of the hot cream, then whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cream in the saucepan. Cook custard over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it coats the back of the poon and reaches 170 degrees on a thermometer, about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil.
Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally. Chill, surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 3 hours (or up to 24 hours).
Freeze the custard in an ice-cream maker.