Today on the show, Good Food Producer Gillian Ferguson goes on a foraging adventure with three chefs at Craft Restaurant. Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle, Chef de Cuisine John Keenan and Pastry Sous Chef Holden Burkons enjoy the tender young stalks and fronds of the wild fennel which pops up this time of year in Los Angeles.
The chefs use them in both savory and sweet applications, but Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle likes to make a Wild Fennel Ice Cream which he serves with an Olive Oil and Black Pepper Cake and Harry’s Berries Strawberries. Keep reading for his Wild Fennel Ice Cream Recipe…
Wild Fennel Ice Cream
(From Shannon Swindle, Pastry Chef, Craft Restaurant)
1 quart organic heavy cream
1 quart organic whole milk
8 ounces wild fennel fronds and small stems, chopped
20 organic egg yolks
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
Place the cream, milk and wild fennel in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, and scald over medium heat. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and allow the mixture to steep for 1 hour. Prepare an ice bath by mixing ice and enough water to cover in a container large enough to hold a separate container of ice cream base. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt until well-combined. Re-heat the dairy and fennel mixture, and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture all at once. Whisk until combined, and immediately pour the custard into a metal container and place in the ice bath. Stir occasionally until the base is cold. cover the ice cream base and refrigerate overnight. Before freezing, strain the base through a fine mesh strainer, and freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions.
* note – Shannon does not slowly temper the yolks and place the ice cream base back on the heat and cook until thickened as a lot of pastry chefs do. The sugar keeps the egg yolks from scrambling, and the boiling cream raises the temperature of the yolks to cook them sufficiently.