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Rosemary Elderflower Ice Cream and Pink Peppercorn Almond Brittle‏
Ryan McBride Mellinger's recipe for a sweet Spring treat

With Easter shortly behind us and the weather getting warmer, our minds are brimming with excitement at all the new seasonal food possibilities. Fresh fruits, vegetables and, oh, ice cream.

Whilst ice cream can be a bit daunting to make at home, self-taught cook Ryan McBride Mellinger, a line chef and general all-rounder at Mulberry Street hotspot Balaboosta, is here to shatter the myth and share with us her fool-hardy recipe for an ice cream and brittle duo that is sweet, warming, and refreshing all at the same time.

Although originally served at the restaurant as an accompaniment to a Meyer Lemon Almond Cake, McBride Mellinger recommends filling a mug with splash of sparkling wine and topping it with this ice cream to make a sophisticated but fun ice cream float.

“I graduated in 2011 with a degree in Photography from NYU, and my training was literally watching my Dad in the kitchen all my life and spending hours in front of food TV in middle school,” says McBride Mellinger, “so if I can do it, you can do it too. Bon Appétit!”  

Rosemary Elderflower Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon + 1 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 oz. cream cheese

1/8 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 bunch of rosemary (5 sprigs)

1 shot (2 oz.) St. Germain elderflower liquor





Method:

1. Make slurry using 2 tablespoons of the milk and cornstarch.

2. Mix cream cheese and salt in a separate mixing bowl and prepare an ice bath to place the ice cream base into when ready.

3. Bring the remaining milk, cream, and sugar to soft boil over medium heat. Boil for about 4 minutes, continuously stirring the mixture.

4. Remove from the heat and add the slurry of milk and cornstarch, before returning to the stove, continuing to stir for about a minute until the mixture is slightly thickened.

5. Slowly add the hot mixture to the cream cheese and whisk until well combined.

6. Pour the mixture into a bain-marie (double boiler) and add the elderflower liquor and rosemary sprigs, before placing in an ice bath for about 30 minutes until cool.

7. Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

8. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container and cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap. Close with an airtight lid and leave to freeze for about four hours until firm. Best made a day ahead. 

Pink Peppercorn Almond Brittle

Ingredients:

1 pint coarsely chopped almonds 

1 cup sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns (roughly chopped)

1/4 tsp powdered vanilla

1/4 finely chopped rosemary

 Method:

1. Chop the almonds and have your sugar ready in a separate container.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients and have ready in a separate container, you will need to work fast and efficiently once the process begins to ensure the sugar does not burn, so the preparation is important.

3. Begin to heat a sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, sprinkle the sugar into a single layer on the bottom of the pan, using a wooden spoon to continually stir the sugar as it begins to melt.

4. Just before caramelization occurs (the sugar will start to turn a light brown color) add the chopped almonds in a single layer, before sprinkling the spices over top the almonds.

5. Turn the heat to low and use the wooden spoon to begin to fold the ingredients into themselves until well mixed and every almond is coated with the sugar.

6. Turn off the heat and transfer mixture to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with Pam. Let cool and then coarsely chop into bite size clusters of brittle.

Recipes are courtesy of Ryan McBride Mellinger