I'm pretty sure I've documented my unbridled, over-the-top love of cardamom here before, and at the risk of sounding a tad redundant, have I mentioned that I'm very fond of the spice? Typically I've only used cardamom in my baked goods, and occasionally I've used it in a few Indian curries I've made, but it wasn't until recently that I discovered how lovely it tastes in ice cream. Why am I not surprised?
Our local natural market carries some of the best, well really if I'm being honest, the only cardamom ice cream I've ever had. If you are a cardamom groupie or a cardamom groupie wannabe I strongly suggest you check out your local natural market to see if they carry Three Twins, Dad's Cardamom Ice Cream. If they don't , well you'll just have to settle for giving this recipe a go. Although in reality I would hardly call it settling.
Before you get put off of the idea of making your own ice cream, let me say that it's easier than it looks. I also don't have a fancy, bazillion dollar ice cream maker and truth be told you don't really need one either. I have a simple, fairly inexpensive Donvier hand crank model that works perfectly for my purposes, and I think would work just fine for most people. If you plan on making ice cream weekly you will likely need something a bit fancier but for the handful of times I make ice cream each year this is really all I need.
If you've never tried cardamom before I really encourage you to do so. Starbucks is featuring a Vanilla Spice Latte currently that has a light sprinkling of cardamom sugar on top and it's to die for. You can also grind it up and put it on top of your cinnamon sugar toast for an easy, quick vehicle of consumption. If you go to the grocery store and look for cardamom there you are likely going to experience some sticker shock. I buy most of my spices at small East Indian markets where the prices are much more reasonable, so if you are lucky enough to have one near you, head there.
There is something light, fragrant and mysterious about cardamom. It's hard for me to explain it's allure.
Without a doubt my love of the spice is tied to childhood memories of soft breads, pastries and icings liberally laced with it's heady taste and aromas. I know that taste memories are powerful things and often times things we've loved as children don't live up to our developed and mature, adult palates. While true of many things, cardamom for me is as good now, maybe even better, than I ever remember it being.
Once you've made your ice cream in the maker, transfer it to a loaf pan and freeze until firm, 3-4 hours. Serve with salted caramel sauce and chocolate covered almonds or eat it plain in all it's pure unadulterated glory.
Recipe Adapted from the New York Times