2000s Recipes + Menus

Mandarin Orange Ice Cream with Sesame Brittle

Makes about2 qt
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:11 hr (includes chilling and freezing)
March 2009
In Korea, dessert often means a simple piece of fruit. This ice cream, though more complex, rings so clearly of mandarin oranges that we think an exception may be made. Sesame seeds, valued in Korean cooking for their medicinal properties, thread their way through the frozen custard as nuggets of honey-sweetened brittle. When making a large amount of ice cream, as this recipe does, it’s imperative to churn the mixture in two batches, so ice crystals don’t form.

For custard

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups fresh mandarin orange or clementine juice
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup mild honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated mandarin orange or clementine zest

For brittle

  • 2/3 cup white sesame seeds (not toasted)
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds (not toasted)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons mild honey
  • Equipment:

    an ice cream maker

Make custard:

  • Bring cream, juice, and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk together yolks, sugar, and honey, then add half of cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens slightly and registers 170 to 175°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil).
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in zest. Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until cold, at least 6 hours.

Make sesame brittle:

  • Place a large sheet of foil (shiny side up) on a heatproof work surface.
  • Toast white and black sesame seeds in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until white seeds are golden, about 8 minutes, then transfer to a plate.
  • Heat sugar and honey with a pinch of salt in a 2-qt heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds and remove from heat. Pour mixture onto foil, smoothing top and spreading into a 10- to 11-inch round with a metal offset spatula (mixture will be very hot), then cool to room temperature.
  • Invert brittle onto a cutting board and peel off foil. Cut brittle into small pieces. Transfer to an airtight container.

Make ice cream:

  • Freeze custard in an ice cream maker in 2 separate batches. Fold 3/4 cup sesame brittle into each batch after freezing. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up, about 4 hours. Serve with remaining brittle if desired.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Custard can be chilled up to 24 hours.
  • Sesame brittle keeps in an airtight container at room temperature 3 months.
  • We’ve also got a Web-exclusive recipe using the leftover black sesame seeds.
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