Similar to what we see with the Pine Nut and Olive Oil Gelato, this is another sweet application of a savory ingredient that yields sublime results. The milk and cream carry the buttery popcorn flavor, making the taste even more intense than that of eating freshly popped kernels. If time permits, make this ice-cream base and chill a full day before churning as the popcorn flavor will intensify as it sits.
- Yield: 1 quart
- 2 cups hot popped popcorn
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Kosher salt
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Cracker Jack or other sweet-coated popcorn, for garnish (optional)
- In a medium, heat-proof bowl, toss the popcorn with the butter and sprinkle with salt. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and cream to a simmer. Pour the milk mixture over the popcorn, and let steep for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, blend the popcorn mixture in a blender on high speed. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan and return to a simmer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt. Once the milk mixture has simmered, pour into the egg yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the yolks.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour into a clean bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Churn in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions until soft set. Cover and freeze until scoopable. Serve topped with a garnish of Cracker Jack, if desired.