Coffee Ice Cream

I love coffee ice cream, but rarely get it because the caffeine does a number on me. If I have coffee or even mocha ice cream after dinner I’m jittery until 3 am. So, when I opened David Lebovitz‘s new book, The Perfect Scoop and found a recipe for coffee ice cream on page 34, the ice cream maker bowl immediately went into the freezer.

If you make your own coffee ice cream, you can make it with decaffeinated beans! No late night jitters. Safe for kids.

David has provided helpful advice for me on practically every ice cream recipe on this site, which have all turned out great, so it’s no wonder that his new book’s recipes are spot on. I think this is the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever had.

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 1 quart
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (decaf unless you want the caffeine in your ice cream)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee (press grinds through a fine mesh sieve)

Method

1 Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

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2 Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.

3 Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

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4 Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.

5 Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.

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6 Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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Showing 4 of 68 Comments

  • lydia

    Decaf ice cream — what a great idea! I store the canister for my ice cream maker in the freezer, where I keep a can of decaf beans, too. Why haven’t I ever thought to put those two things together?!

  • Mary

    According to this recipe you stir in finely ground coffee and leave it in. Is that right? I’ve made decaf coffee ice cream before (for my mother in law who also loves coffee ice cream, but absolutely can’t have caffeine), but I infused the custard with coffee and strained it out.

  • Elise

    Hi Mary – the recipe calls for infusing 1 1/2 cups of coffee beans. You do add 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground coffee just for looks. You certainly don’t need them if you don’t want.

  • Dena

    Elise, this is random, but I absolutely LOVE the print on your bowl! Do you know what the brand/print is called?

    Thanks!

    (and the ice cream looks oh so good, too. Someday I will buy an ice cream maker!)

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