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Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pomegranate Pride ice cream.

Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss is filled with all the delicious stand-bys – chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and caramel. But what makes Rose Levy Beranbaum’s 12th cookbook so, well, blissful are the mouth-watering recipes she’s concocted over the years with whimsical names such as Fluffy Nougat, Back Road Wild Mint Chip, Royal Velvet Lavender, and the rather risqué Bust My Bourbon Balls ice cream.

New Jersey-based Beranbaum is primarily known for her delicious cake and pie recipes (The Cake Bible and The Pie and Pastry Bible). However, ice cream has always been her passion, not to mention the sweet she loves most.

“When I was young, I was very fussy and didn’t like most of the food put in front of me, but I loved ice cream. I remember vividly eating the half-chocolate, half-vanilla Dixie cups of my childhood summers in the Catskills with a little wooden flat spoon. The texture of the creamy ice cream on the simplicity of wood is a memory I cherish to this day. It was the feel and perception of all those elements combined.”

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In addition to a wonderful assortment of ice creams to make, there is a section devoted to toppings, such as soft candied grapefruit peel chanterelle, citrus stardust and a rhubarb compote, as well as recipes under the heading Ice Cream Socials, which include Praline Pecan Meringue Ice Cream sandwiches and an Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie (made with her True Lemon ice cream.)

For years Beranbaum says her favourite flavour was caramel, until she created Pomegranate Pride Ice Cream. It requires patience and attention to detail, but the end result, she adds, is well worth the effort.

“Why make your own ice cream?” she asks. “For the same reason as baking or cooking: You can make it tailored to your own taste and texture. I’d rather have a smaller scoop of what I call luxury ice cream than a larger one that is less rich.”

Pomegranate Pride ice cream

Makes about 1 litre

Ice cream base

2¼ cups bottled pomegranate juice, preferably POM

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

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1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

2¼ cups heavy cream, divided

6 (to 9) large egg yolks, or ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp (104 ml)

½ tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained

About 6 drops red liquid food colouring (optional)

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Toppings

3 tablespoons pomegranate arils (optional)

½ cup Pama pomegranate liqueur (optional)

In a medium saucepan, preferably non-stick, boil the pomegranate juice over medium heat, stirring often with a silicone spatula, until it is reduced to about one-quarter its original weight or volume (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon).

Cut the butter into four pieces and stir it in until melted. Stir in sugar and salt, and then ¾ cup of the cream. Allow the mixture to cool until room temperature or barely warm, and stir in the egg yolks.

Heat the mixture on medium-low, stirring constantly, until slightly thicker than heavy cream. When a finger is run across the back of the spatula, it will leave a well-defined track. An instant-read thermometer should read 170 F to 180 F or 77 C to 82 C. Meanwhile, have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium bowl.

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Immediately pour the mixture into the strainer, scraping up the thickened mixture that has settled on the bottom of the pan. Press it through the strainer and scrape any mixture clinging to the underside into the bowl.

Stir in the remaining cream (1 ½ cups) and then the lemon juice and food colouring, if desired, to achieve a pale pink colour. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 8 hours or until no warmer than 43 F or 6 C. (Alternatively, cool in an ice water bath.) Set a covered storage container in the freezer.

Churn the pomegranate custard in a prechilled ice cream maker. Transfer the ice cream to the chilled container. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream, cover the container and allow the ice cream to firm in the freezer for at least four hours before serving.

Top with a sprinkling of pomegranate arils and/or a drizzle of pomegranate liqueur, if desired. The ice cream will last in the freezer in a covered container for at least one week.

Excerpted from Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss by Rose Levy Beranbaum (C) 2020 Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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