Cindy Bennington's Creamsicle With Candied Orange Zest and Orange Confit
Pastry chef Cindy Bennington of Cynthia’s in Severna Park dreamed up this “New Age creamsicle” using a layering of brightly flavored orange sorbet and rich vanilla sabayon. It might sound complicated, but she shapes the ice cream in dome-shaped silicone molds—available at Sur la Table—that make them easy to make and pop out. If you’re looking for the same flavors with half the fuss, skip the candied orange zest and orange confit. Just scoop the sorbet into a glass and top it with sabayon for a sophisticated taste of summer.
1 cup sugar
1 quart fresh orange juice, strained
(Using a zester that creates long strands, zest two of the oranges and reserve)
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
9 large egg yolks
3⁄4 cup Prosecco or Champagne
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Pinch of kosher salt
Seeds from 1⁄2 vanilla bean
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
Candied orange zest and orange confit:
2 oranges, sliced 1⁄8 inch thick
Reserved zest of 2 oranges (from orange-sorbet recipe)
4 1⁄2 cups sugar
3 cups plus 6 tablespoons water
1 vanilla bean
Dome-shaped silicone molds
Make the orange sorbet: In a saucepan set over high heat, combine the sugar with 1 1⁄2 cups orange juice. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, add the remaining juice, and cool completely. Stir in the Grand Marnier and freeze in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze for about 5 hours.
Make the vanilla sabayon: Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside. Fill a pot 1⁄4 full of water and bring to a simmer over low to medium heat. In a bowl that will fit snugly over the pot, whisk together the egg yolks, Prosecco or Champagne, Grand Marnier, salt, and vanilla seeds. Whisking continuously, mix in the sugar. Set the bowl over the simmering water (making sure the bottom isn’t touching the water), and whisk the mixture until it’s thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl into the ice bath and whisk until cool. Set aside. In another bowl, whip the cream until medium peaks form. Gently fold into the cooled egg mixture. Assemble the molds right away.
Fill the creamsicle molds: Place the silicone molds on a flat baking sheet. Using a ladle or spoon, fill the molds with sabayon to just over 3⁄4 full. Using a miniature ice-cream scoop, form a dome-shaped scoop of sorbet, flattening the top, and place it rounded side down into the sabayon, gently pressing the sorbet until the flattened end is flush with the sabayon. (It should look like a sunny-side-up egg.) Lightly scrape away any excess sabayon displaced from the mold. Freeze for 6 hours.
Candy the orange zest and make the orange confit: In a small saucepan set over high heat, bring 1 cup sugar and 3⁄4 cup water to a boil. When sugar is dissolved, pour into a bowl over the orange zest. Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and water. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pot, then add the pod. Bring to a boil over high heat. When the sugar is dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and layer the orange slices into the syrup. Lay a sheet of parchment paper directly onto the oranges. Simmer gently over low heat until the oranges are translucent and the syrup is thickened, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the creamsicles: When ready to serve the creamsicles, pop a dome out of its mold and place it in the center of a shallow bowl. Slice 3 or 4 orange-confit slices in half. Slightly overlap them in a circle around the dome. Set a pinch of candied zest on top of the dome. Drizzle the bowl with a little of the orange syrup from the confit. Serve immediately.
Patrick O'Connell's Sweet-Corn Ice-Cream Sandwich With Caramel Wafers
Patrick O'Connell's dessert menu at his pastorally elegant Inn at Little Washington elevates one sweet above all others: ice cream. His refashioned ice-cream sandwich showcases another of his great loves—sweet summer corn, which he spins into a dense ice cream, then presses between thin caramel wafers. Instead of chocolate chips, the edges of his ice-cream sandwich get rolled in crushed caramel popcorn. You’ll be licking your sticky fingers like a ten-year-old.
Sweet-corn ice cream:
2 cups milk
4 cups heavy cream
11⁄2 cups sugar
4 ears sweet corn, shucked, kernels removed, cobs reserved, and broken in half
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons maple syrup
11⁄2 sticks (6 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
11⁄4 cup flour
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
11 ounces corn syrup
21⁄2 cups caramel popcorn
Make the sweet-corn ice cream: Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap and set it in the freezer. In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, cream, sugar, corn kernels, and corncobs over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to steep for about 1 hour, or until it tastes like sweet corn. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Bring back to a simmer. Discard the kernels and cobs. Place the eggs and yolks in a large stainless-steel bowl and slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture. Set the mixture over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup. Chill in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the ice cream onto the lined cookie sheet and freeze.
Make the caramel wafers: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a nonstick Silpat. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined. Add the flour and salt and mix again until combined. With the mixer on medium speed, add the corn syrup in a slow, steady stream. Mix until fully incorporated.
Place the batter in a pastry bag. Pipe out 12 circles about the size of golf balls on the cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the cookie sheet halfway around and bake for another 5 minutes. (The batter will spread out during the baking.)
Remove from the oven. Using a 21⁄2-to-3-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out 12 circles on the cookie sheet before the cookies have a chance to cool. Do not remove the circles, and set the sheet aside to cool on a rack.
Once the cookies are completely cool, use an offset spatula to remove the wafers and put them on a plate. If making ahead, wrap the plate tightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to use.
Assemble the sandwiches: Place the caramel popcorn in a large Ziploc bag. Crush the popcorn with the palm of your hand and pour onto a plate. Using the same cookie cutter used on the wafers, cut out 6 circles of ice cream. Place an ice-cream circle on top of a wafer, and top with another wafer. Roll the ice-cream edges in the caramel corn. The finished sandwiches can be kept in the freezer, wrapped in plastic, for up to a week.