Cambozola Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream usually gets the oohs, mmms, and eager spoons, but this one may get some raised eyebrows, too. But don’t let any doubt deter you.  Cambozola Ice Cream is rich, extra creamy, and with just the right tang of blue. Drizzle it with honey, dot it with summer berries, or dip into it on its own with a pairing of sherry. This ice cream is well worth taking a culinary leap of faith.

For the ice cream:
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup sugar
3 T honey (I used raw honey, which was a bit thicker than the avg. honey)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1/4 of a vanilla bean, split)
4 egg yolks
4oz. Cambozola, room temperature, rind removed, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup cream

For the sauce:
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Special equipment: Ice cream maker

In a saucepan, heat the half-and-half on low heat and add in the sugar, honey, and vanilla. Stir at regular intervals until the cream is hot (do not let it boil). While it is warming, beat your egg yolks and set aside.

Once your milk is hot, ladle out a tablespoon and add it to the bowl of the beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly as you pour. You do not want the heat of the milk to scramble the eggs (or you’ll have a different recipe entirely).

Keep adding a tablespoon at a time, until your egg mixture is warm (about 6-8 tablespoons). The goal here is to raise the temperature of the eggs so that you can introduce them into the milk without shocking them into a solid. I keep the eggs in a metal bowl so I can tell how warm the eggs have gotten. Now, watch the heat of your milk ad you do this step so the milk does not get too hot while you are concentrating on the eggs.

Remove the vanilla bean at this point (if you are using) and then stir the egg mixture into the hot milk. Stir and scrape the sides regularly for about ten minutes or until thickened (that is, until it will coat the back of a wooden spoon). Strain the mixture into a bowl. Then stir in the Cambozola to melt until you only see very small chunks left. Add a 1/2 cup of cream and stir.

Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, covered for at least 4 hours.

Use the mixture in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze overnight, or at least eight hours.

Before serving, or while you wait for your ice cream to freeze, start on the sauce. Add the water, sugar, and cherries to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the cherries are softened and the sauce is slightly thickened. Let cool (it will thicken more as it cools).

When you are ready for raising some eyebrows, dip a scoop, pour over a spoonful of the cherries, and serve.