Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Beer Gelato



October is in full swing, and I could not feel happier about it! I am ready for the new year.

What's that? Oh, right, let me explain...

To Pagans/Wiccans/Witches, October is the last month of the Wheel of the Year, which is our calendar. The end of October is called Samhain(pronounced SOW-wehn), the night of the year in which the veil between this world and the next is the thinnest, and you can pass through and cross over. This is a time for honoring your ancestors, the last harvest, and the end of the year.

What's that got to do with beer?

Oktoberfest is upon us, too, and nothing says October like beer, cider, apples, pumpkins, and lots of sausages as you snuggle up in scarves and rake the leaves. I love ice cream, gelato, sorbets...any sort of churned frozen dessert, really! Here's how to make my Beer Gelato, made infamous by FoodieChats and  Rogue Ales & Spirits.



Beer Gelato
  • A scant 3 cups Oktoberfest(your favorite brand) beer
  • 5 dried apricots(you can usually find this in the bulk section of most grocery stores)
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 7 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar, the beer, apricots, and allspice in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and let it cook down. 

Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar and salt with the egg yolks. Whisk slowly, at first, just to combine it all, and then start whipping, by hand. You basically just want a smooth-looking custard. It'll look dark and you won't be able to tell if the eggs are lemon-colored after whipping, but just look for a nice, smooth, uniform custard. You're not looking to get air into it, just make it smooth.

After about 10 minutes of reducing, you should have about 2 cups of liquid left. Fish out the allspice berries and pop your apricots in the pitcher of your blender with about a cup of your beer reduction. Blend on low to make a smooth sort of apricot cream and slowly add in your warm beer in a trickle. When that's entirely incorporated, scrape all ingredients into your saucepot and whisk over a low, gentle flame until it thickens, just ever-so-slightly. If you have a thermometer, you'll want it to get to 175 degrees F/79 degrees C.

When ready, strain into a container and pop into the freezer to cool. You can also set up an ice bath for your container for even faster cooling...but your custard must cool entirely before churning. When you do churn, let your ice cream machine make it to about 5 minutes before you're done, and then turn off the chilling part of the unit and just let it turn for awhile. This will make cleanup for you much easier and yield a nicer mouthfeel.

You can enjoy this now, or set it in the freezer for a little while longer to set up enough to scoop. I personally like it a little more chilled, so I can scoop it and sandwich it between cookies, or perhaps just on a cone. If you like it a little softer, like my parents do, go ahead and have some now.

You can also blend this stuff with some milk to make a beer milkshake...or maybe make a beer float with some more Oktoberfest and some of this? Have fun with it. It's yours, now.
A photo posted by Kolika (@wannabgourmande) on
Thanks so much to Rogue Ales and Spirits for the blog request, and to FoodieChats, of course!

Happy cooking and happy eating!