When I visit my parents, I often leave with more things than I had with me when I arrived. Sometimes it’s mail, sometimes it’s a fun ingredient my parents picked up for me, sometimes it’s something from their garden. Sometimes it’s just an extra ingredient that my mom knows I could use somehow. Recently my mom gave me a container of sour cream she had planned to use for something, but for whatever reason didn’t get to making that something. So I made my own something.
I had heard of sour cream ice cream before but never tried it. I don’t really like sour cream on things – I find I usually can’t taste it in things like tacos where there are a million other flavors (none of which I really like, sorry taco lovers) going on, and would rather save the calories for something tastier. Like ice cream.
One way I do enjoy sour cream is in coffee cake. So why not put sour cream coffee cake and sour cream ice cream together?
Don’t actually try to think of a reason why not. You won’t be able to come up with one. Because this ice cream totally rules. It’s sweet, it’s cold, it’s creamy, it’s tangy, it has a nice depth from the brown sugar and cinnamon…
Plus, it’s crunchy!
One of the things that makes a coffee cake so good is the streusel topping, right? So I figured I better incorporate some tasty streusel in this creation of mine. But where to find a solid recipe for plain old streusel?
Luckily, I didn’t have to search for long. Jenni, The Online Pastry Chef Herself, has a basic recipe that she kindly linked me to, and, now that I have a (cute, useful and oh-so-glorious) kitchen scale it was a snap to follow.
The streusel isn’t the soft, crumbly kind you get on top of muffins in a bakery, but instead is pleasantly crunchy and buttery. After a day or two of being incorporated into the ice cream it does soften a bit. I also had extra streusel and added some crumbs on top of the ice cream for photography purposes. If you have extra you can definitely just sprinkle it on top, it’s tasty and vaguely reminiscent of eating ice cream with Grape Nuts on top. Only with more flavor.
One thing to note is that I didn’t exactly follow my own recipe here. See, I’ve recently grown sick and tired of buying overpriced little vials of vanilla extract every month-ish and decided to make my own. I happen to have quite the stash of vanilla beans (don’t be jealous, go buy your own in bulk, silly!) so I picked up some vodka, poured about half of it into a large jar and have been adding any scraped pods I end up with to it. It’s not quite as dark or potent as store-bought extract YET, but it’s getting there. It’s vanilla-y enough that I decided to skip the extract and just add it as my alcohol component.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake Ice Cream
First, Make the Ice Cream:
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- Generous pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp vodka (bourbon might also work nicely with this recipe, or just use vanilla vodka and skip the vanilla extract)
Pre-freeze a medium metal bowl for at least 10 minutes. Place the sour cream, heavy cream, milk, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl and whisk until completely combined. Add the vanilla and vodka and whisk to combine, then place in the freezer for two hours.
While You’re Waiting, Make the Streusel:
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 oz. sugar
- 4 oz. AP flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low with the paddle attachment until the mixture is pebbly and there are no overly large pieces of butter. Place a Silpat on a large baking sheet and spread the streusel mixture evenly onto the Silpat. Bake 15-20 minutes, turning once to ensure even baking, until the streusel is somewhat browned. Remove and cool fully, then break into tiny pieces (you can do this by hand or by placing large shards of the streusel in a sealable plastic bag and lightly pounding on the counter). Be careful not to break them down too much – you want it small but not dust. Set aside.
Once the two hours have passed, stir the ice cream thoroughly, scraping the sides of the bowl and breaking down any large chunks or crystals. Repeat once every hour until nearly frozen solid. Stir in as much streusel as you’d like (the more the better!) and freeze until solid and scoopable.
I really like the tanginess that the sour cream contributes in this recipe. It cuts through the sweetness of the sugar and streusel and is kind of a surprise when you’re used to purely sweet ice creams.