Oatmeal Ice Cream. No Kidding.
This ice cream doesn’t look weird at all. Would anyone even notice that it has oatmeal in it?
Here’s the thing about recipe development. It is an exhilarating exercise in creativity because of confining parameters like using a certain ingredient. Sometimes the recipes turn out spectacularly well and showcase a product in a whole new light. They’re real keepers. Others just force the limit a little too far. These flops are achingly obvious when I return to a recipe years later (shaking my head), and make the dish without said starring ingredient. I’ve done this a lot. That cake would have really been better made with all-purpose flour and less leavening than that self-rising flour. Why did I put that much Jack Daniel’s and Tabasco in those wings and dipping sauces? Did anyone buy that those Uncle Ben’s converted rice dishes were risottos as there’s not a speck of creamy starch in the firm, separate grains of converted rice. How about all that propaganda we spread in the form of oat bran muffin mix recipes.
Speaking of oats. Here’s my Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Ice Cream recipe that fits into that later category of “why,” that for some reason I just had to try. I guess for laughs, maybe because the rush you get during recipe development never really goes away. No, I’ll probably never make this again. But, it is good conversation starter.
Here’s my creative journey behind oatmeal ice cream: This is not cookie dough or crumbled cookies in ice cream. This ice cream actually has real cooked oatmeal in it, inspired by the daily morning oatmeal that R.B. and I are enjoying (with soy milk, not cream and eggs). Yes, enjoying, we feel fabulous! The deeper inspiration was a fancy, absolutely sublime, brunch oatmeal creme brulee courtesy of David Burke and the Park Avenue Cafe in New York that pops into my head with regularity (no pun intended on the regularity part). He’s also the creative genius behind salmon pastrami and those goofy flavored sprays for dieters who need a shot of bacon essence. Isn’t that called liquid smoke?
Anyway, I just thought it would be fun to freeze some oatmeal in the ice cream freezer. I wonder if the soluble fiber in the oatmeal might somehow add to the creamy texture of the ice cream. In that case, I probably should have tested it without all those dang eggs. Actually the texture isn’t bad and it has a mysterious chew…Have at it!
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3 cups half and half, divided
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup raisins (I like golden) soaking in 1 tablespoon rum or Jack Daniel's (Of course, we use Jack Daniel's as some habits are hard to break)
- Cook the oatmeal according to package directions and cool.
- Bring 2 cups of the half and half to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and the eggs.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture and blend well.
- Pour the eggs into the hot cream. Stir in the cooked oatmeal and salt.
- Cook and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Pour into a large bowl. Add the remaining cream, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Cover and chill a few hours or over night.
- Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Add the optional raisins to the ice cream near the end of churning.
- Spoon into a covered container and harden in the freezer.