Ginger ice cream is a popular flavor at the ice cream parlor, in Chinese or Japanese restaurants and for homemade ice cream. The main ingredients in ginger ice cream are fresh chopped ginger, cream, and sugar. After freezing, ginger ice cream has a soft and smooth texture and a mild taste with a hint of spice. Many restaurants serve the ice cream as a side dish with other desserts, such as blueberry pie, raspberry torte, or fruit parfait.
The main flavoring for the ice cream is ginger. Most recipes call for fresh ginger stocks that are washed and chopped into small pieces. When simmered in the ice cream batter, the ginger imparts a slightly sweet flavor along with a mild spiciness.
Most ginger ice cream recipes call for heavy cream, milk, and eggs. The heavy cream and milk give the ice cream the creamy consistency, while the eggs help the ice cream to form and thicken up. Sugar or honey is often added to sweeten the ice cream. Since ginger is not particularly sweet, the ice cream needs additional sweeteners.
Making ginger ice cream is three-step process. Most recipes require a custard to be made from the ingredients before adding them to the ice cream maker. First, the milk, sugar, heavy cream and chopped ginger are simmered over a low-heat, which allows the flavor the ginger to blend in with the other ingredients. The eggs are slowly blended into the simmered mixture to create a custard, which is processed through a strainer to remove any chunks of ginger.
Traditionally, the custard is cooled in an ice bath before being added to an ice cream machine. Ice cream machines blend the custard together slowly while freezing it. This process turns the custard into a soft-serve ice cream, which can be eaten as is or frozen for several hours. Allowing additional freezing time gives the ginger ice cream time to thicken and harden.
Ginger ice cream can be eaten alone or with other desserts. For example, tart pies such as blueberry or raspberry, pair well with the mild and slightly spicy flavor of the ginger. The ice cream also works well on top of cookies or plain cake.