You can’t call yourself a true garlic lover until you’re daring enough to try garlic ice cream…and like it. I fell in love with garlic ice cream back in 2006 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, one of the largest food festivals in the United States with food, drinks, arts & crafts and live entertainment. It’s a garlic lover’s paradise with garlic-enhanced dishes like calamari, scampi, garlic fries, and of course, garlic bread.
Garlic ice cream is really an acquired taste that people often find difficult to describe. If you aren’t one of the many who hate it the moment it reaches your taste buds, you’ll probably find it to be weird but oddly satisfying the first time you try it. It’s cool, smooth, and creamy (like all good ice cream should be), but it also uniquely combines a sweet vanilla flavor with a rich, buttery garlic flavor. Whatever the exact flavor is, it grew on me.
Six years later on a road trip through California, I was ecstatic to see garlic ice cream being sold at a booth on the side of the road. Better yet, it was Marianne’s garlic ice cream, an old fashioned brand of ice cream produced in Santa Cruz. Marianne’s never disappoints when it comes to ice cream, but this garlic ice cream (photographed below) was not as good as the one I sampled at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Too vanilla-y, not enough garlic, and the texture was just all wrong.
Once I got back to Los Angeles, I just had to attempt to recreate my beloved garlic ice cream from Gilroy. The result? Even better than the original! If you have an ice cream machine and are adventurous enough, try this roasted garlic ice cream recipe. Yes, roasted garlic…because roasting the garlic makes it less pungent and more palatable to you garlic skeptics.
And for those of you who are road trippin’ down the California coast around July 27th, 28th, or 29th, you must stop by Gilroy, the “Garlic Capital of the World,” and try the infamous garlic ice cream. Sure, your breath is going to stink, but it will be so worth it!
Brynn Cahalan is a recent graduate form UC Irvine with adventurous taste buds and an affinity for garlic. One of her top cooking tips is to always add more garlic than a recipe calls for because it will enhance the flavor of anything you make (including ice cream!). Read more…
Roasted Garlic Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
1 garlic head
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Place a baking sheet on a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Peel off a few layers of white skin off the garlic bulb, keeping some of the layers around to keep the bulb intact. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of the garlic bulb, exposing a bit of each garlic clove.
Place garlic bulb in foil. Drizzle olive oil on top, and seal the foil around the garlic bulb.
Place in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. After letting the garlic cool slightly, peel off the white skin and finely mince the garlic cloves.
Bring garlic, milk, vanilla and salt to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat immediately.
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and heavy cream. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture, making sure the eggs don’t curdle.
Return the mixture back to the stove and stir constantly for 10 minutes over low heat until thickened.
Remove custard from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof, airtight container. Let mixture cool in the fridge before pouring into an ice cream maker. Freeze ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions.