Vibrantly colored winter citrus is perfectly complemented by ginger and dark chocolate making for a blood orange ice cream that's worth turning the heat up for this winter.
I wonder if there’s a reason Thanksgiving happens in November and not, say, February. Is it because, by the time February rolls around, it’s really difficult to figure out what you’re thankful for? I get that… But I also think this is the most important time to talk about what we’re thankful for. Otherwise, we spend all our time grumbling and complaining about anything and everything. Because we’re cold and tired and did I mention cold?
Plus, we could all use a giant turkey dinner right about now. With extra wine.
Anyway. I’m really, really, really thankful that despite all the blizzards and ridiculous weather we’ve had, I’ve continued to have a warm and comfortable house to come home to. And despite the obnoxious mess our city’s public transportation system has been, it’s still been able to get me to and from work on a mostly daily basis. Also, even if I’m stuck on the train for 2 hours, I’m still mostly warm and able to sit and read my book, which I’m counting as a HUGE luxury. Like honestly, I don’t have much to complain about. So sorry you had to sit and read on the train for two hours instead of sitting on your couch. Also, no matter how late I get home and how cold I’ve been all day, I want ice cream for dessert. I shouldn’t be allowed to complain about being cold if I’m eating ice cream.
When life gives you citrus, make blood orange ice cream (and cocktails and cake and chicken and pasta).
Can you tell I have a winter citrus obsession this year? All citrus non-stop on the blog lately. I have another recipe featuring winter citrus coming on Friday and you don’t even want to know how many clementines I’ve been eating the past couple months. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Until it’s watermelon season.
I’ve been thinking about making blood orange ice cream since last winter and decided to put my winter citrus to good use last week. The only thing better than winter citrus is winter citrus with dark chocolate. Combine that into ice cream and you have absolutely nothing to complain about.
To start, heat the milk, half the cream, sugar, shaved ginger, and half the blood orange zest in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly, until it just reaches the point of simmer. Then remove from heat. While milk is heating, lightly whisk egg yolks in a separate medium-sized bowl.
Pour about half of the warm milk/cream into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking while you do so. This is to temper the eggs, which will allow you to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without cooking them. Then pour the egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk.
Continue to cook over low heat, while also continuing to whisk. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, remove the saucepan from heat. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, pour the remaining heavy cream, blood orange juice, and the remaining blood orange zest. Your mixture will be the best color ever. Strain the egg/milk mixture into the bowl, making sure to continue to whisk.
Adding the milk mixture meant my mixture didn’t stay that vibrant blood orange color… But not adding it would have meant not very creamy ice cream, which is definitely more important to me! Anyway, you'll want to cover the bowl with plastic wrap (it’s best if the plastic wrap is actually touching the top of the mixture) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Once mixture is chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. And be sure to mix in the dark chocolate chips when ice cream is almost done processing.
When ice cream is frozen, remove to airtight containers and put in freezer for at least 4 hours to continue to harden.
I still like my old Zak ice cream containers (affiliate link), but I’m really in love with these Tovolo ones (affiliate link). My ice cream froze beautifully and the covers are SO easy to remove (which is obviously really important when you’re craving a quick ice cream fix!).
Citrus and chocolate, citrus and chocolate. Isn’t winter the BEST?!?!
Happy February Thanksgiving. This blood orange ice cream is the perfect way to end your giant meal. OR you could simply eat this AS your giant meal. Then you’d have a whole lot to be thankful for.
I sprinkled a little more blood orange zest over the top of the ice cream because zest is clearly my thing this week. There will be more on Friday. Just warning you now.
Here’s one more thing I’m thankful for in these dark depths of winter: my neon pink bowls. Chris got them for me for Christmas from Wind and Willow Home and I am absolutely in love with them. They just plain make me happy.
A neon pink bowl with blood orange ice cream.
I debated whether or not I wanted to put ginger in this blood orange ice cream, but I went for it and am so happy I did. It complemented the citrus flavor perfectly without overpowering it. Shhh but Chris says he doesn’t like ginger and he LOVED this ice cream. I don’t think he knew there was ginger in it. He said it tasted like a creamsicle, but even better.
Also, I really want to enlarge this photo and hang it across from my desk, so I can stare at it all day long. It’s a great reminder that life is GOOD.
And now I’m seriously craving dark chocolate-covered blood oranges. Please, can blood orange season last forever without winter and snow lasting forever?!
No? Didn’t think so, but it was worth asking.
And with that blood orange ice cream concludes the second day of winter citrus zest week here at We are not Martha. I hope you’re having a happy one and are getting excited for Daylight Saving Time in less than two weeks!!
What are you thankful for right now?
Blood Orange Ginger Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream, separated
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp blood orange zest, separated
- 4 1-inch pieces shaved ginger
- 4 egg yolks
- ¾ cup blood orange juice
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- Heat milk, 1 cup cream, sugar, ginger, and ½ Tbsp blood orange zest in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir constantly, until the mixture just reaches the point of simmer. Then remove from heat.
- While milk is heating, lightly whisk the egg yolks in a separate medium-sized bowl.
- Pour about half of the warm milk/cream into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking while you do so.
- Then pour the egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk.
- Continue to cook over low heat, while whisking. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, after about 5-7 minutes, remove the saucepan from heat.
- In a separate large bowl, pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream, blood orange juice, and the remaining ½ Tbsp blood orange zest. Strain the egg/milk mixture into the bowl, making sure to continue to whisk.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Once mixture is chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, mixing in dark chocolate chips when ice cream is almost done processing.
- When ice cream is frozen, remove to airtight containers and put in freezer for at least 4 hours to continue to harden.