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2000s Recipes + Menus

Savory Dijon Ice Cream with Gravlaks

Makes about1 qt
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:7 hr (includes chilling and freezing)
June 2009
So how, exactly, do you get to a place where Dijon-mustard ice cream on gravlaks seems like a delicious, logical—some might say inevitable—idea for a first course? Food editor and stylist Paul Grimes, who would be the first person to argue that the words classic and playful are not mutually exclusive, started by free-associating flavors in order to morph something sweet into something savory. “I am not a fan of honey mustard,” he stated. “But its popularity got me thinking about other sweet ingredients that would work with mustard, and brown sugar came to mind.” Okay, that makes sense. There’s something very Scandinavian about the whole spicy-sweet thing, he added, and from there, it was a nimble hop to the cold-sauce-on-fish idea, and then a bolder leap to a scoop of ice cream on gravlaks, which Grimes feels is cleaner and brighter than smoked salmon. Crisp, earthy rye or wheat crackers bring texture you’d miss if it weren’t there. (Editor’s note: This recipe is solely the creation of Paul Grimes and has not been formally tested by the test kitchen.)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Equipment:

    an ice cream maker
  • Accompaniments:

    gravlaks; salmon roe; chopped dill; rye or wheat crackers
  • Bring cream, milk, curry powder, vanilla, and salt just to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together yolks and brown sugar in a large metal bowl until thick and creamy. Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, and pour back into pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Remove from heat.
  • Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean metal bowl and cool in an ice bath. Whisk in mustard, then continue to chill, stirring occasionally, until cold.
  • Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.
  • Top gravlaks with small scoops of ice cream and spoon a small amount of roe beside ice cream. Sprinkle with dill. Serve crackers on the side.